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Tuesday - April 23, 2013

From: Saugerties, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Vines
Title: Vines for Shade in Upstate New York
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson


Hello! I am looking for a non-invasive vine that will grow in heavy shade near my house in upstate New York.


Mr Smarty Plants has a few recommendations for you.  Several native vines grow well in New York, so the choice within the first three or four of the list below depends mostly on the other characteristics you may desire.

The New York “Recommended Plant List” has several vines listed.  Of those, Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) appears to be the tamest.  The record indicates it climbs by adhesive pads, which means it doesn’t damage walls as much, and it specifically was noted as significantly tamer than the trumpet creeper. It also appears to tolerate shade well.

There were several other vines on the list.  They are [in rough order of how well they fit your request]:

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (Purple clematis) - - - can be an aggressive self-seeder, tolerates shade.

Vitis riparia (Riverbank grape)

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) however, its record indicates it sometimes colonizes so densely it seems a nuisance, particularly in the southeast, where its invasive qualities have earned it the names Hellvine and Devils Shoestring.

Amphicarpaea bracteata (American hogpeanut)  



From the Image Gallery

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

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