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: 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

Looking for seed for Clematis drummondii in Granbury, TX.
November 29, 2010 - I am trying to landscape with native Texas plants. I want a Clematis drummondii and have no idea where to get one. I read it grows readily from seeds, but I cannot locate any. Can you help. Also, ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Cocculus carolinus vines
August 04, 2015 - I live in Oklahoma City and want to rid my yard and flowerbeds of Cocculus Carolinus vines, I already have a infestation, I cant count the number of vines that were already established before I found ...
view the full question and answer

Bignonia capreolata with brown leaves in Pennsylvania
April 24, 2009 - 3 year old crossvine leaves brown and dead looking. Will it come back and bud out? Crossvine on fence southern exposure. Crossvine on fence in another area has leaves and are dark green/purple - sa...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Campsis radicans in Elkins WV
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in a very cool climate of West Virginia, in the mountains, and it seems impossible for our Campsis radicans vines to flower! Perhaps the growing season is too short? W...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of wild grape vines
July 14, 2004 - How can I propagate wild grape vines where I want them to grow?
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