Where there is limited space on the ground for plants or an unsightly view that needs screening, vines are the solution.
Mascagnia or butterfly vine has yellow flowers that are followed by light-green seed pods that resemble butterflies. The evergreen vine is moderately aggressive. While it will cover a 10-foot-by-10-foot section of fence, it will not take over the neighborhood.
Some gardeners say deer do not eat the drought-tolerant vine. Hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy the nectar when it blooms from early summer until late fall.
Cross vine is another evergreen vine that’s moderately aggressive. Its rust-red tubular flowers cover the vine in March, and a few appear through the rest of the year. Cross vine in March is where you are likely to see the first hummingbirds of the year. It is a good xeriscape plant, but deer will eat it.
For a superior orange flower, try the ‘Tangerine Beauty’ selection.
Passion vine does not cover as well as butterfly and cross vine, but it is an interesting drought-tolerant plant. The 3-inch flowers are followed by seed pods that resemble bird cages.
The regular bloom is purple, but there are white and red selections as well. Passion vine is a favorite site for butterflies to lay eggs. Many years, gulf fritillary caterpillars will strip most of the foliage. They continue to bloom even without much foliage.
Carolina jasmine is described as a towering vine, but to me it is more of a leaner. The foliage is evergreen, so it’s good for blocking unattractive views.
In late winter and spring, it is covered with small fragrant yellow blooms. Butterflies will use the blooms for nectar. Of all the vines in this article, Carolina jasmine has the most shade tolerance. Carolina jasmine is capable of covering an 8-foot-by-8-foot fence.
Climbing roses are aggressive vines that can block views or cover buildings. With their stiff stems and sharp thorns, climbing roses can be savage to manage. The good news is that if you want an impenetrable vine, climbing roses can do the job.
Most climbing roses bloom heavily in the spring and then provide a few blooms through the rest of the year. The climbing roses generally do not require spraying. They do, however, benefit by pruning and irrigation.
Queen’s crown or coral vine is impressive in full bloom. The small pink blooms that cover the vine attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.
Aggressive, it will cover the ground and can grow to the tops of small trees in one season.
It’s cold-sensitive, declining quickly when temperatures drop below 40 degrees, so that saves neighborhoods from being overrun. The roots are hardy, however, and will sprout again in May.