Climb to the top Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Climb to the top  Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Vines offer gardeners a quick solution to vertical screen. They soften the wall or hill and provide some shade for the plants growing underneath. A vine is a plant whose stem needs support and climbs by means of tendrils or twines. Or it can crawl on the ground if it has nothing to support it. Vines can be woody or herbaceous, evergreen or deciduous, annual or perennial, native or non-native, invasive or non-invasive – so choose wisely.

When choosing vines for your garden, consider how much sunlight you have and the area you want the vines to cover.

Do you want a perennial or annual vine that will give you quick coverage in one season?

well behaved

Some good annual vines include Hyacinth bean, Moonflower morning glory, Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia), Cypress vine And Morning glory. (But be careful with the common morning glory.) These vines have some stunning flowers in a wide range of colors, but they can freely reseed themselves to produce vines for future years.

(Gallery above not loading? Click here for more photos »arkansasonline.com/516vines/)

One of the most popular perennial vines is ClematisAnd it comes in many options. Most are deciduous, but a few are evergreen, including armandi and montana clematis. Most jasmine fish do best in sun. There are many options for bloom size, color and season.

Another well-behaved vine that blooms in late spring is Ikepiawith interesting violet flowers.

A native Carolina jasmine It needs to be contained or it can be aggressive, but it has beautiful yellow flowers in spring, and the vine is evergreen.

Confederate jasmine It is a white evergreen vine with a very fragrant scent and is commonly relied upon in the southern half of the state. It has had some winter kill this year but is bouncing back.

Escape from artists

There are several species of honeysuckle and they do well in Arkansas, but avoid and/or eliminate Japanese honeysuckle if you find it growing in your garden. Although they have sweet-smelling flowers, these vines are considered very aggressive. Some better honeysuckle options that pair well with others are the native trumpet honeysuckle, which blooms in the spring; Honeysuckle Flame Gold; Major Wheeler Coral Honeysuckle; and John Clayton honeysuckle, which blooms all summer long.

Two related native vines include the cross vine and the trumpet creeper. Both can be aggressive. New introductions of these two plants fare little better in the garden.

For crossing vines, look for Tangerine Beauty, with pretty apricot-colored flowers, and Astrosanguinea, with dark purple-red flowers.

(Gallery above not loading? Click here for more photos »arkansasonline.com/516crawl/)

Crossvines bloom for two months in late spring.

Trumpet can bloom all summer long. A common native species is often sold as hummingbird vine. The flowers can produce large seed pods. Between sucking roots and dispersing seeds, it can be invasive. Newer varieties are more suitable for the garden and include Madame Galen, with large orange-red blooms, and the Summer Jazz series, with a variety of color options.

Sad about wisteria

Many gardeners love the sweet scent of wisteria in spring, but again, variety selection is important.

Common oriental wisteria (Wisteria sinensis and W. floribunda) will root wherever it touches the ground and can easily take over the garden or escape into the wild. Some better options include native American wisteria (W. frutescens), with a new introduction called Amethyst Falls, and Kentucky wisteria (W. macrostachys), with a cultivar called Blue Moon.

Climbing hydrangea is a vine for shade. They can be a bit slow to establish, but once they do, they flower beautifully in late spring.

Beware of English ivy. It must be contained if you are growing it, because it will not stop growing – on your trees or your house if left unattended.

How to get control

So, what do you do if vines take over your landscape? Identify vines, and start controlling them.

Physically removing as much of the problem as possible is a good place to start. Herbicides are available, but the woodier the plant, the harder it is to kill, and the vines are often overgrown with desirable plants. Therefore, physical pruning, digging up the roots and then treating the cut edges can help.

When we look at the vines that are often a problem in Arkansas, the top contenders are:

• Japanese honeysuckle

• Kudzu

•Greenbrier

• Smilax.

Kudzu is not typically a landscape problem, but it covers landscapes throughout our state. Japanese honeysuckle and greenery can be found everywhere, from home landscapes to parks and natural areas.

Other common plants that generate complaints include two natives:

• Poison ivy, which can form a woody vine in trees or can spread as a ground cover on the ground.

• The Virginia creeper, which has tendrils that allow it to attach itself to rocks, bricks or bark – is a powerful climber.

One of the largest families of woody vines in Arkansas is the sundew—or blackberry—plant, all of which are native.

Another invasive vine is the non-native sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora).

Vines have their place in our landscape, and there are some wonderful ones to choose from. It all comes down to the right plant in the right place. Do your homework on the front end and know what to expect.

There are a lot of good vines out there. If you have a desirable vine, make sure it has a trellis or structure to grow on and keep it trimmed on that structure.

Avoid planting vines that are known to be too aggressive.

Read Janet Carson’s blog at arkansasonline.com/planitjanet.

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Home Style on 05/16/2020

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