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
1 rating

Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Melville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Ivy for shady wall in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Melville, New York. The house is adjacent to the Long Island Expressway and there is a cement sound barrier wall about 25 feet high that runs along the backyard of my 1 acre property. I tried English Ivy which is growing underneath and up on the opposite side (south side) of the wall which is sunny. Any suggestions for a very fast growing vine for this very shady area? I'm desperate!!!!! I would appreciat

ANSWER:

Here are some native vines that will grow in the shade in New York:

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet) Please be sure you get this species and NOT C. orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet), a non-native invasive plant on the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group's Least Wanted list. Here are more photos and information for American bittersweet.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine) with information and photos from University of Wisconsin Herbarium 

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) Please be sure that you get this native species and NOT the non-native invasives, W. floribunda (Japanese wisteria) or W. sinensis (Chinese wisteria).

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (western blue virginsbower)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Mikania scandens (climbing hempvine) and here are more photos and information.


Celastrus scandens

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Wisteria frutescens

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Clematis virginiana

Mikania scandens

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
September 29, 2007 - We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun,...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for shade in Austin
March 15, 2011 - I reside in 78739. Just moving here from So Cal (where all plants are perennials), I'm looking to create a good "Shade loving" Container for near my front door. I'm looking at 'Summer Wave' Wi...
view the full question and answer

Sedges or grasses for sun/shade in Georgetown, TX
March 24, 2008 - I have an area that is part shaded (under oak trees) and part in the sun. I would like cedar sedge in the shaded areas (some is already growing there)but I can not find where to buy it. Do you know w...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing shade trees safe for livestock in pasture in Nashville GA
May 13, 2010 - I would like a list of fast growing shade trees that are safe for cows and horses in a pasture.
view the full question and answer

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