benali
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Which vines will best cover a fence?

I have a metal chain link fence at the back of my property. It's gets a fair amount of shade due to surrounding property-line trees. I want to cover the fence with vines to make it look better.

Which vines do you think will work best?

I have three different kinds I'm trying to transplant back there from elsewhere on my property --

-- Boston Ivy
-- Virginia Creeper
-- Deadly Nightshade

I think Boston Ivy will look best, but I'm not so sure it will grow well with so much shade. The Deadly Nightshade will grow in shade but doesn't cover as well as any ivy (and it looks rather unattractive, like a weed). If Virginia Creeper grows back there it will look pretty nice.

I'm in the great lakes region / midwest zone 5b.

Thanks for any opinions or advice. Cheers!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Depends on what you are looking for. The Virginia creeper is a shade plant, so it will do fine back there. But it is not evergreen. It covers very well and much of the year it will be beautiful. Gets very nice fall color:

Image
https://opus3number3.files.wordpress.com ... g_0154.JPG

but in winter you will have this:

Image
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fXGMZTHjGOs/T ... 600-8s.jpg
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benali
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Thank you, RBG. I always appreciate your sharing your knowledge. You have a good point about growth-season versus winter coverage. I figure as long as this vine covers the fence during growing season that will be great. Love that picture... woo! Wouldn't that look nice covering up that old rusted fence! Thanks.

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applestar
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

One caveat with intentionally growing Virginia Creeper -- you have to be vigilant about manually removing any poison ivy that starts to grow in the vicinity so they won't get established.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Ditto both RBG and Applestar. Keep in mind that all vines are very "misbehaved" plants. Once established there is no controlling them. You mentioned that your fence is old and rusty. Is it sturdy enough to support a vigorously growing vine?

I love Confederate/ Star Jasmine. Evergreen in the south with fragrant blooms. I use that on the trellis on the side of the patio. I do have to prune it often and vigorously 2 or 3 times a year to keep it from encroaching on the house roof, patio cover and eave vents. Virginia creeper is nice. I also like passion flower vines. The blooms are beautiful and attractive to both hummingbirds and butterflies. The fruit can be used to make jelly. I like it most because of the symbolism.

Coral vine is also very pretty in season.

Good luck
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benali
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Thanks everyone for the tips. Great advice!

I've transplanted all three back to the fence (Boston Ivy, Virginia Creeper, and Deadly Nightshade). We'll see which grows best back there. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll be able to post a picture of progress by fall. Cheers.

benali
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Well, after reading about how poisonous it is, I removed all the deadly nightshade. Probably not a good idea to spread that around. The creeper is doing very well two months in, and the boston ivy is still really just starting. Looks like Virginia Creeper will win the race. Cheers.

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applestar
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Oh GOOD! I meant to question that choice but lost this thread among the others.

I have naturally occurring -- read that bird sown -- Virginia Creeper in the back yard, but I couldn't help buying a variegated VC cultivar. I'm nursing that one along in the front porch-side bed because I want it to replace the varietgated Vinca Minor I have planted there.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

If you have plenty of room and a sturdy fence, trumpet creeper is another nice native vine (campsis radicans). It doesn't have the beautiful fall foliage, but it has much showier red or orange flowers that hummingbirds love. (It will take it about three years to start blooming when you first plant it.) After the flowers are done it makes long seed pods that are very hard and tightly closed. They are impossible to open until after they have been through a few frosts. Then they eventually open up to reveal hundreds of paper thin seeds that finches and other seed eaters like. Those seeds feed the finches all through the winter, when there is little other food for them. Once it is well established (the first couple years it will look like it is growing very slowly, while it is getting roots established), it is another one you need to watch out for spreading in to your yard.
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benali
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Thanks, RBG. I googled for trumpet creeper pictures and recognized it as something people often plant around here (in the midwest) on trellises near their houses, garages or barns. Always wondered what that was! Ha, now I know. Thanks.

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DDMcKenna
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Depending on where you live there are a lot of options. I don't think it is native but we grew Jasmine on our fence and allowed it to climb over the top of the gate to the back yard. This Jasmine grew like crazy and requires a lot of training or tying it back because it will grow out of control quickly.

Last year I finally got tired of how much it was trying to take over and decided to get rid of it. I cut it all out, cutting it back to very short empty stalks that were a little too big for my shears to cut through but I left it with no foliage at all on it. It came back! It is already blooming again. It has pretty flowers and draws a lot of bees. I like the smell of it but you have to keep after it unless you want it to grow like crazy.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Which vines will best cover a fence?

Oh yes, my partner calls the trumpet creeper the little shop of horrors plant. I made the very bad mistake of planting ONE right next to our house to grow up the drainpipe. After it started filling up all the gutters, including the second story ones and attacking our roof, I started cutting it down. Now I do that twice a year and in the meantime it is popping up all over the yard....
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