We're searching for a vine to grow over a shade porch we are building.
Needs to be deciduous so as not to block light in winter. However, we need foliage clear through late summer.
Flowers would be nice, but not mandatory if the foliage is interesting.
Not TOO aggressive. (We are considering American Wisteria, but waffling.)
Preferably CA native, but we'll look at others, as above.
Those are great -- except the trumpet, I just can't learn to like those things. Not sure how they would handle the summer here. Also, not sure if we want something that dies all the way back each year. We were kind of looking forward to something that left gnarled looking branches behind in the winter. A bare trunk won't get in the way of the windows, either -- I'd miss my roadrunner if I couldn't see him at breakfast each morning. :-)
My first thought was the pretty gnarled trunk of wisteria, it's just sooooooo aggressive. What about Japanese Wisteria? It's so pretty. And I agree about the trumpet vine, I'm not big on them either...attract too many ants.
Too bad Boston Ivy and Climbing Hydrangeas need shade in our areas...wouldn't they be PERFECT?
Yes, wisteria was our first thought as far as the shape and I'd heard that American wisteria wasn't quite as aggressive. But it really doesn't suit the look we want, either. Bougainvillea is more like it, but they aren't deciduous and are also aggressive -- at least the wisteria doesn't bite!
My husband loves Virginia Creeper, but we don't want something with suckers, either. :-(
I need to start looking at mediterranean plants, I think -- perhaps I'll find something there.
What about training a small tree (or several) to the arbor instead of using a vine? You can get whips in January, tall thin, non-headed trees. I'm thinking Cercis 'Oklahoma'...the heart shaped leaves would be great shade in summer and the spring flowers would be nice. It would take a little training, but after that would be MUCH less work than a vine. And it wouldn't hurt the arbor at all.
Oooooh -- that's a thought. We have Cercis occidentalis here, which I love. Not sure if it will grow enough to provide the cover we need, but can check with the natives nursery nearby. Would like to stick with a native if we can. Ours are very small (first year) and I have a sneaky feeling they don't grow very quickly. But there might be something else we could use that way. Great idea!
Have posted on the xeriscape forum as well, and the California Native Plant Society web site. Will find that perfect plant somehow!
Chuck, we have two Rogers growing over our ramada, so we'd like something for contrast. Trying to avoid fruit, as we have a real ant problem.
Thanks, PM, the Akebia is certainly interesting, but I'm afraid it would go wild and we would prefer something that will not be too thick in winter.
Actually, tonight I saw a beautiful wild climbing rose in a magazine -- Rosa Banksiae 'Lutea' -- that I'm going to investigate. It's a lovely yellow, thornless rose. It gets pretty big, though, so I'm going to think long and hard about it. DH likes it, too, which is a plus because he gets to prune it! We're not usually rose people, but the wild ones are attractive.
There is a single white banksia that is much prettier than the usual double yellow one. They are frost sensitive. They only bloom once. You might consider the cherokee rose, or one of the less tender ramblers.
What about Rosa 'Reine de Violettes'? It says it's a 6-8' grower, but that's what is said about my 'Shadow Dancer' and it goes waaaayy farther than that! The upside?...'Reine de Violettes' is thornless!
Afraid Rosa 'Reine de Violettes' is a little too 'rosy' for us, K.
Have to look at the white banksia again, Chuck, but yes, it's unfortunate the bloom time is so short. Cherokee is lovely, but I got as far as "numerous very sharp thorns."
Picky, ain't I?
I just learned there are a couple of CA native clematis vines (what's the plural?) that will do well here -- but they have pros and cons, too. http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/pipestems.html
I'm going to try to get over to Las Pilitas this week and see what they have.
Can't thank you guys enough for your help -- every time I look something up I learn something else that is important -- like thornless!
Have you considered curly willow?
They grow fast - very easy to root from a cutting and in winter all you have is the curly stems and trunks. We grew them from cuttings that came in a floral arrangement.
We just stuck about 4 of them in potting soil and ta-da they all grew. http://tytyga.com/shadetree/58a.jpg
K, get the lutea. They're a joy! They're easy to keep as big or as small as you want, especially because they have no thorns at all, so you can really dive into them if you have to. I have three of them and they're huge, but not aggressive enough to break arbors. The flowers don't smell, so that's a minus, but they're so gorgeous that you won't care.
Zuzu, the lack of smell doesn't bother me. We have lots of CA sages (salvia, not sagebrush) planted all around the house and they smell heavenly. I'm sensitive to a lot of smells (hay fever and the like), so when I find one that doesn't bother me, I go for it (like plumerias!).
Karen, I am actually thinking of growing gourds next year. We want to keep away from things the birds or ants will want to eat for the porch, though.
Didn't get over to Las Pilitas this week to talk to them about native clematis -- maybe this week. DH is still in the framing stage, so we have time, but I do want to start something as soon as it is convenient.
I picked up a native clematis last weekend and now I'm looking for the Rosa Banksiae 'Lutea' locally. The native nursery also recommended this as a good choice for our otherwise native landscape. DH and a friend put the structure up on Saturday so we now have shade -- the rest (floor, screening, etc.) will be done a step at a time.
