Suggest flowering evergreen for trellis?

kookybirdSeptember 3, 2010

hello all,

I am pretty new here and would like to plant a flowering evergreen vine on a trellis.

The wall I would use faces northeast and has a narrow patch of soil so I can't fit an actual shrub.

Does anyone know what options might be good for a trellis? (My husband says he doesn't want something that will die back in winter so I'm hoping to find an evergreen flowering climber).

Any input would be most helpful. Thank you and happy greening! --Karla

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe you can get Lonicera henryi to work in that spot.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 1:08AM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

New "here", as in new to the forum, or new to the area?

Evergreen vines do not last through our winters, unless you're in a particularly sheltered microclimate on the waterfront. In California or the Deep South you'd have lots of options, but not here.

If it's a narrow patch of soil that's surrounded by concrete on all sides you might be able to grow bamboo in it without the bamboo escaping, but I have seen bamboo come up in concrete expansion joints. At any rate bamboo is evergreen and upright, but not a vine and no flowers. You're just not going to get an evergreen flowering vine here.

Evergreen clematis is available but it turns black and ugly in the winter, and it gets huge and is difficult to keep in a small space. "Evergreen" is a relative term.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The worst weed on public land in Seattle, ivy, is an evergreen vine.

Lonicera henryi seems to do pretty well here. Its reddish flowers are a bit quiet and do not provide a noticeable fragrance, but otherwise the plant seems to be pretty good for this area. Not too rambunctious and apparently hardy; if it goes back in hardest winters I have not noticed.

Another evergreen honeysuckle, L. hispidula, is native to the Puget Lowland, typically on excessively drained soils close to salt water, among salal and madrona, but not always. Again, not usually showy (red fruit clusters sometimes conspicuous) and no smell, but its structure and coloring could be pleasant to view up close, in a smaller space.

Usually seen as a comparatively small specimen but I have also noticed braids of it descending from pretty high up tall trees a few times.

Commonly grown Euonymus fortunei is a very hardy evergreen vine, hardy in much colder climates than ours, but its flowers are tiny and green. The main show comes from its fruit clusters, when these are produced. The more common cultivars are instead planted for their variegated leaves, with the yellow-variegated ones this coloration can look as harsh as metallic paint. It climbs by adhering to surfaces, as does ivy.

On a heavy clay soil here this plant may sometimes become marred by crown galls, which even pop out of its branches. Otherwise, reduction of the leaves to lace or confetti is a recurring headache, in the same situations (such as under low overhanging conifer branches or building roofs) that appear to promote excessive weevil damage to the foliage of other susceptible shrubs.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 12:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Not conventionally a hardy plant this far north but lately many Seattle gardens have been producing some pretty fairly sized star jasmine wall specimens. Will grow in partial shade, some relief from hot sun even making it more deeply green. Fairly flexible about shaping, even suitable for use as a bush rather than a climber - although here I would definitely spread it out on a wall.

Northeast exposure about the worst for tender plants, if open to full force of Arctic winds and morning sunshine. But star jasmine is easily found in local outlets, not particularly expensive - the potential for having it last a number of years might make it an acceptable choice. Especially if its abundant sprinkling of highly fragrant flowers is the kind of thing you are hoping for.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 2:01PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Some possibilities are Akebia and Holboellia. Akebia has small flowers then can have very strange light purple fruits that split to reveal a strip of gelatinous pulp. It is very vigorous and can get 20-40 feet tall and is evergreen down to zone 6, hardy to 4.

Holboellia has several species, the one I have, coriacea, has great shiny dark green leaves, and is supposed to be able to flower and fruit but mine is covered up by a vigorous Clematis so I haven't found it vigorous. I've seen reports that H. latifolia can be vigorous, and need cutting back, and I've seen a specimen of some Holboellia at a fair that didn't resemble mine at all.

My Zepherine Drouhin climbing rose is lovely, first and last rose to bloom in my garden, and usually retains some leaves in winter. It is also thornless.;-)

Park Seed claims their Carolina Jessamine is evergreen and hardy to zone 6, and also that it is indescribably fragrant, reaches 10-12 feet. I haven't had experience with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holboellia coriacea

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:08PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I've only seen one Carolina jessamine here that had made a floriferous specimen of some size. It was on a sunny wall, near a driveway that would have provided reflected heat.

Multiple local garden centers have been stocking one or more forms of this in recent years. Often these plants look as though they are pining for increased warmth.

Another you might think about is Hydrangea seemanii. A small one on top of a wall here on Camano Island, where it sticks up in the air, awkwardly and toward the north (because a support was supposed to be installed along the top of the wall but has not been) came through the 2008 winter with minimal burning - pretty much intact. Although the flowerheads are somewhat quiet after opening the bulbous whitish form they develop just prior is arresting.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:45PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Table of vines being offered by wholesale only grower that supplies local retail outlets. You will see ones mentioned in this thread listed. Click on their names for photos and brief profiles.

You will not be able to buy from this company directly but you will see many of their vines (and other products) at garden centers here.

Here is a link that might be useful: T and L Nursery

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:04PM
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Wow! Thank you for all the ideas. I really appreciate you guys answering my question. When I said I'm new, I meant new to this forum, but as it happens, I am also new to gardening. I will do some internet research on your suggestions and let you know what I end up putting in.

Best regards,

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I have trained winter jasmine up a trellis. You have to tie it to and/or weave it through the trellis since it doesn't cling or vine on it's own. Once it's established, trim it back in early spring after it finishes blooming.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:26AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Buncha vines on sale at Swanson's right now. Other garden centers here have specials in fall also.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:41PM
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Winter jasmine isn't evergreen, but the leaves are so small, and the stems are so green, you'd hardly notice.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Similar to Cytisus in this respect.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 5:01PM
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I'm not sure what the complaints are regarding Clematis armandii or the most common variety of evergreen clematis -- it is extremely widely sold and grown in this area and unless quite poorly sited, is about as hardy as any other evergreen vine one commonly encounters here (listed to 0F or zone 7). It is easily the most widely sold clematis variety in this area and a much more reliable and showy performer than the other evergreen varieties typically available (C. cirrhosa or C. x cartmanii). It is more shade tolerant than most clematis and a northeastern exposure is a good one. It does get to be of significant size but it can be controlled by pruning as soon as possible after the bloom season to keep smaller and as long as in well drained, fertile soil and out of direct winds, it should be fully hardy. I've grown this vine in a couple of different gardens for more than 30 for years without any problems and it is tough to beat for the profusion of blossoms it produces in spring and its pleasing fragrance. No particular pest or disease issues, either. Look for 'Snowdrift' for pure white blossoms and 'Appleblossom' for pale pink.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

As I mentioned here on a previous thread the established evergreen clematis planting right across the street, surely less than 1/4 mile from Puget Sound burned up in the 2008 winter. The plants are still there, but certainly did not come through it "without any problems". The wall they are on faces East.

Some years ago there was a time when local outlets had no evergreen clematis because stocks at growers being used had all frozen and died. Probably this was 1990, but I am not sure now.

Habitat. Wooded places and shrubberies, streamsides in hills and mountains, particularly in subtropical and warm-temperate areas....

In cultivation it is not fully hardy but will succeed in many southerly and westerly regions on a sunny, sheltered south or south-west facing wall, although it is certainly one of the hardiest evergreen species. It greatly dislikes cold winter winds, which can shrivel the foliage and scorch the flowerbuds, or even prevent blooming altogether

--C. Grey-Wilson, Clematis - The Genus (2000, Timber Press, Portland)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 6:29PM
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