The Q&A Archives: vines for zone 9?

Question: Hi-
I had asked about the strawberry mandevilla vine to train over our patio in California and you nixed the idea. Do you have any suggestions for a good vine (planted in the soil or pot) in the high desert? Anything that flowers or bears fruit? Nothing to invasive, preferably.

Thank you-
Steve Rodriguez

Answer: Sorry you can't grow Strawberry Mandevilla, but I think you'd be disappointed with its performance in your landscape. There are several flowering vines you might consider instead:

Macfadyena unguis?cati, catclaw yellow trumpet. Partly deciduous with slender shoots that cling to any surface. Dense glossy foliage shows off bright yellow flowers, spring. Rapid, can spread to 30?40' vertically or horizontally. Start with gallon size, plants adapt better to transplanting with smaller size. Takes heat and drought. Sun or partial shade. Hardy. Low water use.

Wisteria floribunda ?Longissima Alba?. Impressive sight are the pure white flowers that cascade in spikes to 48" long. Deciduous, displays bright green foliage. Hardy. W. f. ?Royal Purple?, breath-taking loveliness that demands attention when these long violet-purple clusters bloom in spring. Deciduous, twining, woody with bright green foliage. W. sinensis, Chinese wisteria, deciduous, medium green foliage. Grows 10?30'. Full sun. Purple or white flower clusters in spring. Low to moderate water use. Hardy.

Bougainvillea ?Barbara Karst?. Cascading masses of large brilliant red flower bracts are borne most continually. Plants bloom at an early age. Sun. B. brasiliensis (B. spectablilis), indescribable sight with clusters of purple flower bracts, produced many months of year in large masses. Must have full sun. 20o F. B. ?California Gold?, rich golden bracts borne profusely for many months contrasted by deep green leaves on vining branches. B. ?Jamaica White?, exotic, tropical, lush green foliage. Spectacular masses of frothy, sea foam white bracts cascading from branch tips. Blooms have occasional slight pink tinge with cooler weather. 30o F. B. ?Orange King?, bronzy-orange-gold flower bracts produced in graceful sprays during warm months. Attractive foliage. B. ?Texas Dawn?, exotic, indescribable color of this sensational bougainvillea wins quick approval from garden lovers. Myriad, gracefully formed Tyrian rose bracts suspended from long arching sprays. A sunny location ideal, hardy to 30F.

Mascagnia macroptera, yellow orchid vine. Evergreen, twining native to central Baja California, central Sonora and south throughout most of Mexico. The clusters of showy yellow orchid-shaped flowers appear in spring (if plants do not freeze the previous winter) and again in fall. Plants are cold hardy to the mid-20os F. Plants are moderately drought tolerant once established. However, they grow more quickly if given a thorough watering weekly during the growing season (April through October). Remove frozen stems in late winter or early spring. M. lilacina, purple orchid vine, use on a trellis, chain fence or any upright support and, once established, can reach 20?30' in one season. Hardy to 25 F.

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