Beginner help with hanging vines for pergola

RestorationBelleJuly 27, 2013

Hi, I'd love to grow a colorful vine over and around my (new to me) pergola. Any advice for what would work in TN (zone 7) would be much appreciate. Click here for pics of pergola and backyard:


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I have a love/hate relationship with vines--some are just really aggressive (Asian wisterias, kiwi, trumpet vine...)! I am in the process of putting in an arbor myself. Will be using American Wisteria. Jasmine or Passion Vine might also be nice.--Some passion species are hardy to 7.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Wisteria

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Your link. Looks like asking forum is "plan B" to getting crashed? Sorry! I got a chuckle though, so that's something good? Obviously it's not going to end the same way as it might have with a crash, but a multitude of ideas is never a bad start if you've realized, "I'm gonna have to do something out here myself." I always wonder about maintenance after the crash crew leaves. They leave a lot of semi-permanent stuff in those yards, but, I do that all summer every year too, on a MUCH smaller scale.

By colorful, I wonder if you have considered foliage as the 'star of the show?' Sweet potato vine (3 unusual colors of foliage,) Rex Begonia vine (Cissus discolor,) is prettier than most flowers IMO.

I would go with annuals or non-woody perennials. Woody perennial vines can damage wooden structures, and render maintenance impossible. Also harbors unnecessary moisture against wood all winter. Annuals let you have something different, like morning glories, hyacinth bean vines, mandevilla, you might be in the mood to grow cucumbers, beans, bird house gourds, who knows what whim you might have in a few years?

Clematis is often a well-behaved compromise, though often requires more investment in patience, coddling the first year. They go dormant, and can be trimmed drastically if needed for maintenance of the deck, though many types do not require annual maintenance. (Not all Clems are alike regarding maintenance, something to consider before buying a specific one.)

"They" say the roots should be cool, in shade, with the top/foliage in the sun, which IME is so true. If you sit some potted plants, or scatter some seeds of smaller annual plants around the base after planting, to shade the roots, it can make a huge difference in how quickly a new little Clem can get situated. Mulch doesn't seem to be enough, and tends to be a dark color, so retentive of unnecessary/unappreciated heat.

Looks like you could hang pots also. Hanging baskets can give vines a "head start" reaching the roof, while not taking up space around the ground. If placed correctly (for this goal,) they would shade their pots, so not dry ridiculously quickly.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 11:10AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

How about Lady Banksia Rose which can be over planted with annual cardinal flower and moonflower vines for color
and bloom.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:58AM
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