Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - February 22, 2012

From: Sun City, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vines for Poolsides
Answered by: Becky Ruppel

QUESTION:

We would like some color along the pool, but do not want anything with flowers because of the pool. Are there any non-flowering vines that will grow in full sun in Arizona? We have 2 trelis' that we would like to cover. The vines would be in direct, full sunlight >6 hrs/day. Please advise. Thank you

ANSWER:

Finding a vine that will fit your requirements is quite a challenge, especially with full Arizona sun!  Unfortunately, most plants flower at some point in their lives.  However, some plants produce more or larger flowers than others, so the next best solution is probably to plant something that has small, sparsely produced flowers.  A good match for your preferences is the Vitis arizonica (Arizona Grape).  This vine will grow in full sun, is very hardy, and is native to Arizona, so should tolerate its harsh summers very well.  When it does produce flowers (young grape vines usually don’t produce any flowers in the first couple years) they are small and will probably not make a mess of your pool.  As the vine gets older it will start to produce flowers that will turn into purple fruit, so that is something to consider.  Though, birds and other wildlife are likely to consume the fruit before it makes a huge mess.

Here are a couple more options that should tolerate full sun and should be relatively clean plants:

Macroptilium sp. (Purple bushbean) is another option that would do well full sun and has small flowers. 

Passiflora foetida (Corona de cristo) could also work well for you.  It is a very hardy vine, which is happy in full sun, and the flowers are large, but normally only sparsely cover the vine.    

To find any of these plants its best to contact any local native plant nurseries and inquire if they have the species.  The Desert Botanical Gardens spring plant sale is also coming up in March and the Passion Flower, Arizona Grape, and Purple Bushbean are listed as plants they will be selling. 

 

More Vines Questions

Controlling Cocculus carolinus vines
August 04, 2015 - I live in Oklahoma City and want to rid my yard and flowerbeds of Cocculus Carolinus vines, I already have a infestation, I cant count the number of vines that were already established before I found ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing vines for the Texas Hill Country
January 17, 2015 - What are the best fast-growing vines for our Hill Country location? The vine will be growing on a stucco wall, so we don't want the vine to grow into the stucco and destroy it. Location has morning ...
view the full question and answer

Native vine to replace non-native Ficus pumila creeping fig
April 01, 2012 - What is a good evergreen alternative to ficus pumila to cover a rough-textured concrete wall in Houston TX?
view the full question and answer

Blossoms but no fruit for gooseberries in Enoch UT
January 16, 2010 - My gooseberries always get loads of blossoms, but I never get fruit. I think they need more sun, and thus, want to transplant them to a sunnier location. What (and when) is the best way to do this?
view the full question and answer

Vine for shady planter from Cedar Park TX
April 19, 2014 - We bought a home in Central Texas and inherited several raised-bed planters. One of the planters is set up to grow a vine, but it's in a part of the yard that is mostly in the shade of a tree. Is t...
view the full question and answer

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