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 - November 28, 2015

From: Palatine, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: Vines for a Chicago Pergola in Zone 5
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'm looking for some recommendations of vines for my south-facing pergola. I live in a northwest suburb of Chicago, in Zone 5 with heavy clay soil.

ANSWER:

There are several tough vines that should grow and bloom well on your pergola near Chicago. When considering which one to select, think about the durability of the pergola as a support for the vines. Some vines like wisteria need a very sturdy support to withstand the extreme weight as the plant grows. Also consider that some have poisonous fruit (or leaves) and should not be planted where children and pets are unsupervised nearby. American bittersweet requires both sexes to have reliable fruit display on the female plants. And finally many of these vines are quite vigorous and will require pruning to keep them contained to a small area.

Some vines to consider are: Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet), Clematis virginiana (Devil's darning needles), Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle), Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

More Plant Lists Questions

Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
September 02, 2012 - I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.
view the full question and answer

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Rabbit-proof Plants for Florida Swimming Pool Area
February 22, 2016 - I plan on planting white star jasmine and purple bocouilla plants around a south-facing swimming pool in Naples, Florida. I was told rabbits might eat them which we do have. Should I be concerned, and...
view the full question and answer

How to solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
July 01, 2014 - When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

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