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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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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


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!


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 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 Privacy Screening Questions

Tall native grasses for privacy in Central Texas
June 29, 2013 - Hi- I am looking for a grass that will grow tall and be thick for privacy. I live here in Austin east of 35. Obviously something draught tolerant would be great! Thank you!
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Trees for Privacy Screening in Central Texas
July 11, 2016 - I live in Cedar Park, Texas and have a neighbor who likes to have parties. I need a evergreen tree/hedge that will provide privacy and sound barrier. We have some wax myrtles but they don't work. We ...
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Are 'Ice Blue' Arizona Cypress and Desert Willow safe near a septic system?
September 18, 2015 - I want to plant a screen to hide driveway/cars on our property line that is close to the septic tank(not septic field) and the septic line running from the house. Would it be safe to plant a Ice Blue ...
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Privacy Hedge Plant for CA
January 26, 2016 - We recently moved into a new home right on the border of Cherry Valley and Beaumont, Ca. We are at an elevation of 2,900 ft. We are looking for a plant that we can use as a privacy hedge along our bac...
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Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
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