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Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Posted by Michele SoCal (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 29, 05 at 0:13

I need something green & attractive to cover an ugly exterior area. I'd prefer it to grow vertically fast and cling by itself to the stucco (after some initial help). It's mostly sunny but poor soil and Santa Ana winds sometimes. My house is tract home faux-Spanish. My yard is a mix of Mediteranean and tropical with a relaxed mood. Any ideas? I'm wondering about creeping fig, star jasmine, boston ivy, etc.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Thoughts about the vines you mentioned:

Creeping fig will cling to a wall, but in time will take over the building. I have ONE plant that does a nice job of covering a cracked 5-foot tall block wall fence that's 100 feet long!!! But it needs to be trimmed several times a year to keep it flat against the wall and looking neat (hedge clipping a shear wall is not a fun job when there are other kinds of plants fronting the wall also).

Boston ivy also clings to wall but looks ugly most of winter when it's leafless.

My favorite is star jasmine and while it does not cling to a wall by itself you can grow it on wires, or on a length of fence screening material (i.e.: pig wire or panels of concrete reinforcing wire) hooked from the ground to the eaves. It's a year around neat green plant; long lasting (mine are about 25 years old that I grow as climbers and others as ground cover); easily maintained/managed; requires almost no care and very little water; looks good all year and has the bonus of prolific white flowers most of spring through summer that smell devine.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by Catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 29, 05 at 13:51

Gardenguru once posted a fine list of tropical vines; I did a search and came up empty-handed. Joe, got your list handy? I think it included Quisqualis indica, some passifloras, and maybe Disticitis buccinatoria. The flowering vines would look good with your faux-Spanish house and mediterranean/tropical garden.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Morning Glory would work but you had better LOVE it as you will never get rid of it!

Tikanas


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

You might try a bougainvillea. They're born wall climbers. They like to be dry sometimes & many varieties are almost as deep a green as the star jasmine, but is more of a sun lover. They do litter their colors though.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

I really like my stuccoed garden walls covered with Creeping Fig. With a little regular pruning it stays flat against the wall, which is what I want, and I don't know of any other vine that does this.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Some things I have done to help vines stay close to a stucco wall: 1) hang thin wire or nylon netting from nails under wooden eves or behind fascia boards to train plants. I have even used wire and bamboo rods as hanging trellis'. Once the vine is mature you cannot see these. 2) Put globs of clear caulk where needed on stucco and push thin wire through the globs to twist around plants. I have used these various methods for Bougainvillea, bower vines, and climbing roses.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

If you do what Holedigger said above (hang some wire) I'd then go ahead and plant a Passiflora caerulea or Passiflora Lavender Lady. Then you'd end up with lots and lots of Gulf Fritillary butterflies! :) Although the caterpillars will eat the leaves, they don't do as much damage as you think and Passiflora grow very fast, the flowers are beautiful, and having butterflies all through your yard is priceless. :)


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Some caveats:

Creeping fig will tear off pieces of stucco if it can. On limestone buildings on the UC Berkeley campus, it has torn off chunks of windowsills. It may not be a problem on a wall, but I personally would not plant it on a house unless I knew for sure that the homeowner would be meticulously obsessive about maintaining it several times a year (which doesn't fit with the relaxed mood you're looking for). When the vines get thick, the leaves get big, and it no longer looks like a small-leaved innocent.

Bougainvillea is tender and can die back to the ground in a cold snap (maybe not a factor in your area). It also gets huge and rangy and heavy, so it needs to be maintained regularly and I'd be concerned about using it at a site with strong winds. It has thorns.

Star jasmine is perfect roof-rat habitat. I would not plant it for this reason alone. The plant gets very heavy and I've seen huge chunks fall off a building it had been loosely attached to. It's messy to cut, since it bleeds a white gluey sap that drips and gets all over pruner and gloves.

How tall does it need to be?

If I had to go to the trouble of maintaining one of the above, I'd prefer to plant something edible. I like passifloras. How about a kiwi vine (can get huge), or for a challenge, an espaliered fruit tree (not fast). Perennial scarlet runner beans are fast and pretty, so they'd be a wonderful temporary solution, but they aren't thick and green all year.

You can espalier a lot of shrubs not usually thought of as vines, without a lot of trouble. Here in Northern Calif, I've seen some nice Grewia occidentalis, for instance (little purple flowers, fast, evergreen, tolerates wind).

A native shrub that grows well (and fast) against walls is Galvezia speciosa, with red flowers and a tropical look. But the stems are brittle and they have a tendency to work their way between and behind tight spaces, so if it's against your house you need to monitor it obsessively to make sure it's not getting into your window frames or between the deck and the house.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by ellix augusta ga (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 27, 05 at 17:22

Has anyone grown crossvine? It will attach itself to the wall-or at least a brick wall and is evergreen and has beautiful flowers that attract hummers. I recently planted 2.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Don't know if you,ve already planted anything on your wall yet, but Grewia occidentalis is great for a fast, strong, permanent vine substitute...common name Lavender starflower...

It is actually a shrub and tends to grow very flat against walls, etc. You do need to provide some anchors in the wall though to attach the branches. I covered an entire 75 foot wall of ugly concrete block which was full of bullet holes from previous owner who used it for target practice and had big chunks taken out of it. I drilled holes in the block and inserted screw eyes in shields so I could attach coated wire to attach branches to.

I bought 5 gal plants and spaced them about three feet apart. They grew very fast and the entire wall was covered in about 16 months. I only trim it twice a year. It does bloom here pretty much all year. I keep it very flat to the wall and it only sticks out about 6 inches.

