The Q&A Archives: Potato Vine Support

Question: I am planning to use Potato Vine as a screen approximately 12 feet tall. I was wondering what would be the best support for the vine. I had considered chicken wire in order to ensure a dense growth, but since chicken wire is terribly ugly, I wanted to make sure first that it would end up fully hidden by the vine. Do you have any suggestions? How much space between supporting wires does Potato Vine need to achieve a thick, hedge-like screen?

Answer: The potato vine (Solanum jasminoides) is an evergreen to semi-evergreen vine that twines rapidly to 30'. It is often called a rampant grower, producing lots of new vines each year and producing a dense screen of foliage (and beautiful flowers). Chicken wire would be fully hidden by the vines by mid-summer, but until then you might have to tolerate looking at the bare wire. How about a trellis made of cedar slats instead? The wood will weather to a grayish color and the criss-cross pattern will provide lots of angles for the vine to wrap around. As your plant matures the new growth will wrap around the older vines, and eventually make an almost solid wall of vine. Enjoy your new screening vine!

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