The Q&A Archives: Choosing A Flowering Vine

Question: I would like to plant a flowering vine at the front of my house. The house faces west and the area gets 4-5 hours of sun (hot afternoon sun). I was interested in roses but am not sure if they would survive the intense sun. I am not picky about color but would prefer bright blooms. Any suggestions on what has the best chance of surviving? By the way, we are on the water and the soil is very sandy. Wind is not a problem.

Answer: When you say you are on the water do you mean your plants will be subjected to sea spray? If yes, my answer would take a whole different spin. I am working on the assumption you are on a lake because you don't specifically mention sea spray. So, if I am in error, please feel free to post another question via the website. Unfortunately, I am not up on AL topography so I'm not quite sure which body of water Lillian is located on. Having said that, you definitely could try a climbing rose, may I suggest 'New Dawn', a climber with fragrant cream colored blooms that is more tolerant of heat than some others. It's suggested hardiness range is zones 4-9 so we would be pushing the envelope just a bit. A non-rose selection would be BlueCrown Passion Flower Vine. This is a beautiful vine with unusual blue and white flowers with hints of pink and violet, that are followed by edible fruits in the fall. Blue Crown should be evergreen in your area (zone 9) which is an added bonus. The good thing about Blue Crown is it's recommended range goes all the way to zone 10 so you wouldn't be "pushing" at all with that one. Both of these are available from Park's at 1-800-845-3369. No matter what you decide on, you will needto improve the soil for your best chance at success. At planting time, work some organic matter such as compost, leaf mould, or composted cow manure into the planting area. This will improve the soil's composition and gently nourish the plants.

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