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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.

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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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Saturday - January 17, 2015

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Vines
Title: Fast-growing vines for the Texas Hill Country
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

What are the best fast-growing vines for our Hill Country location? The vine will be growing on a stucco wall, so we don't want the vine to grow into the stucco and destroy it. Location has morning sun.

ANSWER:

The kind of vine to look for is one that simply twines around its support or that uses tendrils to attach itself to substrates as it climbs.  Tendrils are protuberences like tiny tentacles that wrap around twigs wires, etc. for support.  They would not penetrate stucco, but the vine would need a trellis or other means of support.  Many other species of vine attach by holdfasts, which do bind to almost any surface and often penetrate into it, and should be avoided.

Suggested native species for your situation include Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)(a fairly rapid grower), Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)Lonicera albiflora (Western white honeysuckle)Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) and Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)(grows rapidly but has tendrils that attach tightly to substrates).  Hopefully one of these will suit your requirements. Most of these plants should be available from your local nurseries. This is a good time of the year to plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

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