flowering vine to cover unsightly wood fence?

gam00(z10 ca)June 4, 2005

I am looking for a vine to cover a wood fence in the yard. It's in a spot that gets full sun and has a seat wall right against it. I was thinking of creeping fig with some jasmine growing in it as well but I'm not familiar with jasmine and not sure if it would be too fragrant or overgrow and make it uncomfortable to sit on the seat wall that runs the length of the fence.

I think the creeping fig will be a good background and not get too dense to make sitting uncomfortable but now sure of what flowering vine to add. Any suggestions?

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wanda(Z9 CA)

Clematis! Group 3's (hard pruning...such as the viticellas) would probably be best. Polish Spirit, Etoile Violette, and Venosa Violacea are 3 of my favorites.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 8:58PM
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gam00(z10 ca)

I love clematis. Would it withstand the heat of full sun & concrete patio? Also, would I be able to prune it if it was growing in among the creeping fig?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:25PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

It would do fine for me as long as the roots were shaded, but I'm in a different zone. The pruning should be okay if you get a Type 3, which gets pruned down to 2 leaf nodes.

Why don't you describe your area and ask at the Clematis forum for suggestions about what might work best for you.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 12:06AM
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twotzus(Z10/ sunset 24)

I grow clematis in Zone 10. You would need a variety that does well in full sun. Huldine, Lady Betty Balfour are two. Also depending upon your fence exposure, you might need to plant a variety that is very heat tolerant. The most important thing is to keep the root zone cool. I don't think creeping fig grows that well in a south or southwest exposure...too hot in our zone, and would probably be for most clematis as well. So your sun exposure as well as reflected heat from nearby concrete might affect growing conditions.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 1:09AM
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gam00(z10 ca)

Well, this fence is definitely the hottest spot in the yard but I do need to cover the fence and add some color as right now its all concrete & wood fence - no plants except for two palm trees.

If the creeping fig and clematis wont work, what vines would do well in the hot California sun?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 5:12AM
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CA Kate

I have creeping fig growing on the walls surrounding the inner yard. The ones in full sun perished quickly, whereas the ones in part day -- morning or afternoon seem to do fine -- the biggest is on a wall with full afternoon sun. I have been told that when creeping fig is young it has small leaves, but when it gets bigger the leaves get large and unattractive. At this point you have to pull it off and let it grow back. Mine are 7 years old and haven't put on any large leaves yet, but then I keep it sheared tight against the wall, so maybe that's the trick.

I've serendipitously discovered that Trumpet Vine, Honeysuckle, and smaller pink roses look great against the green growth.... the green showes off the colors wonderfully well. (Serendipitously because all three weren't planted by me... perhaps by the fairies.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 12:46PM
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Another option might be cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis). I love the lustrous green foliage, and the flowers don't stink, either. :D


    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 2:22PM
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zzukke(z10 SO CAL)

I have a passiflora vine, 'coral glow' that has covered a
fence for me and it is a wondrous sight to behold. Virtually pest-free except for a few caterpillars for the gulf fritillary butterflies which flit around it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 2:58PM
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I can't imagine growing any other vine along with creeping fig. I don't know how the other vine would twine or cling onto the fig nor can I imagine any vine competing with the fig. Has anybody ever done this combination successfully?

You said you had a wood fence so I'm going to assume it's a solid wood fence (versus some kind of lattice or trellisy wood "mesh")

If you're not interested in putting up wires or other support (which most vines need), why not plant a vine that will actually "cling" to the fence itself AND provide you with the flowers you need? The common true clingers such as creeping fig, the Hedera ivies and the Parthenocissus ivies cover a solid fence nicely but no flowers. So....

How about those that "cling" using modified tendrils:

Campsis x tagliabuana TRUMPET CREEPER (orange)
Distictis buccinatoria BLOOD-RED TRUMPET VINE (scarlet)
Distictis ÂRivers ROYAL TRUMPET VINE (lavender/purple)
Macfadyena unguis-cati CATÂS-CLAW (yellow)

If the wood fence is rough enough, these will find enough grabbing spots to hoist themselves up. AND provide you with flowers in your hottest spot. I especially love the CAT'S CLAW.

