any experience with Emerald Gaiety euonymus as a vine?

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)January 1, 2011

I'm not sure where it is appropriate to post this question - here or the Vines forum - so I'll post it both places...

A winter garden project here is to prepare a maintenance manual for this garden. That has turned into a review of the plantings too. The iron arbour in the front garden has undergone several changes in plantings since it was installed in 2003. The current planting is honeysuckle and clematis. The honeysuckle has turned out to be Hall's I think! So I'm giving serious thought to removing them. We have been keeping them closely clipped to the arbour; I'd like whatever grows on there to end up looking a bit like a hedge with an arch cut in it - in other words, I want it densely covered.

So I'm trying to think what would be a good replacement for the honeysuckle....? In the first few years, we tried clematises on their own for color. Of course the cursed vines didn't turn out to be what their labels said they should be (a chronic problem with clematis I find!) The color were wrong for what I had planned. And then several up and died and the rest wilted every year! So I tried honeysuckle. Several died and the surviving ones appear to be Hall's. I'm thinking of trying to grow 'Emerald Gaiety' euonymus, train it up the arbour and keep it closely clipped.

The pro's as I see it would be:

- evergreen

- there is a 'Carol Mackie' Daphne behind and to the side of the arbour on the left and a variegated weigela behind and to the right; there are 'Emerald Gaiety' euonymus in the nearby front porch bed and also in the 'moat' bed behind/to the east of the bed where the arbour is, so there would be continuity in both the specific plant and in the variegation.

The con's and doubt I see are:

- will it grow tall enough? Most sources say 4-5', but a neighbour has completely covered a 6' wooden fence with it so the fence looks like a hedge. Will it grow to the 7'+ I need for the arbour?

- the risk of euonymus scale killing it. At least, since it would be accessible on all sides, it would be easier to spray with dormant oil if need be.

Your opinions? Could it work?


The arbour as it was this summer:

The arbour in relation to the bed it is in:

(The variegated shrubs I referred to are too small yet to be visible in the above picture.)

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I often drive past a house that has this trained up the pole for their front light. It has hit 5 or so feet and needs to be trimmed to keep it off the light. So I would expect it to get taller than 5 feet.

Also, you might want to try again on the clematis. I've gotten a bunch of mail order clematis from reputable sources like Brushwood, Silver Star, and Hummingbird Farm and they seem to be what they are supposed to be (though I don't know if any of them ship to Canada.) Alaternatively, you can get them at garden centers in bloom so you can see the color. In general the Viticella hybrids don't get wilt and some of them get big enough to cover your trellis well. Flower size and color varies quite a bit amongst the viticella hybrids.

Nice looking garden - I especially like the varied textures in the overhead view.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:30PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Beautiful garden!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:29PM
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I haven't had much luck with Emerald gaiety...mine grew more as a small groundcover / creeper and never did much of anything - perhaps the crown gall disease was to blame -but I chucked them all.

I do have two Sarcoxie Euonymus on my property - one in full sun from midday on, and the other in full shade. They both have done well for me with the exception of scale on the one in full shade last year. In full shade, I've seen no blooms but it hasn't established as long as the other has.

The full sun Sarcoxie gets a beautiful carpet of purple flowers on the groundcreepers, but it took a good 4 years to get there. It branches both vertically and horizontally along my 4 1/2 foot fence. I trim the branches at fence height, so I don't know how tall this plant will actually climb on an arbor or trellis. It's a nice evergreen branching habit along my fence. This was one of the first plants in my yard as a newbie, and I couldn't be happier. No problems with scale in the sunny location (keeping my fingers crossed).

Unfortunately, my new rescue dogs like to pottie where the branches creep as a groundcover, causing dieback in those areas, so I didn't get the flowers this past year.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

nhbabs - I'd probably grow clematis with the euonymus to add some color. The conditions are sort of tough by the arbour, especially on the right side where it gets sun all day. The left side gets shade from the garage in mid-late afternoon so it's not quite as dry there as the other side is. The clematises died out on the right side, but several survived on the left (as you can see in the first picture above).

Thanks hosenemesis - this bed has evolved considerably since we started it and it's still changing. The picture above was taken before we added an 8' iron tuteur (for growing clematises) in mid-summer. We also added some hydrangeas and removed some roses. I didn't get any 'bird's eye' photos after the changes but this shows where the changes occured:

kimcoco - What appeals to me about the Emerald Gaiety is the variegation, which makes it look less 'heavy' and repeats similar variegation elsewhere in the front garden. I will have to give more thought to whether a solid green could provide the picture I want for there....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Emerald Gaiety climbed 10 feet up the side of my garage ... before it was afflicted with scale so badly that I had to remove it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 12:12PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The 10' sounds promising... How long did it take to get to that height?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 5:54PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I have EG growing up a stone wall, where it is self clinging, like Hedera helix. It has grown slowly and is now about 4 feet high. It would probably be taller if I tied some branches in. It is not fussy about soil and is in dappled light much of the time. Scale doesn't seem to be an issue. However, snails love hiding behind it stuck to the wall.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 7:04AM
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My Emerald Gaiety was 10' up the side of my garage in around 4 years. It wasn't my plan for it to grow up the garage, but ... obviously the plant had other ideas.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 4:22PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

aegis500 - thanks for the info. Hmmm... the EG is definitely sounding like it's worth a try on the arbour...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 4:42PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I can't help with an evergreen suggestion, but for the last several years I've grown climbing/trailing nasturtiums (Pinetree Seeds) on my arbor. Some years it grows 12-14 feet. The ones in the pic are all planted on the left side of the arbor, wrapped around the top, down the other side and some started back up again. Hummingbirds and Hummingbird Moths love them and they shade the hummingbird feeder. And they add a great peppery taste for salads to boot!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 5:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks for the suggestion - but the colors don't suit my garden and I prefer perennials or woody plants to annuals.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 5:40PM
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