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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - June 03, 2013

From: Washington, DC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for Patio Wall in D.C.
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a concrete patio wall 4 feet tall and 9 feet long in Washington, D.C. The wall runs east to west and there is a patio above it. I am looking for vines to cover it so that I would not have to look at the bare concrete. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – District of Columbia, Habit – vine, Duration – perennial, Light Requirement – full sun on the south side of the wall (or shade if on the north side of the wall). You can further narrow down the list of potential vines by indicating the soil moisture type and whether you prefer a deciduous or evergreen vine.
 This will give you a list of about 10 potential vines to consider for the sunny side of your patio wall which include:
Ampelopsis arborea (peppervine)
Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)
Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (Devil’s darning needles)
Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempvine)
Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

 

From the Image Gallery


Peppervine
Nekemias arborea

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Climbing hempvine
Mikania scandens

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

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