Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.

ANSWER:

Wikipedia has a good article on vines and they discuss how vines attach themselves to whatever they climb.  We can use this as a basis of choosing between different possible vines,   Ones that climb by wrapping around protrusions or by twinned petioles [leaf stems] are likely OK while those that send roots into the wall or burrow under ‘bark” are not such a good choice.

We have eleven vines to choose from that are native to Central Texas.  You can review the set by going to the Central Texas recommended species  and narrowing the choices by choosing “vine” as the habit.    You can then look for clues in the plant record.  For instance, Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) climbs by means of aerial rootlets, which, like English Ivy, can damage wood, stone, and brick.   Even though it can be quite attractive, I suspect this should not be on your list.

To me, these three look the gentlest to your wall:
Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis) – climbs to about 10 ft by twining petioles
Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis) - similar
Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) – 3-20 feet by twining

If you can tolerate tendrils, then these also become possible choices
Ibervillea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's globeberry) – climbs to 6-10 feet by tendrils
Passiflora tenuiloba (Bird wing passionflower)
Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)  to 25 feet
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) – to 40 feet

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Scarlet clematis
Clematis texensis

Balsam gourd
Ibervillea lindheimeri



Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Can you root a crossvine?
May 31, 2009 - Can you root a crossvine?
view the full question and answer

Native vine for a privacy fence in Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I have a vacant lot in Greenshores that has two 6' iron fences. Neighbor planted some sort of vine that grows up and along fence for privacy, white flowers when in bloom, I assume its Jasmine? On ne...
view the full question and answer

Aggressive vine with purple flowers in South Carolina
September 12, 2014 - Found an aggressive climbing vine with purple flowers in out vegetable garden. This garden was cleaned and new dirt, mulch and manure was put in in the spring. It was raked out after the infusion of d...
view the full question and answer

Control of invasive vine in North Carolina
November 18, 2009 - Hi, I live in Piedmont NC, have vines that twine around my shrubbery and are impossible to pull out of the ground w/o breaking because they are so thin/delicate. The leaves are maple-like (3 lobes), ...
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.