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

Monday - August 23, 2010

From: Fullerton, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Need a vine to cover a 8' cinder block wall in Fullerton, CA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi- I have a 8' cinder block wall that gets full sun, and need to find either a flowering shrub that would cover, or a vine that wouldn't be to hard to manage, or would not need to use a trellis. Would like to cover as much of this wall as possible. Temp. in summer as high as 90 and winters low 40's. A flowering plant would be desirable. What would you recommend?

ANSWER:

As a part of my energy conservation program (my own energy that is), Mr. Smarty Plants likes to like to peruse our file of previously answered questions for gems of wisdom to help in answering current questions. I found two that I would like to share. The first is a thorough discussion of vines and their growth habits that should prove helpful in your project. The second is an answer to a question very similar to yours that is from Albuquerque; I think the answer will surprise you.

For plants siutable for Fullerton, lets go to the Native Plant  Data Base. Scroll down to the Combination Search box and make the following selections: choose California for State, Vine under Habit, Perennial under Duration, Sun under light requirement, and Dry under Soil Moisture. Click on the Submit Combinatom Search button and you get a rather short list of possibilitites. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains information about the plant's characteristics, growth requirements, as well as pictures. Here are five possibilities for vines. 

Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis)

Clematis ligusticifolia (western white clematis)

Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle)      (more info)

Vitis girdiana (desert wild grape)            (more info)

Calystegia macrostegia (island false bindweed)

We can go back to the Combination Search, and this time select Shrub under Habit,  leaving the other selections the same. Click the Submit Combination button, and you'll that there are more choices. Here are four plants that may be of interest. Check out their NPIN page to see if thteir growth characteristics maatch your space.

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)      (more info)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry)       (more info)

Rhus integrifolia (lemonade sumac)      (more info)

The next step would be to consult our National Suppliers Directory which can help you locate businesses that sell native plants in your area.


Clematis lasiantha

Clematis ligusticifolia

Clematis lasiantha

Ceanothus leucodermis

Heteromeles arbutifolia

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Lonicera sempervirens not harmful to dogs from Naperville IL
December 16, 2012 - Is the trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens) harmful to dogs if eaten? I have been told in the past that the common trumpet vine is harmful, but this appears to be different. Thank you!!
view the full question and answer

Vines for a Chicago Pergola in Zone 5
November 28, 2015 - 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.
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, fragrant flowering plant and vine for Arkansas
June 17, 2009 - I would like to find a non poisonous flowering plant that smells good, that has small to moderate plant growth, that will do well in sandy soil area, shade to full sun either way. Also would like to f...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing, non-poisonous evergreen vine for California
March 14, 2013 - Hi, I am in the north bay area of California, north of San Francisco, need a quick growing vine to cover a very long section of chain link fence that is not poisonous (back yard backs up to school pla...
view the full question and answer

Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
August 14, 2013 - I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black...
view the full question and answer

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