Is there an Ivy or Vine that will not damge Stucco House

ottercreekJune 26, 2007

I would like to see some evergreen vine on our big blank stucco house wall but have read that some vines will pull off chucks of stucco from your house. Is there a safer Ivy or Vine that can be used that will keep it's foliage year round in zone 6? We applied a stucco treatment to our new home and I don't want to destroy the house but do want to add charm/character to a very boring huge blank stucco wall on the north/west facing side of the house. Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated.

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Stucco is problematic so you definitely want to steer clear of ivies and the Virginia creepers (Parthenocissus cinquefolia) also known as Engleman Ivy. Those would eat your stucco, creep into any crack or crevice and pull it away eventually - not to mention a little plant staining and trapping moisture which also is not good for stucco. I'm not sure if the climbing hydrangeas (which have some winter interest with cinnamon colored stems and exfoliating bark) present all the same problems, but I suspect they do since that also climbs and clings by ariel rootlets and would certainly restrict airflow and trap moisture. You might do better by installing a trellis with one or two inch backer blocks to keep it from being flush with the stucco and doing a clematis or even morning glories. No winter interest, but also no damage.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 4:17PM
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thanks dulu- I didn't mention that i have had some euonymous that has started to climb up the corner along the edge of the trimwork- so far nothing bad has happended and it has been there a couple years. I wonder if this will do damage also and...... at the back of the house i started some wisteria that I ultimately wanted to cover a pergola to shade the back of the house and the deck. it has really started to go wild and wants to climb. On the forum I have read many people hate it and have problems with it, I am wondering if i will have problems with this pulling the stucco off too- if it gets near the wall. All it has done so far is pull my spouting down in a wind storm ( I guess due to the weight) thanks.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 9:18PM
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I really don't have any personal expertise other than what I've read on the forums, seen on TV gardening or home restoration shows, and a childhood stucco home that my Father was loath to plant anything against or too close to. I would think that Wisteria largely trained over a pergola would be fine.

The basic situation, as I see it, is in the curing process for stucco; the water used in the application evaporates and the stucco starts to slightly shrink. When it shrinks, you MIGHT (also might not) get small cracks called check cracking (perfect spot for an ariel root to get a toehold).

Also people have noticed mildew along the bottom of stucco walls near planting areas - too much moisture, shrubs, mulch, etc. That can be dealt with by increasing light and air circulation - or household bleach followed by a clear water rinse.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 2:30PM
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very good-I will keep all plants with suckers away because I do have cracks in the stucco which was another problem I have to solve this summer. water is getting in the cracks and making it worse. when the stucco was applied the contractor did not cure the stucco properly and especially on the south facing wall it is cracked everywhere. I am trying to find out what product to use to smooth over the current stucco that might fill in those cracks and keep the water out. Someone mentioned to me there may be something on the market but could not remember the name of it. was thinking of posting the question on another forum but was not sure which one. I am in the process of putting the deck and pergola up to shade the south wall of house along with the deck area and need to address the stucco issue soon before the structure is in the way.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:47PM
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