Need Native vine that will grow anywhere

greenjewels(Z8/9 MsGulfCoast)September 17, 2007

The former owners of my home put a one foot retaining wall around a group of 6 oaks. They planted several gardenias and camellias in there that just sit there not growing any with an occasional bloom. We planned to dig this out, put in good soil ,etc--but we have decided it's more than we are able to do. Nothing but roots and not much dirt. I am looking for a native vine that would be a good ground cover and it would be ok if it climbed the trees also. At our previous home, we had ivy growing up a huge tree and the birds loved it. They even roosted in it at night by the hundreds (it seemed). Of course, I know better now and do not want any ivy. I'm thinking there must be a vine out there that would grow in "bad soil" and never know the difference. This would be on the east side of my house and would get morning sun. Any help would be appreciated.

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john_mo(z5/6)

Virginia creeper is a good native choice. It will spread along the ground and climb your oak trees. It prefers sun but will grow in shade. Poor soil shouldn't be a problem. Nice red fall color.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 5:58PM
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greenjewels(Z8/9 MsGulfCoast)

Thank you, John. I think that's one that has berries for the birds. I didn't know if it was picky about soil. Thanks to your suggestion I found a picture of it. The red leaves are beautiful. I'm gonna give it a shot!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:04PM
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fatamorgana2121

Virginia Creeper picky about anything? Hardly! It sometimes ends up being a pest plant for us. It is, however, an absolutely beautiful vine with dark berries and scarlet fall foliage but it is very tolerant and hardy even when I try ripping it out roots and all. Even the summer foliage with the 5 leaves is beautiful but be sure of where you put it because it will always be yours once you plant it.

Here's a interesting tidbit for you, I've read that american ginseng will sometimes hide in amongst virginia creeper. It's like hiding a tree in the forest, no one will ever see it!

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:43AM
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cev1

Try also Decumaria barbara, which can form a solid mat like ivy and will climb your trees. I have a 4'x4' patch from a small cutting three years ago, so I won't say it fills in as fast as virginia creeper.

CV

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:43AM
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greenjewels(Z8/9 MsGulfCoast)

Thanks everyone. I don't usually like plants that become "pests" but in this case I think V. Creeper is just what the doctor ordered. Also, the climbing hydrangea might work on my fence. Don't know if it's true but in reading about it, I found it blooms only if it grows vertically so I would want that climbing up my fence. Really appreciate everyone taking the time to help!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:58AM
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greenjewels(Z8/9 MsGulfCoast)

Just an afterthought---I think I'm sold on the idea of Virginia Creeper but just wondering how Crossvine compares. Thought I should compare before making a final decision. The only thing I know about it is that it is an evergreen, as is the V. Creeper. The V. Creeper has fall color, not picky about soil, and berries for birds. Pretty hard to beat for my purpose but would still like to know more about Crossvine. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:16PM
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cev1

Crossvine turns dark red in the winter and is hard to distinguish from fallen leaves on the ground. In my experience, it will be sparse in the deep shade.

CV

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:05AM
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flgrown

Passion Flower?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 12:24AM
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