Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 03, 2013

From: Washington, DC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for Patio Wall in D.C.
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a concrete patio wall 4 feet tall and 9 feet long in Washington, D.C. The wall runs east to west and there is a patio above it. I am looking for vines to cover it so that I would not have to look at the bare concrete. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – District of Columbia, Habit – vine, Duration – perennial, Light Requirement – full sun on the south side of the wall (or shade if on the north side of the wall). You can further narrow down the list of potential vines by indicating the soil moisture type and whether you prefer a deciduous or evergreen vine.
 This will give you a list of about 10 potential vines to consider for the sunny side of your patio wall which include:
Ampelopsis arborea (peppervine)
Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)
Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (Devil’s darning needles)
Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempvine)
Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

 

From the Image Gallery


Peppervine
Nekemias arborea

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Climbing hempvine
Mikania scandens

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

More Vines Questions

Does Virginia creeper cause a rash?
July 09, 2015 - Does Virginia creeper cause a rash to everyone or those who are only allergic as in an allergy like a peanut allergy? Is it something that should be avoided like poison ivy? And does the sap stick to ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
May 11, 2013 - I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?
view the full question and answer

Native plants with little sun and northern exposure for New York
April 26, 2006 - I live in a co-op and want to fix up the backyard. The backyard area has a west area to plant with a northern exposure and little sun and I am looking to plant something to cover the area. I would lik...
view the full question and answer

Invasive possibly non-native vine in Largo FL
October 03, 2009 - I have vines taking over my backyard, climbing all over the ground and up trees. The vines are huge, non-flowering giant leaves that look like elephant ears. What are these and how can they be contain...
view the full question and answer

Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
May 17, 2012 - Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.