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

Mistake in propagation of Mustang grapes from Victoria TX
July 27, 2013 - I didn't read first! I planted dried mustang grape seeds in good potting soil, watered and put on tall clear plastic bags to retain moisture, will they ever come up? Should I get the seed out and r...
view the full question and answer

Native climbing rose for Austin
April 25, 2010 - Is there such a thing as a native climbing rose that would do well in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vines in Florida
October 30, 2012 - Hello, I have 2 different types of vines growing in my shrubs. They are very pretty and I like them I just want to know if they are poisonous or if they will take over my shrubs. I have not been able ...
view the full question and answer

Vines for a cliff in backyard
October 17, 2010 - I have a large (25 ft) cliff in my backyard. Its too large to use a retaining wall and occasionally some of the caliche slides down. I'm planning on planting vines at the top and letting them drape...
view the full question and answer

Vines for Poolsides
February 22, 2012 - We would like some color along the pool, but do not want anything with flowers because of the pool. Are there any non-flowering vines that will grow in full sun in Arizona? We have 2 trelis' that we ...
view the full question and answer

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