En Español

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

Red blister-like bumps on grapevine
April 17, 2008 - I have just discovered red blister like bumps on a grapevine. It is on the leaves as well as the stems. What could this be? Will it harm only the grapevine or other plants as well? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Thorny vine growing through hedge
May 16, 2009 - In my hedge, a vine grows that has a bulbous root. It has large thorns up and down the vine. The leaves are shiny and grow all along the vine that is exposed to the sun. the vine grows up thru hedg...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for vine in Kentucky
April 26, 2010 - Need to know the name of a plant. It grows in Eastern KY, south WVA and West VA. It grows alone riverbanks and creeks. It is a weed, in the spring it has a white bloom and bees work it like crazy. ...
view the full question and answer

What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?
May 06, 2013 - What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?
view the full question and answer

Trailing milkvine, Matelea pubiflora, identified from seed pod
November 10, 2006 - I have a vine that has a seed pod that looks like okra. Inside the pod is a small flat seed and a cotton-looking fiber. Please help identify, if possible.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center