Muffette
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Need help selecting an evergreen vine for SW Louisiana!!

We live in Basile, LA, and just put in 400+ feet of 5' chain link (hurricane) fencing around our back yard. My husband wants to plant an evergreen vine along the back section - which is the longest span at 182' - but we have several issues to consider before making a selection!!

1. We have two very nosy Great Danes, and they often munch on grasses, flowers, and fruits that look or smell "yummy".

2. 60' of the fence is heavily shaded by a stand of pine trees, followed by another 60' in full sun, and the last 60' is moderately shaded by a large oak tree.

3. When dry, the soil is heavy loam - but when we get drenched by one of our famous thunderstorms, it turns into a thick, sticky clay. Plus, the water table runs pretty high toward the surface - and along the shaded areas, the soil tends to stay wet for several days (between our sporadic summer-to-fall thunder-bumper storms).

So, what we need is a twining or climbing "true-evergreen" vine that:

1. Is not poisonous to dogs;
2. Is fast growing in both heavy-to-moderate shade and full sun;
3. Tolerates both dry and heavy soil with frequently limited drainage;
4. Can withstand high summer heat and humidity of 90+ degrees.

Either flowering or non-flowering is fine, and I know we'll have to do a fair amount of maintenance to keep it tidy. However, our preference is to stay away from the woody varieties because we want a climbing vine - as opposed to a thick hedge.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!! Many thanks!!
Muffette Diaz

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rainbowgardener
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The cross vine or the closely related trumpet creeper (campsis radicans) is an excellent suggestion. Hummingbirds love them. Another possibility would be trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens). Like the trumpet creeper it is a native evergreen vine. It is a bit more delicate in appearance and manageable. The trumpet creeper tends to get huge pretty rapidly. I have one that I am very sorry I planted against a downspout next to our house... have to keep chopping it back to keep it from swallowing the house whole.

The hummingbirds love the trumpet honeysuckle flowers also (I plant a whole garden full of hummingbird flowers and this is the one they are always at) and it keeps its flowers over a much longer season than the trumpet creeper (mine still has a couple left even though we have had several frosts).

PS the trumpet honeysuckle will also bloom quicker. The trumpet creeper often doesn't bloom until at least its third year.

Susan W
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Great suggestions! Another to consider is Carolina Jasmine. This is a light weight vine, evergreen with smallish lt green leaves. It blooms yellow in early spring. It is used in Memphis for some of those 'difficult situations', but don't think it does well much further north. I have seen it growing wild in N Louisiana.
Keep us posted on your decisions!
Have fun!
Susan

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rainbowgardener
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The Carolina Jasmine (or jessamin) is a pretty plant, but the OP specified NON-TOXIC. See this:

https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Gelsese.htm

Carolina Jasmine is severely toxic, can be fatal if consumed.

Muffette
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RE: Need help selecting an evergreen vine for SW Louisiana!!

Marlin, Rainbow, and Susan: Many thanks to each of you for your advice and suggestions. We were initially leaning toward Pink Jasmine, which seemed to meet all of our needs - until I read an article that most of this species can be fatal if eaten. Accordingly, my primary concern is that Great Danes are very similar to human children - i.e. if it tastes yummy, then it's good to eat!!

Right now, the Cross vine and Trumpet Honeysuckle are at the top of my list, and I'd like to know if they're compatible with each other, if planted in alternately along the fence line. Many thanks!!
Muffette

Muffette
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RE: Need help selecting an evergreen vine for SW Louisiana!!

Marlin: Thank you so much for the info on compatibility, and your kind words about my potential as a viable gardener!! My mother and elder brother were Master Gardeners, but neither of them could grow African Violets - which was my only "claim to fame"!! So, we set up a system that when their AVs began looking weak and puny, I would give them my healthy, blooming plants - in exchange for their's that were just about keel over and give up the ghost - and three months later, we'd do the same thing all over again!!

Such wonderful memories!!
Muffette

Muffette
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RE: Need help selecting an evergreen vine for SW Louisiana!!

Again, many thanks for everyone's responses and help with my question, and we've decided to go with both Cross vine and Trumpet Honeysuckle along the fence. My additional research has indicated that in our area, these can be planted as late as Thanksgiving, or as early as Valentine Day, and I'd like to know if this info is correct. Although, we're thinking about waiting until March because this is our first year in Louisiana, and our neighbors have said the overnight temps can dip below freezing from late December into mid-February. All info and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!
Muffette

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rainbowgardener
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The idea of fall planting is that it gives the plant a chance to get established so that come spring it's ready to take off a lot quicker. The trick with fall planting is that you need to be sure it has time to establish roots before freezes come and it goes dormant. Otherwise if it goes dormant without having established roots in its new location, it just dies. But if you have a month before frost yet (lucky you!), you should be able to plant now. But if so, the sooner the better!

Muffette
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RE: Planting Information

Many thanks for the information about planting, Rainbow. Our daytime temps are still in the mid-70s, with overnight lows between 45 and 55, so I think we will go ahead and plant the vines before the end of November.

Before our recent move to Louisiana, we lived in Tacoma, Washington, and the weather here has been a big change!! However, after last year's winter in Tacoma - which was long and very cold with atypical snowfalls that lasted into March - we were definitely ready to move to a warmer climate, and I've truly enjoyed my initial gardening efforts at our new home. Most of the plants had been neglected for some years, so I began with substantial pruning, and the new growth over this summer has been absolutely amazing. We have a Hibiscus in the front yard that's grown 3', without any fertilizer - and is still blooming - so, I really need to do more research on how to care for this lovely plant, before it reaches the point of becoming a full-fledged tree!!
Muffette

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