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Moonshadow
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Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/554224297863851764/

I am looking to do something like this on the side of my house, but bougainvillea needs to be brought indoors during the winter here. I've seen something similar done with wisteria (which I believe is okay for my zone?), but I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas that would behave the same way. Vine-type plants are something I know next to nothing about.

(Also, this will be planted within several feet of our heat pump. Not right next to it, but close enough that it might affect it.)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Nothing quite has the brilliance of color of bougainvillea, but if wisteria would do for you, then I guess it isn't the brilliant color you were looking for. So say a little more about what you are looking for - evergreen? flowering? fruiting? fragrant?

When you say the side of your house, are you meaning an arch like in the picture that happens to be on one side of the house or do you literally mean growing up your house walls? Many vines can be very damaging to house structure. I have a trumpet creeper that I planted growing up a drainpipe, that I now bitterly regret and may end up having to poison.

Many vines, like the wisteria you mentioned, over time get huge and very heavy and need a very solid support structure.

Image
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CgyTxVMYfZo/S ... 020703.JPG

notice the size of the vertical posts.

Do you have something like that or do you need a vine that won't get so heavy?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

I still don't know exactly what you mean by "behave the same way" (get large and colorful?), but since you didn't come back and answer questions, I'll just throw out some perennial vines:

variegated kiwi vine - it comes in male and female and only the male has the pink and white variegated foliage. You need both if you want fruiting, but if you don't care about that and just want it for the pretty foliage, you can just go with a male plant.

cross vine - related to trumpet creeper, but doesn't get as huge and rampant. Has showy flowers in a selection of hot colors, that hummingbirds like.

carolina jasmine - evergreen vine, fragrant yellow flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring. shade or part shade

jasmine - evergreen vine, incredibly fragrant white star shaped flowers that open in the evening, part sun

clematis - big showy flowers in a range of pinks, reds, purples. Vine is more delicate, doesn't get huge like trumpet creeper and wisteria.

trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) - you want to look for this American one, not the imported / invasive Japanese honeysuckle. Pretty little red flowers that hummingbirds like on a manageable sized vine. Gets covered in flowers in the spring, but then keeps putting out flowers though not as many, all through the season. Red berries in fall.

passion flower - showy flowers all through the season

climbing hydrangea - good vine if your area is kind of shady

virginia creeper - nice native vine that also does well in shade. Doesn't have showy flowers, but the foliage gets beautiful fall color

grape vine - grow your own grapes!

wisteria - as above.
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Moonshadow
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

There is no support structure there right now, but I could easily put up whatever would be necessary for the plant I end up choosing.

I'm looking for a flowering vine, and evergreen would be nice but isn't essential.

And when I said "behaves the same way", I guess what I meant was something that doesn't die back and regrow each year. Something that becomes almost tree-like as it gets older. Not really a requirement, though.

Thanks for the ideas! I'll look these over and see what would work best for what I'm trying to achieve.

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applestar
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

I'm imagining that there is a decorative balcony on that wall in the photo you posted that's completely obscured by the Bougainvillea clinging to it.

I really wouldn't recommend wisteria. Take a look at the photos I posted here. It would be a serious commitment to keep it pruned.

I think you need to think about what kind of structure and ultimate shape you want the vine to attain and maintain thereafter. As I noted, wisteria, especially the Chinese, is capable of eventually swallowing your house if neglected. Given the problematical blooming which was mentioned in another thread yesterday, massive annual pruning campaign may or may not compromise the blooms.

For example, Lonicera sempervirens is nice. I have one clinging to an iron trellis along one side of a single story wall and another along one side of a gate arch arbor. In my zone 6b garden some of it dies back every winter except on unusually warm winters we had last cople of years so it tries but fails to climb over the rain gutter of the overhanging roof, and I'm not sure if it's capable of the kind of coverage the Bougainvillea is showing, but may it can further south with milder winters. Cardinals and robins tend to nest among the vines in the one on the house wall, and robins and mockingbirds tend to nest in the gate arbor. Some of the leaves get eaten by Snowberry Clearwing moth caterpillars, but I don't mind because the moth is really cute. Mockingbirds, catbirds, cardinals, or robins eat the berries.

