Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Friday - March 29, 2013

From: Norfolk, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Vines
Title: Plants to cover 1000 square foot wall in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

In Norfolk, VA, I want to cover a large (1000 sq ft) cement wall with a variety of maintenance free plant life. Any recommendations?

ANSWER:

It would be helpful to know how tall the wall is and if you want vines to trail down it or climb up it—or, perhaps, you want plants to grow in front of it.   I will suggest a few of each.  You should check the GROWING CONDITIONS section on each species page to be sure they match your site for water and sunlight conditions.

VINES:

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is evergreen and has orange-red flowers in the spring.

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet) is deciduous with yellow fall foliage and with scarlet fruit.

Clematis crispa (Swamp leatherflower) is deciduous and trails 6 to 10 feet with pinkish to purplish flowers.

Clematis virginiana (Devil's darning needles) is a 12 to 14 foot climbing deciduous vine that has profuse clusters of flowers.

Decumaria barbara (Decumaria) is a deciduous woody vine that grows to 30 feet with fragrant white flowers.

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) is an evergreen 10 to 20 feet long with yellow flowers.

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is an evergreen 3 to 20 feet long vine with red blossoms.

Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower) is an herbaceous vine up to 25 feet with large purple flowers.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) grows 3 to 40 feet long and will easily climb up a wall.  It is deciduous with colorful fall foliage.

Vitis riparia (Riverbank grape) deciduous woody vine to 35 feet that is fast-growing and long-lived.  The berries are edible and make good jelly and wines.

SHRUBS

Castanea pumila (Chinkapin) is a deciduous shrub that grows to 30 feet with edible fruit and colorful fall foliage.

Euonymus americanus (American strawberry-bush) is a deciduous shrub of 6 to 12 feet with bright red fruits holding orange seeds.

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain laurel) is an evergreen shrub growing 12 to 20 feet with showing pink flowers.

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is a 6 to 12 foot evergreen shrub with bluish berries.

Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay) is an evergreen 6 to 20 foot shrub with large showy lilac-colored flowers.

Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw) is a 12 to 15 foot deciduous shrub with white flowers, blue berries and colorful fall foliage.

You can see more possibilities for plants to cover your wall in the Virginia Recommended list of plants native to Virginia and commercially available for landscaping.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select plants from the list that meet your criteria.

 

From the Image Gallery


American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

American strawberry-bush
Euonymus americanus

More Vines Questions

Failure to flourish of Trumpet Creeper in Leesburg VA
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Late last year I planted a trumpet creeper vine to grow on my fence and attract hummingbirds. It gets full sun, is in average soil and gets adequate water. I put a few daylilli...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of vine with purple fruit
September 21, 2008 - Illinois: I have a vine, red stems purple fruit with grape like clusters (sweet.hope it wasn't poisonous)What is it?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle
September 02, 2006 - How do I transplant Honeysuckle?
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
April 17, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
view the full question and answer

Vine for pergola in Kilgore, Texas
January 21, 2009 - Have recently constructed a 10'X 20' free standing pergola with a 14' X 24' treated wood deck surround. The support posts are inset 14" from the outside edge. I want to grow greenery on the per...
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.