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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 07, 2013

From: Mobile, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Vines
Title: Shade tolerant vines for Mobile AL
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen vine that will thrive in the shade in hot and humid south Alabama. I plan to plant on a trellis. A flowering vine would be even better.

ANSWER:

You’re in luck!   Hot & humid Alabama has several flowering native vines that will grow in shade.  I went to the Recommended List for Alabama, chose “Vines” as habit and “Partial Shade & Shade” as Light Requirement – and it returned these six choices.

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)
Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)
Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

If you honestly meant full shade [<2 hours sun] then Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) and Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) are still capable of thriving in that amount of light.

  You may want to also consider the vines climbing habit in addition to the kind and amount of blooms they produce.  For instance, Purple passionflower is famed for spreading aggressivly by root suckers.  There are  also several choices as to whether the vine grows into its support or attaches itself to it in some manner. All good things to consider before your choice is in the ground and growing vigorously.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

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