Perennial Vine for Retaining Wall

Conshohocken, PA


I’ve got a hideous 6-foot retaining wall running along the entire front of my property. This things needs greenery on it, stat!

The area between the house and the retaining wall is very narrow—about three feet. My husband, understandably, would prefer not to have plants taking up any of the limited lawn space, so I don’t want to plant anything to cascade over the wall.

So, vines creeping up is the answer! Problem is, the retaining wall butts up right against the road—so there’s no dirt for me to plant at the bottom and have greenery creep “up.”

I'm stuck.

I know that plant life can exist in between the blocks of the wall—I’m occasionally pulling weeds. Plus, scant, yet tenacious, shoots of ragweed shoot up occasionally between the wall and the road.
I believe there is gravel between each block, and a bit of soil perhaps. Can anything grow in these rocky spaces without out much nutritional soil?

I was hoping to grow Vinca Minor, but I’m unsure if that will work.

Any ideas?

PS I've attached a picture so you can get an idea. The picture cuts off the 'wall meets road' portion, but know that I took the picture while standing on the road--so you get the idea!

Thumbnail by monkeeluv6
Hobart, IN

I've seen climbing hydrangea used to help cover a retaining wall. Bonus is that you'll get flowers. But I'm not sure how much dryness it can take.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I think climbing hydrangeas are very tough once they get going. This one was totally neglected for decades-- see the Azalea it swamped still bravely blooming? I was thinking maybe you could plant it in a far corner of the yard, only using a little piece of the lawn, and train it down and across the wall. That way it would have a decent home for its roots, but in my experience it can cover a lot of territory.

Wisteria could work the same way.

Good luck!


Thumbnail by Pfg
Hobart, IN

Wonder if you could plant one at either end of the wall - the vines could cover it in half the time. Even in my shade here, the foliage can get quite dense and it does grow rather quickly. Unfortunately, due to my shade, it's never bloomed but the leaves look nice all growing season.

Conshohocken, PA

Oh! I didn't even know that there was a type of hydrangea that could climb! Thanks for the tip!

Also, Pfg, I didn't even think of planting something in a corner and training it. Brilliant! I think I'll go research even more options of aggressive (but, hopefully) pretty vines!


(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

There's also Silver Lace, not as dense, but just as tough... Maybe even a Jackmanii clematis?

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