Texas Gardening forum→Ideas for covering a pergola

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Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Apr 4, 2021 9:32 AM CST
We just finished a pergola and I am contemplating something to grow over it. Good idea or asking for trouble? I would like something that I can plant that would not send up runners everywhere else, like trumpet vine for example. Ideally something I could keep in a large pot. I would like to keep in a pot so husband could mow and edge around it easily.
Any ideas or even things to stay away from?
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 4, 2021 9:53 AM CST
At the beginning February, I would have suggested Carolina Jessamine. However, the February coldspell apparently killed it completely. I don't have much hope of any growth from the roots. I had hoped it would at least put out from the vine trunks at ground level, but the bark is peeling off most of those now. There were two planted at each end of a trellis I put up.

Are you wanting an evergreen climber? Or is deciduous okay? I'll be really interested in the replies you get here. I'm thinking of Crossvine, but it's seldom offered in the nurseries and I'm not familiar with it's habits as far as suckering goes. It's possible I'll just replant the Jessamine. it did pretty well and was loaded with buds before the freeze hit? I'm also considering Lady Banksia rose but I'm not sure if my area might be too cold in normal winters. I'd grow Antigonon leptopus (Coralvine), but it would have to be treated as an annual here. I've tried it before, but it's also not readily available.

I want no part of Honeysuckle or Wisteria. Too many downsides to their habits. Same for Trumpet Vine which I'd love except for the impossible suckering habit.
Donald
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
Apr 4, 2021 11:24 AM CST
@needrain Thanks for the response. I'm not set on evergreen, but that would be a plus. What are the downside of wisteria? I've never grown it.
Is Carolina Jessamine the yellow one? Does it have a fragrance?
I actually saw a cross vine in the nurseries this past week, but as afraid of it suckering like trumpet vine.
I've never grown many vines ( except trumpet that was at a previous house and Passion flower that also seemed to sucker.)
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Apr 4, 2021 11:47 AM CST
@teacup754
My experience with wisteria was at a rental property years ago. If you don't contain the root system - and that will be difficult - you'll have an area where nothing will grow. I was always out trying to chop through them with an axe for all the good it did me. In the Austin area where I lived at the time, the plant itself suffered from chlorosys in the alkaline soil. I expect it needs something slightly acidic for the foli to look it's best. When it blooms, it's great, but the rest of the time it was a nightmare.

Yes, the Carolina Jessamine is yellow. Not too much fragrance that I could detect. Nothing like honeysuckle. It's actually a late winter blooming vine, so it has the advantage of being one of the first plants to bloom. The buds are extremely frost resistant, but open blooms tend to suffer with a frost. My vines had been in place for four years.

I've only seen Crossvine blooming once to know what it was. In Granbury. It was extraordinarily showy in bloom. Later, I made a point to check out the foliage and liked that too. But beyond that sighting, I don't know a lot about it except that it grows in the northern part of the state.
Donald
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Apr 4, 2021 4:14 PM CST
The Carolina jessamine that grows freely throughout the woods here survived this past winter. Perhaps the roots were more insulated by leaf mold. I did notice them blooming later and not as prolifically. This one also has a strong fragrance although it is high in the trees, I can smell its' fragrance in the breeze.

I would agree on the Wisteria. I love it but it can become oppressive. It definitely would not work well in a container.

The one that came to my mind is evergreen and for one glorious month in springtime the fragrance of the blooms is heavenly. That is Confederate jasmine. Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Japonicum') According to the plant files, it can be kept in a container. Mine is a relatively new planting and although the leaves got frozen, it is putting on new growth quickly. Once established, it doesn't require lots of water or maintenance.

Your perola sounds lovely. I look forward to hearing what plantings you choose and hope to see photos when done with it.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
Apr 4, 2021 4:18 PM CST
Confederate jasmine sounds nice. I googled it though and it looks like it may be more cold tender. Of course I can always try it and see if it will make it.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Apr 4, 2021 7:54 PM CST
I have a friend who lives in town and he's tried Confederate jasmine twice. He planted it in the ground both times and it didn't survive winter either time. He's been growing Carolina Jessamine for years. The base of the vine had vines almost 3" in diameter. It appears to have not survived the February cold this time. Both of ours had survived a record setting -1F year before last which occurred for a few hours overnight. This time was much colder for a much longer duration. I just hope it's not the new 'normal' to have cold spells like this as a more frequent annual occurrance. Frisco and east Texas are surely more moderate in the winter months.
Donald
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
Apr 4, 2021 9:27 PM CST
This winter was certainly one that no one wants repeated in our lifetimes.
We are new to this area, having moved from College Station last year, so we are adapting to new weather and soil conditions. Our soil up here is awful and we don't want to spend a lot of energy and money amending big areas. So we've made the decision to just have a small bed in front of the house and do most other gardening in pots. Hence the new patio and pergola. I haven't mentioned my hopes for a plant to cover the pergola to the husband yet. We still have some flagstone to lay before the hardscape is done. That's where I envision the pot with the vine being placed ultimately.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Apr 29, 2021 5:58 AM CST
Wanted to add that the Carolina Jessamine vines did survive the freeze. They have begun sprouting at ground level. Looks like the wood base is going to have sucker growth up to about 2" on the trunk. I need to trim some of the damaged growth away, but haven't yet. I hope the root system is large enough that the vine grows relatively fast. Need more than a few inches to cover the area nodding . I'm going try Star Jasmine if I can locate any available in Abilene on the next trip there. Also still want to try a crossvine.

Did you ever choose a vine for the pergola?
Donald
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
Apr 29, 2021 8:41 AM CST
No I haven't decided yet. I think I'll wait until later to see ifI want to mess around with something else that may require pruning. DH would have to agree too. I've had some plant setbacks with unexpected cold spells this spring. The weather is so different up here. We are working on a path to the patio. That will probably take most of the summer at the rate we are going.....

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