vines - Knowledgebase Question

san carlos, ca
Question by omo_303
May 12, 2006
My problem is that next to my driveway is a stucco building. I read once that a trumpet vine has arial roots on them that will just stick to the wall no trellis needed once established. Every nursery that i ask this question tell me that only boson ivy has arial roots. Im looking for something flowery to cover up the wall. Fast growing and not too much maintance once established. Is there anything out there????? help me!

Answer from NGA
May 12, 2006


Let's see if we can straighten everything out. There are self-clinging vines, twining vines, those that send out tendrils which attach themselves to things, and those which simply grow tall and leggy and need something to lean on.

Self-clinging vines will require a brick, stone or masonry wall on which they can hang on to by means of rootlets or claw-like disks. Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) , Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix) and climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) are examples of these. It is untrue that clinging vines will draw the moisture out of brick and cause it to become brittle. The rootlets which attach themselves to walls are unlike the actual roots beneath the surface which take in moisture from the soil.

Self-clinging vines are generally deciduous perennials which increase their spread each year. They require little or no pruning except to keep the spread in check and prevent total coverage of windows when they grow on the side of homes. Pruning should be done in early spring, prior to bud break. Future growth needs to be considered when making the pruning cuts since they will branch at the buds below the cuts.

Twining vines require a trellis or strong vertical supports on which they can twist around and grow upwards. Silver lace vine (Polygonum aubertii), Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia durior), Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera x heckrottii), all types of Clematis (Clematis sp.) and Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda & W. sinensis) are some perennial examples of these. Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), Moonflower (Ipomoea tricolour) and Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineau) are three examples of annual, twining climbers.

Plants with tendrils require a trellis, wire or other plants on which to cling. Grape vines (Vitis sp.) and many annual vines such as Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) and Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) will grow rapidly and sprawl beyond their supports if not controlled.

Climbers are opportunistic plants which use structures and other plants to support themselves and grow towards the sunlight rather than taking the time to grow the woody support stems themselves. The energy they reserve is steered towards rapid, elongated growth.

Now that you have a little more background on how climbing plants actually climb, you can choose between Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) , Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix) and climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) to cover the stucco building.

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