I need a vine that is very drought tolerant, deer resistant, evergreen, vigorous, and will cling to a wire fence. I'm not so concerned how rare or common it is or what the flowers look like. Any suggestions?
That's a tough combination of requirements! English ivy comes immediately to mind, but I'm not gonna go out on a limb and recommend it :-) Passiflora caerulea is semi-evergreen and moderately drought tolerant when established but I'm not sure of its appeal to deer. Ditto Lonicera sempervirens. Most of the other hardy evergreen vines are either shade lovers or not the least bit drought tolerant.
Give up on the evergreen and you can probably use grapes. Deer don't seem to go for them and watering does not seem to be a requirement here.
Deer do go after grape vines. My neighbor and I have lost a lot of grape foliage to them the past couple of years.
They haven't gone after my clematis yet and there is an evergreen variety.
Evergreen clematis doesn't need much water after it's established if you can keep it's roots shaded.
As usual, it seems, results with deer vary from one site to the next. I knew that if I posted that they might not be interested in grapes somebody would pipe up with a report of them being a problem.
If we've had damage here, I've forgotten about it.
It does vary with the location.
They never used to bother my blueberry bushes, but now they take a bite or 2 several times through the summer. Maybe the clematis will be next now that I have several for them to choose from.
Birds are eating my currants for the first time in 10 or so years too. So we never know what will be left alone.
Deer ate my grapes in Olympia, but they don't eat my neighbor's grapes in Sequim. They just eat my other plants instead. Thanks for the ideas. I may go ahead with grapes. I'd be concerned about Clematis armandii not getting enough water - it's reeeeallly dry. The other idea I had was Clematis ternifolia (paniculata)... did anyone happen to notice if that went fully deciduous last winter?
Should I also consider Rosa banksii or any of the hardier Jasminums?
In my Shoreline garden, sweet autumn clematis, C. ternifolia, was consistently fully deciduous in the 12+ years I grew it. FWIW, I don't consider any cultivated clematis very drought tolerant. The exceptions seem to be the weedy native or invasive species, like vitalba, virginiana, columbiana or ligusticifolia.
Rose family plants tend to be favored menu items. Trying to come up with plants deer don't bother tends to produce discussions like those of disease resistance in roses - there is much variation in experience.
Grey-Wilson, Clematis - The Genus (2000, Timber Press, Portland) says about Clematis terniflora DC.* that
Although generally regarded as a deciduous species, plants can be semi-evergreen in mild gardens. After a hot summer it will even flower well in the British Isles; it certainly creates a better spectacle in France where the summers are reliably hot and sunny, being at its best from August to early October. Given the right conditions it makes a fine plant for covering large old walls or fences, or simply allowed to scramble into trees
While C. vitalba is certainly a rampaging pest here I have not seen the others listed at the end of the above post in local gardens - and certainly not taking them over. If I found a C. columbiana here it would be a particular delight, as a youth I saw this growing wild in the high coniferous forests of the Rockies. It was listed for the Seattle arboretum but I never encountered it there.
C. ligusticifolia can be seen adorning many a pasture fence in some quite dusty-looking locations in the intermountain region.
*A species with multiple synonymous names having been coined for it, including ones with specific epithets that have been applied to other species in the same genus as well
Not sure how much water it needs, but you might look into Lonicera henryi, Henry's Honeysuckle. Same with Akebia quinata, Chocolate Vine.
I agree that English Ivy is probably not a good choice, but is Hedera canariensis (Algerian Ivy) considered as troublesome? I have grown it here for nearly 20 years with no problem as to invasiveness nor hardiness. Mine rarely get watered and seems happy to grow in either sun or shade. Darn! But I forgot that the deer sometimes eat it.
Deer here love grape foliage (the birds get the grapes) and clematis flowers. However, in the 20+ years that we have lived here, this is the first time they have ever touched the flowers.
I once saw an akebia flooding part of the property across the street from that nursery you worked at. Nobody would have been watering it. But the soil may have been naturally moist.
You know, locally native Lonicera hispidula produces persistent leaves. Seen in more dry areas like salal and madrona patches on bluffs near salt water. Certainly adapted to soils and precipitation regimes here. Deer might not be particularly interested if there is some growing natively nearby, or it might be able to resist their attentions for other reasons. Foliage not dense, but maybe a draping would be enough. Might be possible to get a denser coverage with pruning and training. Flowers not showy but bright red fruit clusters can be.
maritime to submaritime summer-dry mesothermal climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils. Sporadic on water-shedding sites...open-canopy Douglas-fir forests. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites
--Klinka/Krajina/Ceska/Scagel, Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (1989, UBC Press, Vancouver)