(from my CD, of course)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:37PM
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Just a word of caution. Creeping fig grows VIGOROUSLY once it get's established. If you ignore it at all it will get out of control! I tried to keep mine trimmed but finally gave up and cut it all down.....and it came back over and over again. When I was a kid we had a stone house that it had completely encompassed. One of my dad's chores was to "trim the house". I was embarrassed by it those years when I was in school. Now that I look back....it truly was unique! Ivy and vines that attach themselves to wood and cement can really make a mess.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:05PM
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I have had good luck with Tecoma stans elata.I planted it last fall. It took off this spring and is already over 8' tall and I am training it to spread and replace some boring star jasmine.

Here is a link that might be useful: tecoma stans elata/Orangebells

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 3:22PM
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Sorry the link didn't work try this one. Also, don't be afraid to put something on the fence such as paint, stain, bamboo or reed fencing, artwork or something else that can be removed once your plantings fill in. This takes away the urge to buy something "vigorous".

Here is a link that might be useful: TECOMA STANS ALATA

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 7:09PM
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gam00(z10 ca)

I am going to use some sort of opaque stain on the fence to even up the discoloration. Some of the fence has naturally greyed out over time while other parts are partially greyed. Want to keep it very natural looking so I'll find a dark grey opaque stain.

Never thought of putting artwork up to help while the plants fill in. That's a great idea. The fence is 60' to 70' so it will take a while for the vine to fill in. Breaking up that big wood surface with some colorful art or pottery would look great.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:45PM
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BecR(zone 9 CA 19)

Try pandorea jasminoides (bower vine)- very clean and neat, and nice shiny leaves even when not in bloom. Pandorea blooms come in white, white with red eye, pink, pink with red eye, and a variegated leaf variety. Use eye hooks and wire on the fence, and tie the vine on to it with green gardening tape. I wouldn't put up trachelospermum (star jasmine) on that fence, as you will need to prune it and it oozes a yucky white sap when cut.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 1:27AM
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Waiting for some guavas to form a tall hedge in front of a 6'h rear wood fence, I am using reed fencing stapled to treated 4x4's 8'hX15'w(a $45 solution, the reed comes in a 15'roll).It looks tidy, gives privacy, and can be removed/re-used. I have also used drape panels and shower curtains for "temporary" artwork stapled to a wood fence with a 1x1 frame tacked around it. They are always on sale somewhere. They are good for about 1 year before they bleach out, or you could buy some sunbrella fabric if you want it to last longer. There are stains that are no fuss/no primer that will give you a nice flat, consistant finish.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 2:47PM
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I think many flowering vines I have grown have gotten completely out of control and require a lot of maintenace. They just have a messier look than I want I guess. We covered our very ugly pink block wall with creeping fig - it gives a solid hedge effect. We use a hedge trimmer on it 4 times a year and it gives a nice green background for our small back yard. It will get out of control also, but with regular trimming with the electric hedge trimmer, it looks neat and stays under control.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 7:27AM
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gam00(z10 ca)

Love the picture of the creeping fig. How long did it take to cover the wall? Our solid fence is 60' long.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 11:50AM
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We bought two plants for the block walls that border our back yard....and it has been growing for a long time. I believe it took alittle less than 2 years for the 2 figs to cover the 3 long walls...however, if you planted, let's say 6 plants, it would cover much more quickly. We have relatively small two outside walls of our house which surround a fountain in our front yard - there were 6 creeping figs planted and the wall was covered in less than one year.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 12:09PM
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shedigs55(Sunset 23)

If the fence is not too big,i've been happy with a nectarine tree espalier- rewarding to watch it grow and fruit..i started it from a marked down bareroot at OSH.
The passionflower IS parasite free and beautiful but loves to stretch it's legs and has launched seeds surprisingly far- I pull sprouts out of the lawn.
We are happy with walls of boston ivy (parthenocissus)-it has some fall color and berries that brought Western Bluebirds to our urban garden last year- worth it for that alone. The stems are tender and easy to cut back.
There's a pretty variegated creeping fig, but it has the tendency to peel off in a matted sheet- yuck.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 9:27PM
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The problem with Boston ivy is that it loses its leaves in the winter - it is beautiful, but I wanted our wall covered with green the whole year. Creeping fig will not peel off in a matted sheet if you keep it trimmed - ours has never done that.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 1:18AM
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crazychihuahuas(Bay Area Hills zone 9)

