Need help choosing a vine for a tricky spot

peachymomo(Ca 8)April 6, 2013

What do you do with areas that get mostly shade during the cool months and then hot, baking, midday sun in the summer? My big spring project is the spiral garden next to my new deck, for most of the planting areas I scattered a mix of seeds that like varying conditions just to see what does well where. But there is one spot where I want to plant a vine, and I really have no idea what to use. My fear is that a shade lover will cook in midsummer and a sun lover will languish about 8 months out of the year. In a recent Fine Gardening article on vines they say that the Alpine Clematis will grow in full sun to full shade, do you think that might be the right choice?

Just to elaborate on the sun conditions, for most of the year there is full shade in the early morning cast by the house, followed by some full but mostly dappled sun. In the summer when the angle of the sun changes the garden gets morning shade and then full sun for most of the day until the oak tree shade arrives at about 4 or 5pm.

I'm hoping to find something that will thrive in those conditions... please help!

I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a pretty restrained grower because I want to train the vine onto a modestly sized obelisk trellis.

This post was edited by peachymomo on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 12:20

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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I have that condition in my yard, it has been a major headache (for me). I basically treat the area like a 'full sun' area, because the baking summer sun in the afternoon fries any partial shade plants (that I have tried).

I do have luck with gardenia, and daylilies can handle that type of exposure, but they aren't vines.

I would try Hardenbergia, or else something that goes dormant in the winter. The American wisteria is supposed to be easier to manage than Chinese wisteria (I have Chinese, I don't find it to be too bad, but you have to like to prune).

Are you looking for a particular flower color? A climbing rose might be a nice choice, too. I'm not familiar with Alpine clematis, but it looks very pretty!

Here is a link that might be useful: American wisteria

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 22:37

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:30PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

This spot will have a backdrop of Clytostoma callestegioides vines, so a color that goes well with lavender would be nice. But I'm more concerned with finding something that will do well at this point, I considered planting some sweet peas there just for this season to see how they do.

I fear wisteria would be too much of a battle to keep in bounds, the spot is the 'destination' at the end of a spiral pathway thing so I want it to be attractive but not take up too much room. A rose might work, if it was small, shade tolerant, and didn't have too many thorns... I might have to poll the rose forum to see if any of my collection will fit the bill.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:42AM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

A climbing rose will be somewhat dormant in the being in shade will be okay. Good luck, your garden sounds really pretty!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:53PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

"Vine" and "restrained grower" are polar opposites, unless you want sweet peas. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:02PM
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