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: Vines
Title: Growing Crossvine on a Wrought Iron Fence in Austin
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I would like to plant crossvine along a wrought iron fence. Will it damage the fence or the stucco posts?

ANSWER:

I'm pretty sure your wrought iron fence is safe, but I'd keep a close eye on those stucco posts. Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is usually less agressive than its look-alike relative Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), but both vines put out out rootlets that will exploit any small cracks they find. These can be quite destructive, particularly to wooden structurres like houses or fences.

If you maintain your posts to be sure cracks don't develop and keep the crossvine trimmed back away from the posts, you should be okay.

As an alternative to crossvine or trumpet creeper, Mr. Smarty Plants usually recommends Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper). This vine puts out tendrils that attach to the surface of the structure and cause little or no damnage. Of course, what you give up is the showy spring and summer flowers. You do get colorful fall foliage though.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Plants for pergola in Lubbock TX
May 29, 2013 - I need suggestions of plants, vines, bushes to plant in my backyard near my wooden pergola that will work well in full sun in Lubbock, TX. Ideally, I'd like some that attract hummingbirds and provide...
view the full question and answer

Poison ivy? vine in NJ
July 30, 2012 - I have a vine growing among some vegetation in my backyard. It has a leaf with 3 "points" with ridges along its edges. The smaller leaves are reddish which is why I thought poison ivy but definite...
view the full question and answer

Growing kudzu in Las Vegas NV
April 18, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about a known invasive species that I know you advise against, but I feel my situation may be different enough that it's worth asking about. Yes, I'm talk...
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

Allergic reaction from vine in St. George Island, FL
July 24, 2010 - In the panhandle of Florida, we have a vine that looks like a blackberry vine. Seems to be poisonous. It has thorns that are dark purple and leaves a blistery, itchy rash. The leaves are green and ruf...
view the full question and answer

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