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?

Share

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
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

Deer Resistant Vine for California
July 24, 2013 - What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regu...
view the full question and answer

Native trees of Hornsby Bend in Austin, TX
April 10, 2013 - We are looking for a list of the trees occurring along and in the vicinity of the Colorado River at Hornsby Bend circa 1820.
view the full question and answer

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for Wimberley, Texas
June 02, 2009 - I live in the hill country in Wimberley Texas. I am looking for a fast growing, blooming evergreen vine for a privacy lattice wall between small houses. Can you recommend one of several plants? Thank ...
view the full question and answer

Front Door Vine in Alabama
March 02, 2013 - I live in Birmingham, AL in a large-scale, white brick, French-style home. I would like to have a vine over my front door. I don't want an invasive vine (seed pods that create new vines or attaches t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center