Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Saturday - July 11, 2015

From: Aledo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees, Vines
Title: Looking for an evergreen vine to grow on trellis as a privacy screen
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, I'm looking for an evergreen vine to grow on a free standing trellis. It is used as a screen on our back porch, so ideally we would not like to use anything that flowers due to the insects it would attract. I understand using ivy isn't wise, but we would love something similar. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

ANSWER:

Let’s start by looking at our Native Plants Database  to see what might be available.

Scroll down to the Combination Search and make the following selections: select Texas under State, Vine under Habit, Perennial under Duration,  Check Sun under Light Requirement, and Moist under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit request Button, and you will get a list of 25 native plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains information about the plant’s characteristics, its growth requirements, and in most cases, images. By doing this, you can determine which of the vines are evergreen. You will also notice that virtually all of these plants have flowers; this is what plants do.

Is your aversion to insects all inclusive, or only to pollinators such as bees and wasps? There are evergreen trees and shrubs which are wind pollinated that might fit your needs.

Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar  and Ashe Juniper Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) both can form a dense screen that could provide privacy. However, they both release pollen into the air that can serve as allergens.

When you mention ivy, Mr. Smarty Plants assumes that you mean English Ivy. This link sort of sums up his reluctance to use this solution.

If you really like the “ivy look”,  this link to Amazon.com may be of interest.

My final suggestion is that you contact the folks at the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT). They can offer suggestions for native plants to use for your project.

 

More Vines Questions

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

White sticky stuff on muscadine grape vines from Chappells SC
August 17, 2013 - Muscadine vine has white sticky substance on leaves and vines, what is it?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with green flowers
November 03, 2012 - What is this trailing plant with half inch green flowers with gold metallic centers? Looks like a milkweed plant or gourd plant of some kind. I found it off Hamilton Pool road. West of Austin TX
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Information about the wormvine orchid, Vanilla barbellata
November 27, 2007 - Hi My name is Santiago I'm from Puerto Rico and discover this Vanilla orchid in the forest, this orchid is V. barbellata var. alba? You have some information of how identify the V. barbe...
view the full question and answer

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