Contact Us Host an Event 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

Thursday - November 06, 2014

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: California Vine for Privacy Screening
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a two story house going up behind my back yard. I would like to plant a climbing vine with non-invasive roots to provide privacy. I live in Los Angeles and the trellis would receive almost full day sun as it is on the west wall of the yard.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential vines for your privacy screen 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: CA, Habit – vine, Duration – Perennial, Light Requirement – Sun, Soil Moisture – Dry, and Size – 6-36 feet.

The three plants to consider from this search are:

Calystegia macrostegia (island false bindweed) – herbaceous. Long-blooming white or muted pink flowers and lush, vigorous foliage for trellises, arbors, pergolas, fences Does best in full sun in moist, coastal areas. In drier sites, give afternoon shade. May defoliate during summer droughts, so water during dry spells. Its vivid green, triangular leaves are carried on twining stems that emerge from a woody base called a caudex, hence the common name Woody Morning Glory. Several varieties are recognized, with those from islands often preferred for horticulture, as they have more prominent leaves.

Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis) – herbaceous. A strong, woody climber to 20 ft. or more. Bears few-flowered clusters of creamy-white blossoms on the upper portions of the plant. These are followed by light-catching, silky seed plumes. Deciduous leaves are pinnately compound with 3 leaflets. Clematis lasiantha, with its cheery white-and-yellow spring flowers and decorative, silky seed plumes in summer, is a member of the buttercup family (family Ranunculaceae). A widely adaptable, tough, and disease-resistant plant, it is a good choice for native plant gardens within its range, which is from north-central California south into Baja California. It can climb to 20 feet and can take light shade or full sun. It is deciduous and may die back completely in cold winters, but will reemerge in the spring. It does well in normal garden conditions. It is less widespread, more delicate, and less vigorous than the related Clematis ligusticifolia. Well-drained soils of decomposed granite, sand, or clay loam, pH 5 to 8, rich or with minimal organic content.
In very dry, hot areas, provide afternoon shade and mulch to keep the roots cool.

Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle) – semi-evergreen. This species is one of those peculiar twining shrubs sometimes encountered in genus Lonicera. It usually grows as a loose shrub unless its branches come in contact with something it can twine onto, like a neighboring plant or a fence; then the branches will twine up and out while the center of the plant remains a somewhat stout shrub. Some individuals, though, are more generally vine-like and will trail along the ground with little or no shrubbiness, while others will be more consistently shrubby and will hardly twine at all. Lonicera hispidula is deciduous to semi-evergreen and ranges from 3 to 20 feet high, the greatest heights reached by twining. Attractive pink, rose, or purple flowers appear in spring and summer and decorative red berries in fall. Dry to moist woodland soils. Tolerates clay. pH 5 to 7.

Tolerates seasonal flooding. Berries may be mildly poisonous if eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Island false bindweed
Calystegia macrostegia

Island false bindweed
Calystegia macrostegia

Pipestem clematis
Clematis lasiantha

Pipestem clematis
Clematis lasiantha

Pink honeysuckle
Lonicera hispidula

More Vines Questions

Are Carolina jessamine flowers toxic to bees?
March 08, 2016 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I recently planted 15 yellow Carolina Jessamine bushes along our back fence. Our hope is that it will vine up into the fence and give us privacy. I went online...
view the full question and answer

Burned leaves on trumpet vine, Campsis radicans
August 10, 2009 - I have a trumpet vine, it is about 10 years old and I have never had any problems with it. This year I have noticed that the leaves on some of the branches are shriveling up, like it was burned with ...
view the full question and answer

Inducing flowering on vines
August 27, 2008 - My daughter presented me with a lovely Passiflora coccinea a few months ago. It is growing marvelously in full sun at the base of a pine tree. I'm wondering, though, if I were to limit the amount o...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing, evergreen vine for deck
May 14, 2008 - Hi, I hope you might help me select the most appropriate flowering vine for my situation. I am looking for a fast growing, mostly evergreen, and long blooming flowering vine for a large container (pro...
view the full question and answer

Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
November 22, 2014 - Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
view the full question and answer

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