En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Vines for an arbor

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
2 ratings

Friday - November 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vines for an arbor
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We're building an arbor in a 9 1/2 x 12-ft area on the south side of an urban lot. It's bordered by two-story buildings on the south and west and has a tall,sparsely leaved pecan tree on its northeast corner, but there are no trees directly overhead, so it gets a fair amount of light early in the day. We'd like to grow a vine on it but my husband remembers a jasmine vine in a similar setting dying off in an underlayer creating an annoying, dust-and-insect- catching nest of problems under the green growth. Are some vines less likely to do this than others? Is it just about maintenance? Are evergreen vines a better bet in avoiding this outcome?

ANSWER:

Deciduous woody vines [e.g., Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), or Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape)] will lose their leaves in winter but the woody stems of the vines will remain.  Unless something happens to kill the plant itself, they should re-leaf on the same woody vine in the spring and add new growth as well.  Herbaceous perennial vines [e.g., Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower) or Matelea reticulata (Green milkweed vine)] will die back completely in the winter leaving vine remnants that will need to be removed.  The vines themselves will grow anew from the ground in the spring.  There are some vines that are classified as "herbaceous to woody" [e.g., Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis)].  In the case of these, you would need to remove the dried non-woody parts after they die back in winter.   Evergreen vines would, no doubt, be less trouble to maintain.   You would probably want to remove any dead sections, but, hopefully, there shouldn't be much to remove.   Here are some recommendations for evergreen vines that do well in Austin:

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)

You can search for perennial native Texas vines yourself by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database by choosing "Texas" from the Select State or Province slot, "Vine" from Habit (general appearance) and "Perennial" from Duration (lifespan).  If you want to see only evergreen or semi-evergreen vines you can select those under Leaf Characteristics.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

More Vines Questions

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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

I need an evergreen vine to hide an ugly fence.
February 24, 2009 - I am looking to find a vine that will be on my south facing fence. I would like it to be evergreen as to hide my ugly fence.
view the full question and answer

Is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) poisonous?
March 18, 2012 - I need to know whether any part of Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is poisonous. Am thinking of planting it at an Elder Day Center for people with memory problems and the director insists - no toxic ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating unwanted vine on arbor in San Francisco
November 20, 2012 - There is a vine growing on our arbor, it has sickle-shaped pods and is crushing the arbor, how do we get rid of it?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center