The Q&A Archives: Clinging Vines

Question: We own a very old farmhouse. Just outside our main door is a 45-50' silo. We never use it, but refuse to tear it down due to its wonderful condition and character. We would, although, like to put a smile on its face. I would like to plant a vine with such history and character. The silo is concrete and gets sun on its south and west sides. The vine would be planted on the silo's south, west and north side. I know this is quite a tall order, but I have faith in you! I would love to know that honesuckle or boston ivy would fit the bill. I would like something fragrant or color changing; a vine that, obviously, would not have to be pruned due to silo's ht. Please tell me you have THE answers! Thanks so much for your time!!

Answer: You need a vine that can cling to the concrete surface. Unfortunately, honeysuckle is a twining vine, and it won't have anything to twine around. Ivies can cling, but they don't like to climb hot masonry walls. It might do fine in a partially shaded spot. Virginia creeper might be a better choice (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). It seems to withstand and thrive in most environments, and has excellent ability to cling to masonry. It also turns a brilliant red in the fall. Silver Lace Vine (Polygonum auberti) is another possibility; it has sprays of white flowers and is a vigorous grower. Perhaps a combination of vines will fill all your wishes!

By the way, clinging vines can cause damage to masonry over a long period of time.

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