Bee free evergreen vine other than ivy - is it possible?

linccampbellFebruary 24, 2008

Title says most of it. We just finished a 16'x16'x10' pergola and use it as an outdoor dining and entertaining space. We want to grow vines to cover the pergola, but since we will be using it for dining and entertaining we want something that is not bee friendly but will be there year-round.

I'd prefer against an invasive ivy as well as I don't want to have to battle the vine for control of our yard.


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Here are three to start researching.

Hydrangea petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea) These are extremely slow to get started, but there is nothing to beat the sight of a mature specimen in bloom. Climbing Hydrangea is a deciduous vine that clings with aerial roots. It needs solid support, like a wall, fence or even a large tree. They produce the lacy hydrangea flower heads in June. The dried flower head and peeling bark give it winter interest. Worth the investment in time. White flowers. 10 - 80' (Zones 4 - 7)

Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower, Maypop) There are over 400 varieties of passionflower, most of which are tender tropical evergreens. Passiflora incarnata is a deciduous species that can actually survive a bit of freezing temperature. In fact, itÂs native to the southeast U.S. ItÂs semi-woody, with large serrated and clings with tendrils. Like its cousins, maypop is prized for its complex and exotic looking flowers. Purple and white flowers15 - 20' (Zones 7+)

Campsis radicans (Trumpet Vine) A native American plant much loved by the hummingbirds and butterflies. Widely adaptable to heat and cold and an especially good choice as a perennial vine for Northern gardeners. Since they can get quite woody, their weight requires a strong support. Mature specimens make for nice winter interest, although they do require some maintenance pruning to keep them flowering at their best. Flowering can take a few years to start. Orange, Red and Yellow Flowers. Can grow to 40' (Zones 5 - 9)

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 6:37PM
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I knew someone who covered an outdoor area near the house with grapevines, then harvested the grapes. I do not know if bees go to grapes. Might have to investigate this. Even if they don't go to the flowers, they might go to the overripe grapes. But, you get something to eat if you plant grapes.

Many hardy Aristolochia vines attract pipevine swallowtail caterpillars. But, then you'd get chewed leaves and cater pillar droppings, so that might not be too good, either, unless you just love the butterflies.

Another unusual one I've never seen but would love to try is a hardy kiwi. You'd need a male and a female to get kiwis, and, again, don't know about the bee situation.

Cinnamon vine smells like cinnamon for a short time. This gets eaten by Japanese beetles, so if you have those, you might not want to try this one either.

Coral vine (antigonon, I think) gets beautiful pink flowers, but check the hardiness. It takes zone 8 for sure. Don't know about zone 7.

Clematis has beautiful flowers in a range of colors, and I've never seen bees at it.

Just some suggestions. If the trumpet creeper is rampant in your area, I've heard that the crossvine is very similar but better behaved. I don't know this personally, just heard it. The maypop is a beautiful flower, and that vine attracts the Gulf Fritillary caterpillar.

Good luck picking a vine.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 10:16PM
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Don't passionflower and trumpetvine both attract bees?

Of the vines suggested, are they all evergreen (meaning green foliage in north texas winters)?

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 2:06AM
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Asian Jasmine in the variegated form is a small glossy- leaved evergreen with sparse very small white flowers ...the only way I know it's blooming is a sweet scent if I pass close by. Never noticed a bee around it. Trachelospermum asiaticum variegatum has been disease and pest free, has small green/white leaves with added shades of red/burgundy in fall and winter. I've grown it on a trellis entryway and in pots. Will grow in full sun or part shade, it's fairly drought tolerant and easily controlled...just wind the growing tips back into the older growth. As to speading from roots, it will...but shallow rooted and easy to control...when someone admired it that's where I got already rooted bits to offer them...LOL

I can't promise "no bees" but since I'm fairly watchful for bees and wasps I would have never grown it in pots on porch or on entryway into garden if I'd ever noticed either. I've had pots of it since 1991, some non-variegated and a dwarf type. Can you tell I really like this plant? LOL josh

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 2:42AM
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I have a huge clematis, and the bees do not bother it at all. It flowers year round. I'm in zone 9. Once a year the frost gets it and I cut it right back to the ground, and every year, without fail, it grows quickly and beautifully. The flowers are gorgeous too.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:34AM
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