Evergreen vine for fence in shade

sundevil(z7 WA)October 1, 2010

Hello All:

I'm looking for an evergreen vine to cover a wire fence on the North side of my house. This is going to be used for a screen so my neighbors don't have to look at my canoe out their dining room window.

The site is close to Seattle, has decent drainage but no direct sun.

It would be nice for the vines to grow quickly to create the screen but be manageable once established.

What's out there?

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Evergreen vines for shade are not as common as one would hope - in fact, not all that many fully evergreen vines available for this area at all. Clematis armandii is one of the more popular and common selections and while very shade tolerant, you will not get the profusion of blossoms in no direct sun as in some sun. Also considered marginal in zone 7, where it can experience a lot of dieback and browning of foliage in a rough winter. Ditto for the evergreen hydrangeas - marginal in zone 7. You could try akebia but it is most often termed as "semi-evergreen". And other than ivy, which is a huge no-no in this area, there's not much else out there in the way of a vining evergreen.

Have you considered a clumping bamboo?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 8:17PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What area do you live in? Many here think they are in USDA 7 but are actually in USDA 8.

Perhaps the hardiest familiar evergreen climber is Euonymus fortunei.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

... would be USDA 8. One you can find at local outlets that is pretty nice is Lonicera henryi, you might want to check that out. They have a pretty good climbing plant area at Molbak's, if you are near enough to Woodinville to want to duck in there and have a look.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:59PM
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sundevil(z7 WA)

Thanks for the help.

Our house is close to Lake Washington at a low elevation and doesn't usually get as cold as other areas on the Eastside. We don't expect any flowers since there isn't any direct sun.

Bamboo is also going to be planted in a couple spots along the screen for cosmetic effect but I still want a good vine for insurance.

I looked at some nearby Lonicera henryi in a shady spot but it seemed to be bare at the bottom. The info online also said that without some sun this plant is bare in the lower spots.

I have read that miniature ivy is less invasive but looks decent all year. Would this be the same kind of ivy that people grow as a houseplant?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Pest infestations of ivy (Hedera) of various types are all over the area now, nobody should be planting ivy these days. As with other climbers trained onto a surface of limited extent the honeysuckle would be pruned to furnish the surface in the desired manner. Another thing you can do to get a pleasing total effect is to plant more than one kind of climber, this is also more interesting than filling up the whole space with one kind of plant. Maybe do something like the honeysuckle for the upper part and the Euonymus fortunei for the lower.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 12:28PM
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greenelephant(Woodinville WA)

I have 16 of the evergreen loniceras in 2 gal pots. I'll bring them to the Nov 6 Green Elephant Plant swap in Redmond if you'd like some. See my page for details.

Best Regards
Jim Eichner

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 3:42PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I like my Akebia, if you want fruit you have to plant 2 varieties. It is very vigorous and will reach but is by no means the thug that my Wisteria is, which I moved into the lawn but this winter may totally eliminate.

2 varieties of Akebia (plus some Dioscorea) on a trellis, lots of trees around so not much direct sun-

Here it's a little colder than Portland, and colder than Seattle, and it has been evergreen for me. I have not actually cut it back or trimmed it, I just try to pull out some dead leaves.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 6:05PM
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