Rent Shop 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

Sunday - September 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Growing Crossvine on a Wrought Iron Fence in Austin
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I would like to plant crossvine along a wrought iron fence. Will it damage the fence or the stucco posts?

ANSWER:

I'm pretty sure your wrought iron fence is safe, but I'd keep a close eye on those stucco posts. Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is usually less agressive than its look-alike relative Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), but both vines put out out rootlets that will exploit any small cracks they find. These can be quite destructive, particularly to wooden structurres like houses or fences.

If you maintain your posts to be sure cracks don't develop and keep the crossvine trimmed back away from the posts, you should be okay.

As an alternative to crossvine or trumpet creeper, Mr. Smarty Plants usually recommends Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper). This vine puts out tendrils that attach to the surface of the structure and cause little or no damnage. Of course, what you give up is the showy spring and summer flowers. You do get colorful fall foliage though.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Climbing plant for Maryland
December 09, 2008 - Hi I am looking for a climbing plant which is native to Maryland. I want the plant to climb up the front of the house to assist with cooling in summer and to make the house look more attractive. I wou...
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 cover brick column in Houston
October 28, 2009 - I have a brick column (~20ft tall) in the entry way to my house in Houston, TX. I am looking for a beautiful native vine that'll cover the column and soften the look of the house. I don't want to us...
view the full question and answer

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
view the full question and answer

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

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