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

Wednesday - September 12, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: Is purple bindweed good for a screen growing on a fence?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We cleared a bunch of dead trees and tree limbs (mostly cedars and some oaks) on our semi-rural property in Driftwood and now we're left with an undesirable view onto the neighboring property. We're considering planting PURPLE BINDWEED so that it will grow over the metal wire fence and eventually create a screen. Your website indicates that it may be too aggressive for a garden setting. The area where we're considering planting it is more of a wild area than a garden setting. Everything in that area so far are only volunteer plants. We don't water that area at all. But we would water whatever we plant with a hose until it gets established. Is there a better plant for screening? The area is wild, and partly shady under/near cedars and oaks. Also, will it work on a metal fence or will it need some other kind of support?

ANSWER:

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba (Tievine) is described as an agressive grower but that sounds like what you are looking for.  Here's more information from University of Florida Extension Service and from Virginia Tech Weed ID.  You should have no problem growing it on the fence.  The University of Florida Extension Service site says that it has medium drought tolerance so you would need to keep that in mind for possible watering purposes.  It is rated as being highly deer resistant and it certainly is an attractive plant. The only drawback I can see is that it will be deciduous under winter condtions.  You might pair it with an evergreen (or semi-evergreen) native like Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) that will retain most of its leaves in Travis County winters.

 

More Vines Questions

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating a briar vine in American holly
July 22, 2011 - I have a wild vine (I was told it is a type of briar) living on my place. The root nest is like a potato. I have dug them up, I have sprayed them and I still am plagued with them. I have a beautiful A...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

Will Hyacinth Beans and Cardinal vine (non-natives) grow in Texas?
April 28, 2007 - I live in Coppell, TX, and a neighbor gave me some Hyacinith Beans and Cardinal Vine seeds to plant. She described these as doing well in her local garden, but I cannot find a photo or picture of them...
view the full question and answer

Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
June 14, 2009 - I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the backgroun...
view the full question and answer

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