Wisteria Vines for South Houston Garden?

Misscole85(9)April 15, 2011

We have been trying to decide what to do with our backyard patio. One idea we have been tossing around is to build a pergola and grow some vines over it for extra shade and beauty.

I have always loved Wisteria Vines, but I thought they were a cooler climate vine. While looking through our Mich. Bulb catalog, I noticed that they are zone 5 to 9, which puts us in the grow zone.

I am wondering, has anyone tried growing Wisteria in the south Houston area?

If Wisteria doesn't do well here, does anyone know of a similar vine that does? Or have other suggestions for vines we can grow over a pergola?

We want something that has flowers that will attract butterflies and humming birds, and that will grow up over a pergola that will be approx. 12'x 14' and 8' to 10' high.

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It will also attract bees.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:30PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Wisteria can become a monster. My neighbor has it and I have to fight to keep it out of my yard. Plus is has a short bloom period.

If you want something evergreen star jasmine would be nice. Blooms in the spring (smells heavenly). You could plant something like Mexican Flame vine (butterflies love it!) with it to have flowers summer through fall.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 7:07PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

I agree with Natal. I am in Pearland and I have a wisteria that grows like a tree and we constantly have to trim back the vines. Besides, it gets very heavy and will break the pergola.

Natal, thank you for the Mexican Flame Vine suggestion. That is lovely. I may have to find a place for it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:55PM
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ExoticRGVNativesTy(10a TX)

American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is native to the Houston area so I would imagine it would grow quite well there. Its less aggressive than the more commonly cultivated Asian species and flowers from May to June.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:51AM
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Also in addition to Wisteria frutescens there is another native one called Wisteria macrostachya 'Blue Moon.' I have them both but they are still young.

natal-I love your angel.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:15PM
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no experience with wisterias, but i have some honeysuckles on my fence.

japonica (hall's) is an invasive species and grows very fast. in one year it has covered about 40' of my fence.

my others are mandarin (slow growth) and i think goldflame (slow growth).

i also have a carolina jasmine (fairly fast growing).

with the drought we're having, water frequently till well established (4-6 months)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:55AM
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We did toss around the idea of jasmine, our neighbor has a huge one and the smell is wonderful, but it is starting to come over to our yard by way of a mulberry tree, so I think one of those in enough for us.

I do like that flame vine! I LOVE daisies and all similar looking flowers, so I will look into that one. Thank you for posting the picture of it!

If we do wisteria, it would only be one plant because I know how massive they can get, but pergola's are normally what they are grown on. If you build them correctly, they won't break it, heavy vines are not a problem.

Thank you for the native names, I will look into those!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 11:35AM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

You could also look into coral honeysuckle. It's native as Carolina jessamine.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:34PM
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plantloverkat north Houston(zone 9a)

I second the coral honeysuckle recommendation. I grow it in quite a bit of shade here, but I have grown it in full sun in the Dallas, TX area in the past.

Here is a link that might be useful: info and photos of coral honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Passionflower vine (also called "passion vine") is another native, beautiful option... not quite as vigorous as some of the other suggestions though.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:40PM
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I loved your fence vines Natal. What vines should I have for my back yard with flowers all seasons & less problems? Where do they sale them?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:39AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Here is a list of some good vines to use in south Texas.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I am also looking for a good vine to give shade to my large pergola. I have many fence vines, but they all go dormant and shed leaves in winter, and I have to cut back a lot of dead wood. This would be a mess on a 10' high pergola. What would need less grooming and not go all dead in Houston winters with an occasional freeze?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 4:54PM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

Carolina jessmine and coral honeysuckle are good natives that are evergreen along the coast. My coral honeysuckle bloomed all through the year but not nearly as much in cold weather. Hummingbirds love them!

Like any vine they will need to be trained.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:20PM
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