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

Identification of vine with hair-like prickles
January 04, 2013 - Trying to find out what kind of vine I ran into yesterday while climbing a deer stand. While pushing limbs and vines down from around me, I noticed hair-like thorns stuck in my sleeves and hands. This...
view the full question and answer

Rash from non-native potato vines
July 21, 2010 - Here in No. CA we have two potato vines that over the last 5-6 years have flourished gloriously. Just this year, we went to prune them (as we normally do once or twice a year), and both my husband an...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014 - A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
view the full question and answer

Vines for arbor in North Carolina
September 14, 2008 - Please identify vines that can be used for an arbor that fronts my garage and a portion of the house. Living in Zone 6, the arbor faces southwest. My interest is that the vine be non-invasive because...
view the full question and answer

Burned leaves on trumpet vine, Campsis radicans
August 10, 2009 - I have a trumpet vine, it is about 10 years old and I have never had any problems with it. This year I have noticed that the leaves on some of the branches are shriveling up, like it was burned with ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center