The Q&A Archives: What Covers Farm Fence

Question: I am trying to cover an old farm fence (metal) on my property line. There are trees on this fence row. What is something that I can plant that will attatch itself to this fence. I would like to use different things along with something to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Preferably a fast grower.

Answer: Many vines will cover such a fence. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a native vine and certain buttefly caterpillars find it a good food source. It is perennial and turns a beautiful red in the fall. It will compete with tree roots and thrive in sun or shade.

The perennial fragrant fall blooming clematis will thrive in a combination of sun and shade. It is attractive to late season butterflied and hummers. It will also compete with tree roots.

The perennial campsis radicans is also a possibility and attracts both hummers and butterflies with its trumpet shaped blooms in midsummer. It can however self seed and become a pest in a woodsy area.

Perennial sweet peas are a possibility, as they are very tenacious plants, but they do not grow densely enough to completely cover the fence.

Most annual vines need sun, good soil and adequate moisture to bloom well. You might try morning glories and the red flowered cypress vine, both of which have funnel shaped blooms and are hummingbird favorites and, if the fence is short, black eyed susan vine.

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