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
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


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Decumaria
Decumaria barbara

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Chinkapin
Castanea pumila

American strawberry-bush
Euonymus americanus

More Shrubs Questions

Source for non-native, invasive Winter Honeysuckle from Austin
April 24, 2013 - Seeing Lonicera abiflora today reminds me of the "winter honeysuckle" my grandfather grew in San Antonio from 1920s or so through the 1950's. It was a bush with stiff upright stems and bloomed cre...
view the full question and answer

Tree or shrub with non-invasive roots from San Jose CA
June 16, 2013 - I am looking for a small tree/ large shrub (non higher than a one story roof) with non-invasive roots to replace a 25 foot cedar. It is in a small area (5x 7) bordered to the side by a driveway...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak [Dustbreak] for Shelton, WA
May 31, 2013 - I live on a well traveled, dusty, gravel road in the Pacific North West and would like to plant a barrier to help control the dust.
view the full question and answer

Scarifying seeds of evergreen sumacs from Lockhart TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, We would like to grow our own evergreen sumacs. Consulting Nokes book, How to Grow Native Plants on page 310, it says to scarify fresh uncleaned seeds for 30-45 minutes. On page...
view the full question and answer

Will Pavonia lasiopetala grow in Oklahoma from Kerrville Tx
June 23, 2012 - How successfully could I grow Pavonia lasiopetala in central Oklahoma? My research shows that it is not native to Oklahoma.
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