En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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?


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

Florida hanging vine with occasional red tongue-like leaves
December 01, 2011 - I live in south Florida and I used to grow a hanging vine that had green slender leaves and an occasional red leaf that looked like a tongue that protruded horizontally from the plant. do you know wha...
view the full question and answer

Need a vine to cover a chainlink fence in the shade in Tarrytown, NY.
June 08, 2012 - Any advice for a vine to cover a chain link fence in shade
view the full question and answer

When will non-native Confederate Jasmine bloom in Austin
March 03, 2014 - I have 2 large Confederate Jasmine plants growing in 3 gallon pots on either side of an arbor I built for my friends wedding. The wedding is in 1 month and I'm wondering if this jasmine typically bl...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Will Bittersweet climb on a streetlight pole?
February 05, 2015 - Will Bittersweet climb on a streetlight pole, or does it need to be with a tree?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center