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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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