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Xeriscaping a Brick Wall

Posted by sundanceweb 9 San Antonio, TX (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 6, 08 at 19:56

I am planning to xeriscape a small yard. Although it is a detached house the yard is small, more what you would expect in a townhouse. There is a five foot strip down both sides of the house with a 6 wooden privacy fence; the houses on both sides have a similar strip so there are about 10 away. The house faces North East and is dark red brick with a high peaked roof from about 10 to an 18 peak. The house is about 10 years old and the brick and mortar are in good condition.

I want to reduce heating and cooling energy use by providing some shade on both sides. Of course I do not want to damage the sides of the house. I live in San Antonio, TX. We have hot dry summers, but our winters are mild (Zone 9). You dont notice the sides of the house from the street, but can be they can be seen by the neighbors especially on the NE side.

I am looking for a vine that will look OK on the wall, but it does it does not have to be ornamental, although attracting butterflies and hummingbirds would be a plus. Since this is a xeriscape, drought tolerance and low water use are important. If possible I would also like to work in some edible climbing plants on the lower part of the wall, but the ground only gets 3 or 4 hours of sun, more as you go up the wall.

Any suggestions for drought tolerant, low water use vines or other plants to provide some cooling for my vertical green wall would be appreciated.


Sizzling in San Antonio

(cross posted to Vertical Gardening)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Xeriscaping a Brick Wall

Hi Sundance,

I just came over here to do some reading and maybe ask a question similar to yours...only I do have something in mind.

I have a very hot west facing brown brick wall on my house. I was wondering if possibly Virginia Creeper might be an option to shade the brick, allowing it to actually climb the brick. I wondered if it would help to keep it any cooler, and not be damaging in any way to the brick.

I wonder if that might be a possibility for you. It is native and thrives with no attention whatsoever.

In doing a search here on Virginia Creeper, I see there are 91 posts.

This is taken from one of them
BTW, Wikipedia mentions that it's a beneficial plant for buildings. It helps keep buildings cool through blocking sunlight and through transpiration, but it doesn't damage them because it bonds through adhesive pads, not penetrating roots. To remove it, first kill the plant and leave it up. After a while, the adhesive will fail and it will be easier to remove.

I guess I will do some more reading b4 introducing it up near the house. It grows freely in the woods here, and I really like it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Search results for: virginia creeper

RE: Xeriscaping a Brick Wall

Creeper definitely is one of my candidates. There seems to be opinion on both sides issue of damage to brick and mortar. I haven't had time to research this fully, but even if there is a false perception that it will do damage, it might make it harder to sell the house sometime down the road. Sweet Potato vine, Trumpet Vine, Cross Vine, and Queen's Cross are also on my list as are native or ornamental Honey Suckle. I like Sweet Potato vine, it is inexpensive and easy to propagate but I am not sure if it will climb that high, I have concerns about the invasive nature of Trumpet Vine and Creeper both could take over and be hard to get rid of. Been there, done that with the Trumpet. Any one have experience with these vines on brick?

I may decide to use a combination. I may just put up small trellis on each side and try several and go with the survival of the fittest.

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