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  Carol Cloud Bailey's Gardening Blog
Have gardening questions? Get answers from Carol Cloud Bailey, the resident Yard Doc and horticulturist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.
CAROL'S NEWSPAPER COLUMNS »

Vines for Florida

Hello Carol,
We have recently put up a trellis in our back yard here in Vero Beach to hide a storage building. I would like to know if Clematis will grow in this area. We had some really beautiful ones in Kentucky and would like to grow some here. If you don't think they will grow in this area, what would you suggest to use for this trellis? It is about 8 ft. by 16 ft.

Thank you for your help.
Faye

Hello Faye,
Here are a few of my favorite vines for south Florida:

Allamanda cathartica or Yellow Allamanda – Good for central and south Florida. Evergreen with large glossy leaves, a fast twining vine with large yellow flowers that appear throughout the year. Can be a bit cold sensitive, has some salt tolerance and prefers a bit of shade. Use with care around small children as it does have some poisonous properties.
Clerodendrum thomsoniae or Bleeding Heart – Granny Cloud’s favorite plant. Flowers in large clusters, white calyx surrounds the scarlet corolla tube. Great for a sunny, confined locations. Use in the landscape on arbors and trellis with support as it is a twining vine. Does best in well-drained locations with supplemental irrigation and full sun to part shade.
Ficus pumila or Climbing Fig – A Ficus spp. I like! This vine climbs by the use of adhesive disk so use with caution near structures, be sure you want it before you plant it. Good, vigorous grower covers walls with dense foliage quickly. Requires regular trimming once established. Likes full sun to part shade and well drained soil, drought-tolerant. This is the plant often used to cover shaped wire for “topiaries.”
Passiflora incarnate or Maypop – Our native passion flower, grows throughout the state in locations with full sun. Has a 3-lobed leaf to 6" wide. Blue-white flowers are 2½" across, fast and dense growing. Fruit is edible but some say of inferior quality. Use on arbors, fences, and trellis, climbs with the use of tendrils, very attractive to butterflies.
Petrea volubilis or Queen's Wreath – A vine with a spectacular lavender/purple bloom found in drooping 8-12" clusters. When the true petals fall, a long-lasting purple calyx stays behind extending the “bloom.” Leaves are large, eight inches long leaves with rough surfaces. Uses on arbors, fences, and trellis in full sun and shade, though the bloom is better in sun. Drought tolerant; climbs by twining.
Pyrostegia venusta or Flame Vine - One of the most spectacular vines for central and south Florida. It is covered throughout the winter with brilliant orange flowers. It literally blankets its support structures with dense foliage and flowers, a vigorous grower, clinging to both stone and wood. Very drought-tolerant, requires full sun for best flowering and growth and is very salt tolerant. Use with care, can get out of hand quickly.
Trachelospermum jasminoides or Confederate Jasmine – A springtime bloomer grown allover Florida and the southeast. Grows in sun or shade, but does best with a bit of partial shade. Has a moderate salt tolerance and good drought tolerance, climbs by twining, has no support roots or disk, may need tying to start. Very fragrant white flowers about ¾" across are borne in great profusion. The dark green leaves are up to 4" long. Good for use on fences, trellis, and as a ground cover.


Anyone else with a favorite vine?

Carol

Posted by Carol Cloud Bailey at 10:09 AM on March 29, 2005
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