there must be a top annual, roots perennial vine, right?
Besides certain types of clematis?
I have a wall of my house that ideally, needs a vine. It's the SW corner and I'm convinced the Parthenocissus I have now helps shade the stone walls from the sun and keeps that room cool.. However, it has gotten way too vigorous. I just can't deal with having to cut it every week or so w/a string trimmer. (my house is 1 story) This year I hard cut it at about 4 feet along the whole 20 ft length. Even single branchlet, many over 1/4" caliper. I could not believe how fast it came back. All shoots again reaching the gutter, after less than 2 months!
I'm looking for something that will be root hardy, but not mind having the tops cut down. Either by cold or manually. Now, on the other side of the house, SE exposure, I kept a Mandevilla laxa alive for 2 winters. The tops died of course, it came back from the roots. Then the downspout drain backed up, the soil stayed too wet in winter, and it died. It's obviously marginally hardy here...but the growth rate was perfect. By the middle of summer they were up to the top of the wall, but maybe slowed because it didn't like growing in the hot weather. If I could get 10 cheap ones, I might try again on the SW side. But the SW wall is probably too hot for that plant.
BTW I don't mind having to put a support up, so I don't need a clinger like boston ivy or ivy. And I definitely don't want ivy, even a dwarf cultivar, because I _do_ want the sun to hit the walls in in the winter. Helps warm the house up. Can't have a tree because I have a bed w/many sun loving ornamentals in the area (Although, I have a very happy, healthy Chilopsis tree in the area, and have seriously considered trying to train it along the walls. But I think in the long term that would be a lot of work, too. It did not die back at 3F this winter)
I'm even thinking about a grape or two. String some wire supports right along with wall. Give it a year or two where I let the top stay up so that it gets established. Then, every year start cutting it to the ground. Think that will work? Not very pretty but functional at least, the big leaves should shade the wall well. And they fall off cleanly in the fall. Although, now that I think about it, I actually think the espaliered Chilopsis is a better idea.
This post was edited by davidrt28 on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 15:00