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
4 ratings

Saturday - March 02, 2013

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine to cover concrete retaining wall in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an unsightly concrete retaining wall and culvert covers that require fast coverage from a vine of some sort. The plant must be deer resistant and drought tolerant. The retaining wall and culvert covers are located at the bottom of my very long driveway. I planned to plant creeping fig, but a friend suggested my neighbors wouldn't like it if it ever had the occasion to creep into the neighbors' yard. It is unlikely, but I suppose possible. I desperately need something to grow across and down a concrete wall fiasco -- quickly. We created planting beds on either side of the culvert covers and retaining wall, and we plan to fill them with crape myrtles, yucca and a creeping vine. Which creeping vine should I use to ensure it grows down and across while surviving deer and drought? Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thank you for your kind assistance.

ANSWER:

First, let me refer you to a similar previous Mr. Smarty Plants question for a vine to cover a retaining wall. And from the article mentioned in that answer, here were our suggestions for dealing rapidly with an ugly concrete wall:

"And the wall? Have you ever considered a gallon of masonry paint? Pick a nice soft background color, maybe green. Get a couple of rollers with special pads designed for painting on cement, and a few hours should make it look a whole lot better. Still not satisfied? Put a few green, maybe even blooming, shrubs in front of it to distract attention. Don't want to spend money on shrubs you're going to leave behind? Put them in large pots-that will give them even more height, more interest in front of the wall, and you can put them on the truck when you move."

Now for a previous answer on this subject from Round Rock, right next door to you. This answer also deals with creeping fig, hopefully in strong enough terms you won't even consider it. This last previous answer we referred you to has a list of vines that are heat and drought resistant because they are native to your area. It also refers to vines covering a stucco wall, but a concrete wall would be about the same situation. Deer resistance is always the hardest trait to find in any kind of plant. Of the list we gave in that article, these are the vines that are "moderately" (which means if they are hungry enough, the deer will eat them) deer resistant:

Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper)

Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis)

Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)

Also, in that article we mentioned two plants that are not vines but are highly deer resistant and might work as cover for the concrete wall.

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant, which will tell you the prospective size of the plant, growing conditions and whether it is evergreen or deciduous. Most particularly, pay attention to light requirements. In other words, is the growing space in sun (6 or more hours of sun a day), part shade (2 to 6 hours), or shade less than 2 hours a day).

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Purple clematis
Clematis pitcheri

Scarlet clematis
Clematis texensis

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens



Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

More Vines Questions

Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
November 05, 2005 - I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing ...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen vine for St. Paul MN
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a native vine that will stay green, or at least keep its leaves, throughout the winter. The vine will be grown on a trellis between our house and our neighbor's, and we want to keep...
view the full question and answer

Are grape vines killing oaks in San Antonio
December 20, 2009 - I have some large live oaks growing in sand on some property I have south of San Antonio that are slowly dying one limb at a time. Some large mustang grape vines are growing in and around them and I ...
view the full question and answer

Virginia creeper in trees
April 26, 2008 - Can Virginia creeper be allowed to climb on trees--specifically Texas ash and live oak--or will it damage them if allowed to attach itself? We are thinking of using it as erosion control in a greenbe...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Potato vine from Morgan Hill CA
June 13, 2011 - Greetings from Morgan Hill. CA. I have moved into a home that has a fairly mature (10 years +/-) Potato Tree which has some blue/purple flowers but very few new leaves, it looks almost barren. It gets...
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