Hello everyone, so nice to find you. I have a problem with my wood frame and wire fence that separates my yard from the regional park. For years it has been great having a view thru the fence of the park, but as of last year the park has turned into a 'Dog Park' and lots of people and their dogs pass by my fence all day, every day much to the consternation of my home security patrol: Chihuahuas Inc. (I have three). I need to create a plant screen but fast! I have been reading about clematis etc, but I live in a part of the Oakland Hills where the weather is pretty dramatic (high winds, fog, RAIN, and moderate sunshine). Any suggestions? Any sympathy? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 7:54PM
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Some of the fastest twining vines (those that will wrap themselves around wire fencing) include:

Dipogon lignosus MILE-A-MINUTE VINE
Gelsemium sempervirens CAROLINA JESSAMINE
Hardenbergia violacea WINTER WISTERIA
Lonicera hildebrandtiana BURMESE HONEYSUCKLE
Muehlenbeckia complexa MATTRESS VINE, WIRE VINE
Solanum jasminoides WHITE POTATO VINE
Wisteria WISTERIA (best on a REALLY BIG fence)

Also cc, from what I've been told, it's best to post your own inquiry separately rather than as part of a string in someone else's post.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 8:22PM
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I have a similar application: I just finished a stone retaining wall with a 7' wooden fence which is inset 12" from the wall. The fence faces east - this is the side for which I am interested in covering, behind the fence is a yard, so soil is abuntant on that side. I was looking for something "tame" to soften the look. Star Jasmine was a thought, but I'm told its tendrels are a bit uncontrollable. Creeping Fig seems to have too dull of leaf for what I was seeking. Monterey Bay Brush Cherry seems to have nice folliage, but I'm told the stock gets very large and trimming it to 12" would not be adviseable. Sizzling Pink Fringe Flower is very attractive, but I hear it won't climb to 7' heights. From what I've read, it appears a well behaved option would be the Green Spire Euonymus or perhaps the Green Tower Boxwood - perhaps with the Purpleleaf Wintercreeper at the base, "spilling" over the stone wall caps. Any suggestions? is the Green Spire Euonymus a good choice? How long would one expect it to grow to 7' heights?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 1:35AM
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I would recommend Solandra maxima (Golden Chalice), which grows fairly fast. I don't know how it does in heat, however, but it does extremely well near the beach, and the flowers are very beautiful. Also, it is very easy to control, since it is somewhat woody. Some vines can get out of control, and then you can never get rid of them.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 10:31PM
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We have a concrete wall that separates our property from our neighbors'.....they've planted creeping fig on their side and it's travelled over to ours, and is now attempting to cover the side of their garage. I like it, and I'm planning on planting some star jasmine to climb up and over the creeping fig.....we'll see how it does. Here's a couple pictures:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 12:22AM
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When I moved into this house a year ago, the 100' wood fence was covered with creeping fig from the neighbors yard. It was so large and out of control they had put braces on my side of the fence to keep it up. They told me they were afraid to remove the vine for fear the fence would fall down. I have been removing the vine on my side of the fence a little at a time. It is difficult and overwhelming but I prefer an aged fence to the creeping fig that has traveded down into the ground on my side. It is very invasive. I have not yet got it all removed and where I began the creeping fig is sendingout new shoots! This has become a career to me. I will get rid of it all!! Oh, and did I mention that the fence is on top of a steep bank?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 9:18PM
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Does anyone know if Pink Winter Jasmine (Jasminum Polyanthum) will climb a VERY rough stucco wall without support?

I picked up 10 five foot plants @ Costco to replace an old vine that went down and I am wondering if I need to run wire or trellis it before planting these.

Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 6:06PM
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J. polyanthum is a twining vine, so it will need something to grasp around, such as the wire you mentioned.

I have mine growing on and through a cyclone fence, and the plant is fairly top heavy at the moment. This is the year I must prune it, I guess. :) Mine never did set any buds this season, thanks to the freezing temps we had, but it's still alive and well.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:51AM
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What is the best way to mount something to the stucco wall allowing the polyanthum to grow up and out? Maybe eyelets with wire? Any ideas?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 5:55PM
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There are some great suggestions for just that problem on this old thread, BF. Hope you find what you're looking for. :)


    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 11:04AM
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