You could use this against the house without it doing any stucco damage...as it has no "feet" that cling to anything...


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Not a vine, but a viney shrub that may be espaliered or simply allowed to grow vertical and pruned flat, Tecomaria capensis (AKA Cape Honeysuckle) might be an option. I have one espaliered against the side fence between my neighbors and I. It's very easy to prune and maintain, dark green attractive foliage, bright red-orange flowers (also comes in yellow) that attract hummingbirds, and would look great against stucco.

wanda


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 29, 05 at 1:33

Crossvine/Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty' is a good selfclinging vine of manageable size and nearly year round bloom. Cat Claw Vine, Macfadyena unguis-cati is another selfclinging vine with yellow trumpet flowers that loves heat and poor soil. Since you are gardening in southern California, you might also consider the Powder Puff shrub, Calliandra tweedii or the native C. californica. These both make great espaliered shrubs for a hot wall and have gorgeous flowers. Not a self clinging vine, but great none the less for hot walls, is Petrea volubilis/Queen's Wreath, with late winter purple bloom which continues into spring and intermittenly throughout the year. Antigon leptotus is another great vine for a hot wall, with great color.

The already mentioned Grewia caffra and Tecomaria capensis are also both great almost everblooming shrubby vines that look great all year long and offer a very long season of bloom. The Phaedranthus buccinatorius and Distictis 'Rivers' are also two nearly everblooming trumpet vines that are very mediterranean/spanish in visual character. Another favorite vine of mine is the Solanum species offered by Suncrest Nursery in Watsonville and labeled as coming from Navidad, Jalisco; I love the abundant nearly everblooming purple flowers and the loose habit of the foliage and stems.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by argus 9B / 10A (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 29, 05 at 14:29

There are some really nice passifloras out there, but I love Aristolochias. I have the 7 species of Aristos and they all are vigorous fast climbers. Although they need some support (I use glue on vine supports) they do wonderfully up walls, and you can't beat the looks they get when they start blooming. I also think they have extremely nice foliage.
My A. litoralis and A. ringens grew about 15' in 6 months after I cut them back and moved them and they've been blooming for the past 3 months.
You can get a wonderful selection of Aristos and pasifloras as well as other nice vines at the Fullerton Arboretum. They have plant sales every Saturday and have great prices.

Robert


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Well I have some vines that "guard" my fence. I'd heartily recommend chayote! Grows faster than you can blink - and even gives you some decent fruit after a few months. Chayote is nice foliage and is super-aggressive grower. The only problem is parts of the vine will "die off" and brown crap is the result. But if you let it do it's own thing it will keep the wall/fence covered and in reasonable shape.

I'd totally stay away from ivy of any kind - it's aggressive, invasive and not entirely useful!! Though apparently you can "smoke" ivy seeds ..... if you're into that!!

rsk


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Maybe passion vines or black-eyed susan vine? Both of them have beautiful flowers!


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Several years ago I was able to purchase little vine anchors that you attached to outside walls. Each little round disc had a small curved wire protruding .You'd attach each disc to a wall with an adhesive that was included. I have been searching the garden supply shops without any luck. Does anyone have any idea where I might find them? Thanks


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Someone mentioned lavender starflower here. I have been looking to buy and plant this one to cover my stucco wall but it's so hard to find! Can you tell me where to buy it? Thanks...


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 30, 06 at 12:50

Chloe, I tried a search for those vine anchor things, but I don't think I was typing in the right words. Hope someone can help you find those!

Stacy, San Marcos grows Grewia occidentalis. Here is a list of the stores in S. CA that carry their plants. If they don't have it in stock, they can probably special order it for you. :)

Brenda


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

  • Posted by becr zone 9 CA 19 (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 30, 06 at 19:29

Chloe, we got ours at Home Depot or Lowes last year--in the gardening section where they sell the green tape etc. After applying to stucco a few did loosen over time, though. I think a better bet is screw eyes. Hope this helps.

Becky


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

I have used big gobs of clear caulk applied right on stucco and pushed pieces of wire thru them after they dried. This worked well with a climbing rose.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Holedigger! That is an excellent idea! I've stumped at how to get my vines up a block wall. That should do the trick nicely. I can use this for my climbing roses too.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Vinelover, on a block wall the caulk might not have anything to hold onto. But you should try it. You might be better off drilling some small holes several feet apart, with a masonry bit, and putting in screws and anchors. You can run thin guage wire between screws for an almost invisible trellis.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Oh well. My drill might not be powerful enough to drill through the block wall. It may take a long time. I used the drill to drill into the stucco at my front entry to hang a planter. It took a long time. I was hoping I didn't have to do that again. But I'll give it a try. Thanks for the info.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

Vinelover....make sure you use a masonry bit in your drill when you're drilling into block walls. Anchor lags and bolts work well to support a trellis. I made my trellis out of bamboo then planted bougainvillea and coral honeysuckle. It's dry and sunny there and they both love the spot after getting established. Now you can't see the trellis. Mine stayed up after three hurricanes!!


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

I had a masonry bit on it, thanks Sherry.
Its my drill. Its just not very powerful. Maybe I'll invest in a new one.


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RE: Tough climbing vine to cover wall?

I planted fig vine to cover cement block wall many, many years ago and now have had to take it all down. The reason, the roots are traveling to house, etc. and uprooting cement walkways. The roots have grown to at least four or five inches circumference (sp??). What a bummer. This plant covers everything. All plants near it were being covered. Planters beware....think ahead about 10 or 15 years.


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