Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - November 26, 2013

From: Temple City, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Flowering vine for summer sun in Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi and thanks for this great site. 1)Southern CA -- South facing wall(lattice on top)total height 7ft with mature Boston Ivy-- Viburnum tinus and Euonymus at base. THE PROBLEM: East 25% (25ft) has become bare, miniscule foliage--blasted by summer sun all day. Has done well for 5 years, but last 2 summers were too much. Need something that can tolerate the heated wall. Flowering vine would be nice, to also plant on the west end for uniformity. Must coexist with Boston ivy. NOTE: other 75% of wall is partial sun to partial shade from large tree. Thanks very much!!!

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery, with locations in Escondido and Santa Margarita, who specialize in California native plants, has a page of "Native plants that can be used as a vine" that has a lot of information about growing conditions for various vines.  You will notice that most of the vines on the list require some shade to do well.  There is one, Vitis girdiana (Desert wild grape) that Las Pilitas recognizes as 'heat tolerant'.  Its flowers aren't showy but they are fragrant and result in delicious small grapes for you and the birds in your neighborhood to eat.  Vitis californica (California grape) would also be a choice.  It is happy with full sun and heat—see the Sonoma County Master Gardeners'  page.

Instead of a vine, you might consider a narrow shrub to grow in front of the wall.  Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany) is one alternative.   The variety that grows in Los Angeles County is Cercocarpus montanus var. blancheae (listed under its synonym, Cercocarpus alnifolius by Las Pilitas).  It tolerates both heat and cold.

Frangula californica (California buckthorn or California coffeeberry) is another alternative.  Las Pilitas lists it under its synonym, Rhamnus californica.

 

From the Image Gallery


Desert wild grape
Vitis girdiana

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

More Vines Questions

Identify red-flowering vine in E. Texas
April 03, 2009 - Beside a well on an old homestead in Deep East Texas, there is a delicate vine. The leaves are heart shaped with points all the way around. The flower is a bright red trumpet shaped. I saw an angel ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
June 18, 2012 - I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.
view the full question and answer

Florida hanging vine with occasional red tongue-like leaves
December 01, 2011 - I live in south Florida and I used to grow a hanging vine that had green slender leaves and an occasional red leaf that looked like a tongue that protruded horizontally from the plant. do you know wha...
view the full question and answer

Vine for Chain Link Fence in Virginia
March 25, 2015 - I am from Great Falls, Virginia. I would like to know what the best vine is to grow on aluminum fences to cover them up quickly but also doesn't damage expensive fences in a long term?
view the full question and answer

When to prune Texas Coral Honeysuckle in Iredell, TX?
January 31, 2012 - When can I prune Texas coral honeysuckle? It needs to be pruned so that it will fill out. Also, how much do I prune it? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

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