Evergreen Climber for a Patio?

ladyofdragonsJune 2, 2011


I'm new to both gardening and this forum so I need a little help. I have a patio of my own finally and want to pretty it up. Most of it is concrete of course with not much space so I want to go a little vertical.

I'm looking for an evergreen climber for a 15-18' section of fence, sun to part shade, and not too easy to kill. My zone is 9a I believe. Hopefully nothing that--uhh-- sticks out too much since it's near a walkway. It doesn't need to be ultra fancy, but warm color blooms that attract hummers or butterflies would be a plus. Fast growth too I suppose, though that's probably instant gratification talking. ;)

Any suggestions? I was looking at Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens?

I've also heard of people planting two vines near each other to get interesting an color combination or longer period of blooms over different seasons. That could be fun but I'm not sure if I have the space?

Also, I already have two skinny redwood planter boxes, about 8"D x 44"L x 10"H. Is that big enough for such a vine or do I need a bigger container?

Thank you in advance!

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If you look at photos of Tuscany, in the narrow streets of the towns they will have lush growth of star jasmine growing in big pots beside their doorways. And, that plant will grow to cover many high places. I absolutely LOVE the way they use it around their homes. It is I think trachelospermum jasminoides? Something like that anyway. And it is evergreen in that climate, and in mine as well--meaning 8B Alabama. I think shading the pot would be a good idea, even though the plant upper parts can take a lot of sun. Cluster other pots around it. No, I do not think your redwood planter boxes would be the proper containers for this plant. Ideally, put it in the ground and leave it alone. It will bloom magnificently in April and May here, and you can plant another vine like clematis to grow up its strong body seasonally.

In my case, after returning home from a stay in the Tuscan area of Italy, I was inspired by what I saw there. I've now planted the star jasmine along a 100 foot length of chain link fencing to let it become a blooming and scented privacy screen. It will take maybe two years for it to reach the top of this 7 foot tall fence, but not long after that it will fill in. I know very well how vigorous it becomes, because one plant put into the ground about 4 years ago has formed a dense fat column (maybe 4 foot in diameter) around a 4x4 post in my front yard.

The star jasmine is as far as my experience tells, pest free, can take heat and dryness if in the ground and established, and does not harm any brick or wood because it does not attach to anything.

I just potted up a good sized plant for my brother to use on his upper deck in Louisiana, where it will grow along the railing facing the street for privacy soon enough. I'm a true fan of this plant, which can be turned into a hedge covering a small fence if you like, or left to its own devices if you want something growing with abandon. It smells wonderful when in bloom, great around a patio.

Here is a picture of the first ones I put in the ground at MoccasinLanding, my old home:

And then here is one photo of the plant in Italy, as a hedge on low fencing around a swimming pool. It is also the plant which covers the pergola in the background:

And then here is the plant used in a large deep pot climbing up a building in Italy also:

Your redwood boxes could be used this way to front the pots:

This is an ordinary nandina domestica in the sort of pot I'm thinking to use for your jasmine. It has little clay feet to keep it up for good drainage as you see:

This rose sort of espaliered to the stone wall of the villa has only a small open planting hole in the paving for its roots, however that works.

Again, star jasmine covers this otherwise plain wall:

This area of Italy has a lot of clay, terra cotta if you will, and I believe this is where the mother lode of Italian terra cotta pots and earthen ware artwork originates. So I'd suggest you get a good sized (big) terra cotta pot for your vine, whatever you choose to plant. It might be possible to put something else for a vertical look, like an Italian cypress, which is tall and skinny and evergreen.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:46AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I was going to suggest Trachelospermum jasminoides too. I have one in an 18" diameter clay pot which has been there for several years. It covers a plastic drainpipe very successfully.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 6:45AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Here we also have one, now over fifty years old, and has been cut back pretty severally a couple of times, as well as regular pruning to limit area covered. It is in full bloom right now, and we like to open the doors and let the perfume fill the house. We also have two Clematis armandii, also evergreen and very fragrant, that would work for you.

If possible I would cut out a square of your concrete and plant your selection in the ground. Al

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:28AM
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I would suggest passion flowers as they are soooo hard to kill and have large beautiful flowers that are butterfly attractors. In a yard, you might have to worry about keeping them under control but a patio in pots would be perfect. I planted one for a homemade trellis on my patio and it completely covered it in about 1.5 years.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:57AM
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