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

Saturday - September 29, 2012

From: Berkeley, CA
Region: Select Region
Topic: Container Gardens, Vines
Title: Vine for planter box in Berkeley CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in Berkeley, CA and want to plant a vine to crawl up a trellis on my deck. It gets sun most of the day. I need to use planter boxes because there is only patio below and would like something that grows fast and does not attract bees. Would appreciate your thoughts..thanks so much!!!


Here are several vines that are native to you part of California that might be what you are looking for.  I can give no guarantees that bees or other insects won't visit any of these vines when they are in bloom since they are major pollinators of flowering plants.  I wouldn't expect any of the plants below to be swarming with bees or other insects at any time, but I would imagine they will visit them when they are in bloom.

Clematis lasiantha (Pipestem clematis).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery and Bay Natives.

Clematis ligusticifolia (Western white clematis).  Here is more information from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Lonicera hispidula (Pink honeysuckle).  Here's more information from Yerba Buena Nursery and from Bay Natives.  Yerba Buena Nursery says that the foliage is sparse and may not attractive planted alone, but you may like its spare look.

Vitis californica (California grape).  See more information about the variety 'Roger's Red' from Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside and Bay Natives in San Francisco.  The California grape is woody and can grow very large.  This may or may not be the type of vine you are looking for.

Mahonia pinnata (Wavyleaf barberry), according to our Native Plant Database, can act as vine or a small shrub.   It is evergreen.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita.

You can see more vines native to California by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database.  Choose "California" from the Select State or Province option and "vine" from Habit (general appearance) to get a list of more than forty vines native to California.

Since your vine will be growing in a planter, I recommend that you read our How to Article, Container Gardening with Native Plants.


From the Image Gallery

Pipestem clematis
Clematis lasiantha

Pipestem clematis
Clematis lasiantha

Western white clematis
Clematis ligusticifolia

Western white clematis
Clematis ligusticifolia

Pink honeysuckle
Lonicera hispidula

More Container Gardens Questions

Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
June 25, 2008 - I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is gr...
view the full question and answer

Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
May 23, 2014 - What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
view the full question and answer

Plants for indoor container gardening from Lax Vegas NV
May 10, 2013 - What is an good flower to grow in a pot? I live in a apt., and like roses,tulips etc. if that helps any.
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Wintering a Lemon Cypress tree in Eagan MN
September 29, 2009 - I Have a 2 1/2' Lemon Cypress Tree. I'm wondering if I can leave it outdoors for the winter, if not, how would I winter over indoors?
view the full question and answer

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