If its going up the side of the house you may or may not want edibles, but right now I'm looking at hardy kiwi. I just don't know where I could build a strong enough support system for it or if I can plant it using one of the existing supports.

Consider -- regardless you will need to build asupport structure that creates an airspace to separate the vines from the wall. Vines growing in direct contact with the wall whether suckering or clinging to support structure, will eventually cause structural damage due to moisture and condensation. Suckering kind like ivy will cause direct damage. Amount of airspace needed depends on climate, but humid mid Atlantic region I believe the recommendation is minimum 6 inches to 1 foot.

Also, vines up the side of the house will shade the wall in the summer to help cool down the house, but a winter hardy vine will lose leaves but the live vine stems will continue to shade the side of the house so that in the winter time, the sun will not help to warm the house as much. Also, permanent vines will prevent you from servicing the wall -- painting, siding, etc. If this is a concern, you may want a vine that dies back to the ground each winter like clematis or passiflora.

Note that vines like this need to be cleared after they go dormant, but sometimes winter birds will nest in the vines. The you have to decide to deprive them of their nests. I have -- umm.... Can't remember the name -- little white flowered native clematis that grows at the corner posts of my 5' pickets fence. Almost every year, bids use the tangled mass as winter shelter, so I wait until spring just before nesting season, then cut the dead and some still live vines down to the ground and remove the entire mass, then the vines grow again just enough to make a nice mound over the corner fence post.

A couple of years ago, a volunteer started growing up the downspout at the corner of the house, and by fall had climbed to the second floor level -- DH took down the vine either in the fall or next spring. Then the following year, for some reason the season's growth wasn't cleared up (I think I missed the nesting season and a pair of robins moved in) and the still living and new vines used the old vines for support and climbed all the way up nearly to the roof and almost ripped down the downspout during a hurricane. DH asked me to keep them from growing up the downspout ever again.
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Moonshadow
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Thanks for the wisteria info. I, like the original inquirer, had no idea it was that much of a problem child! Around here, I mostly see it in tree-like form, often in the middle of a field or randomly on the tree line.... Kinda weird where they show up.

The variegated kiwi certainly is pretty, but I'm not that interested in something fruit-bearing. I don't eat all that much fruit (and have actually never eaten a kiwi in my life), and around here just about all fruits require quite a bit of spray to keep from rotting before they're ripe. Not the work I'm interested in right this minute. (I could do just the male, of course, as mentioned.)

Part of me really wants something evergreen so that we aren't looking at a naked trellis all winter, but I'm leaning towards clematis at this point. Guess that means I need to lay out the cash for a trellis that's pretty on it's own.
Last edited by Moonshadow on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Heh, you got your post in while I was interrupted from editing my post to add ths link for the hardy kiwi info:
https://ediblelandscaping.com/careguide/Kiwi/
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

If it were me, I would go with the star jasmine. It is one of the sorrows of my life that I live somewhere where I can't grow it. I grew up in So.Cal. with star jasmine under my bedroom window and I just adore that fragrance. It is evergreen. The flowers aren't big and showy like clematis, but all the little white stars are pretty. It isn't massive like wisteria, but it does get big and provide good coverage (over time):

Image
https://www.kevinwoodlandscapes.com/imag ... asmine.png
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Moonshadow
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Just floating ideas here: If I planted jasmine and clematis together, would they get along okay? Say I planted the jasmine and let it get established for a bit, then added some clematis for a pretty summer display. Would one choke out the other? Too much competition?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

People have done it; they have about the same growing requirements.

I would plant the roots a couple feet apart to give them their own space. You can still train the vines up the same trellis.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/clematis-g ... 56459.html
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Moonshadow
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Sweet! I think that's my plan, then. Thank you both for your help. :D

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Remember to come back and show us a picture sometime. If it works out, it should be gorgeous! :)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

I found a picture for you of what it could look like:


Image
https://minervasgarden.com/wp-content/up ... ermark.jpg

Gorgeous!
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Moonshadow
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Re: Alternative to bougainvillea for zone 7a

Ooh, I love the colors they chose! I was going to go for pink, but that's lovely.

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