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

Wednesday - September 05, 2012

From: Liberty Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Coral Honeysuckle suitability for Central Texas Fence
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a house in Liberty Hill. My backyard is enclosed by an iron fence (painted). I am interested in creating a habitat for birds, so I'm thinking of planting coral honeysuckle vine on the fence. I've been told that birds like vines. But, I don't want a vine that could possibly damage the fence. Is the coral honeysuckle a good choice?

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants thinks you have made an excellent choice.   He’s answered two other questions lately from Central Texas about suitable vines.  Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is generally a recommended vine because it climbs by twining.  It is also recommended as a wonderful habitat for hummers and other birds and butterflies!

 This earler question was about vine choices that would not harm a hardy plank wall.   Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) was preferable in this case although just one of several possibilities.  On the other hand, this question/answer pair considered growing Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)  on a wrought-iron fence.  Virginia creeper climbs by means of tendrils with disks that fasten onto your iron fence. Another good choice, that  climbs similarly, is Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower).  These are considered to be relatively gentle to a fence and good habitat.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Vines Questions

Attractive Native Vines to Cover a Chain Link Fence in Upstate New York
September 19, 2009 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Upstate NY (Albany) and my yard is bordered by an old chain link fence. I would like to cover the fence with a natural looking plant (I assume Ivy). What do you ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Care of Passiflora incarnata or Passiflora coccinea
July 04, 2007 - Hi- I have two passionflowers, one red, one purple. I live in upstate NY. They grow very well up onto trellises, however, they have stopped producing flowers. Both are planted in pots (fairly large)...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

Plants for area near saltwater pool near Dallas
May 25, 2009 - Could you recommend perennial plants that would do well next to my saltwater pool just north of Dallas (Corinth) Texas?
view the full question and answer

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