Thought I would post an update to this - since I received so much help choosing this plant. We just love this lady - unfortunately, the photo doesn't capture the lovely yellow of the blossoms. The nicest thing about the location is that we get to see the flowers in- or outside. It was starting to bloom in January when the big freeze hit, but it just slowed things down a little. There is an unbelievable number of buds that you can't see. Not bad for just shy of two years with benign neglect. I've planted a native clematis close by - we'll see how that goes.
We liked it so much we put the white version at the other end of the house!
How about Akebia quintata Chocolate Vine this has been a wonderful vine in the shade for me zone 8/9 Northern California, The thing I like about it is that it is a well behaved, yet virgrous plant.
Height: 25' Zone: 4-8 Light: sun - part shade
Spectacular twining deciduous vine with chocolate color flowers in May with the fragrance of vanilla.
Some of those "zone 4-8" really mean it -- and Kathleen and I just don't have the cool temperatures regularly enough for them -- I'm not saying that Akebia is *necessarily* one (never even heard of it -- but that in itself says something, 'cause if it grew here, my nurseries would have it?) -- humulus is I believe one...
Just for what it's worth, the native clematis have very small non-showy flowers... maybe not what you would think of for "clematis".
I've been growing Akebia quinata in full sun up here in zone 9 for years and I've never had any trouble with it. It doesn't mind heat. It has gorgeous little flowers. This is an extreme closeup, so don't be misled. The blooms are really tiny, about the size of the fingernail on my little finger.
Hi 'spin - yes, I know the native clematis is not showy, but I wanted to try one. The seed heads are kind of interesting.
Can't believe the white Lady Banks is blooming already - it's only a foot tall! Will definitely plant something a little more showy with that - I'm talking with someone about standard clematis because the area is a little more protected. Another "we'll see."
Zuzu, that is a lovely plant and a great picture. As 'spin says, it does get very dry, windy and hot here in the summer (usually through Oct/early Nov); not sure what the difference is between 9a and 10b!
Akebia quinata also has a really nice fragrance, like a dessert -- a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of chocolate.
It doesn't get windy here, but I have the same California drought conditions from May to October that you would have. In the last few years, I've also had lots and lots of summer days with temperatures over 100, but I've never had to give this vine any more water than anything else gets.
Sebastopol's just 60 miles north of San Francisco. It's not coastal, but it's only about 10 miles inland. The cost of living is ferociously high, but it used to pay off in perfect weather. Now the summers are too hot and the winters are too cold. We've had many, many frosty mornings in the last three years and about 10 days in a row of temps in the mid-20s this winter. That effectively killed most of the zone 9 plants and even some of the zone 8 plants in my garden.
The worst thing, of course, is that we still aren't equipped for these extreme temperatures. Most of us don't have air conditioning in our homes, and some of my friends don't even have it in their cars. I have central heating for the winter, thank God, but a lot of houses here have always been fine up to now with just the fireplace in the living room.
I've lived in So. California all my life. I can remember 80+ degrees at Christmas as a kid - kind of like living down under. Don't remember if we had cold temps, though. I asked my mom, but she grew up in Philadelphia, so it was all paradise to her! I should find a temp chart for those years and see how close my memory is to the truth. :-)
We had a choice here - a/c or our screen room. We chose the latter and we're glad we did. We had some pretty bad days last year, but we cope with fans and use the whole house fan if we absolutely have to. However, the screen room we use all year and it has enhanced our day-to-day life so much we don't know what we would do without it.
We had those temps in the 20s, too, Zuzu. Bunch of stuff was burned to the ground, but our redbud and a couple of other plants loved it. It's one of the reasons we plant mostly natives - though even that is no guarantee.
The 1-10 then 1-11 then a's and b's added are the USDA zones based only on "average cold temperatures". They have started a new rating system based on the average HOT temps, I believe, but don't know any of the numbers.
Then we have the 1-24 Western zones of the Sunset books -- and they published a national book a few years back and I think they added additional zones for eastern areas that didn't fall into the western criteria. They try to incorporate other things than ONLY coldest and hottest -- for example my zone 23 mentions the fall-to-winter Santa Ana [dry hot] winds as one of most important conditions (affecting plants' ability to survive)!
Only 24? If we're (I assume I'm not far off your zone) 23, there's only ONE more level? That seems odd. Oh well, it's still hit and miss - my no shade southern exposure puts even a lot of natives meant for this area out of reach.
Someday I will have Lady Banks' Lutea -- your pics refreshed my memory of that resolve, Kathleen.
And maybe someday I will grow the chocolate-flowered, vanilla-scented Akebia, too, Zuzu. Love "odd" flowers.
Right now I'm in the process of removing at least some of my natives :-( Got to make the house have more conventional "curb appeal" for putting it on the market next fall. I'm still going for low-upkeep and relatively xeric choices, though -- lavenders and various controllable salvias.
Am going to take the Cleveland and White sages with me, though, and turn their bed (here) into a hastily-planted rose garden! No climbers though, floribundas I think... but too late for any more thinking, just wanted to thank you two ladies for posting those intriguing photos.
I would buy your house with a yard full of natives! Much preferable to roses in my opinion! But that's just me, I know many home buyers aren't going to appreciate the beauty of native plants (what a shame!)