Very Very New to Gardening

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by desha, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. desha

    desha Member

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    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hi All :) I'm really new to gardening as I just moved into my first house in Jacksonville, FL. I have a few palms that I'm trying to identify and I posted on that particular forum. However ... I have a question regarding my chain link fence. I have this large chain link fence around my house and I really don't like it much and I can't afford to put a new fence up, but I was thinking of getting some type of climbing vine or something along that line to plant around the fence and that way it will grow up the fence. Is that possible? And if so, what plant would work best? Only 1/2 of my yard is in the shade, the rest is in full sun if that helps.

    Thank you!!
     
  2. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    It is not only possible but very common. A word of warning: if you ever change your mind it would be easier to pull chewing gum out of hair than vines out of a chain link fence. Also, if you have heavy vines and a strong wind, it is very possible for your fence to get pushed over onto the ground.

    You might consider some "clematis"; they are popular. The weather here in Vancouver is very different then where you are. I suggest that you head to a local nursery and ask them for suggestions for plants that will a) grow well in that location, b) will do well with the amount of labour you want to put in, and c) be in your price range.

    There are also many annual vines. Sweet-peas would work great, they grow fast, look and smell nice, but you will have to replant them each year.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Michael
     
  3. desha

    desha Member

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    Thanks Michael!

    I absolutely love sweet peas and I didn't realize those were climbers. I don't think I've heard of clematis, but I'll have to check out our local nursery to see if they have something to help me out. Thanks for the redirection, it is going to be an exciting year w/ our new house.
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't have any experience selecting plants for your Florida climate either. But you probably have more options than we do here in Vancouver. You could take a walk (or a slow drive) around different neighbourhoods to see what works. Or visit any of your local public gardens. A visit to the local nursery, and a chat with a knowledgeable staff member is another good way of getting some ideas.

    One thing about growing climbers on a fence - you want something that will cover the whole of the fence, from top to bottom. Unfortunately most climbers tend to favour the top parts of the fence - not only is the sun exposure is best at the top, but plants just have this irrestible urge to grow upwards, in the opposite direction of the forces of gravity. Your options would be to grow something that you can easily train, or to grow lots of specimens all along the length of the fence.

    One thing about annuals, of which most sweet peas are, - you should be prepared to clean and tidy up once the plant is done. However, in your climate, the growing season is likely much longer.
     
  5. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Here are a few I'd look into for your chain link fencing.

    Beaumontia grandiflora
    Mandevilla splendens
    Distictis buccinatoria
    Passiflora (many to choose from)
    Trachelospermum jasminoides
    Mandevilla
    Lonicera (many to choose from)
    Bougainvillea
    Plumbago
    Jasminum polyanthum

    .....and many more. Check your local (respected) garden center.
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'll add that the key word in LPN's suggestion is "respected" - some of those genera may have invasive representatives in Florida, and are not suitable (e.g., Lonicera japonica).
     
  7. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Something that could be very cool would be to escalpier a boxwood or several boxwoods along the fence. Boxwood is nice because if you buy one plant, you can propagate all you want from cuttings. You could train it in a fence-like plane, trimming much of the plant away. This is often done with fruit trees. It would take time and patience, but you would get something very specially yours. Boxwood is evergreen and durable. It might make a nice backdrop for other plants.
     
  8. desha

    desha Member

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    Thanks for the posts. I'm going to print this topic out and take it w/ me to the local nursery this weekend.

    Thanks again :)
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Goog luck with your plant hunting. Hopefully your garden center will have some of these or others, then you can see first hand what each look like and their requirements.

    Cheers, LPN
     
  10. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    just please don't let anyone talk you into planting honeysuckle. it is a highly invasive non-native vine. it will cover your fence very quickly, but will unfortunately grow in areas where you don't want it to. i like the clematis suggestion.
     
  11. edenpark

    edenpark Member

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    Location:
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    I live in Cincinnati, OH, but spend about four or five months a year in Sarasota, FL. Last year while in Cincinnati I bought a Moonflower vine at a flea market. It was about two inches tall, and I put it in a large pot and trained it on strings I tacked to a wooden fence. It grew very well considering it only received a couple of hours of sun a day. Each night there were one or two blooms. They were beautiful, delicately scented, and four or five inches in diameter. I was able to gather quite a few seeds, and here now in Florida, two weeks ago I planted six seeds in a seed starter peat pot and three of them came up and are growing quickly. I hope to take them back to Ohio an put them on the fence again. These Moonflowers are annual vines, but it would be fun to "see" them glowing on the fence in the dark. I soaked the seeds just as you would morning glory seeds, nicking each one slightly before soaking.

    A neighbor of mine in Ohio, who receives morning sun, planted the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. They are also spectacular and look beautiful on a fence. Also and annual vine.
     
  12. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Dixie,

    I love when people don't plant invasive plants and tell others not to. I just answered a similar question about Halls honeysuckle aka Japanese honeysuckle, aka Lonicera japonica 'Halls' on another thread and explained how invasive it is. I would like to explain that all honeysuckles aren't the same invasive pest as the Japanese honeysuckle. There are some wonderful natives. Lonicera sempervirens is native, not invasive and very beneficial, offering nectar to hummingbirds and berries to other birds.

    I grow the American native Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman' and it blooms on and off from mid April to hard frost in my zone 7 garden. It's not fragrant, but it's beautiful.
    http://www.gardenvines.com/catalog/lonicera-blanche-sandman-p-112.html

    I also grow the American native Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton', but the hummers don't seem as attracted to the yellow color.
    http://www.gardenvines.com/catalog/....html?osCsid=0d261de6a5200e2a91b0ae7917319da1

    Here's some other native honeysuckles.
    http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/l/lonsem/lonsem1.html

    Lonicera sempervirens 'Alabama Crimson'
    http://www.gardenvines.com/catalog/....html?osCsid=0d261de6a5200e2a91b0ae7917319da1

    Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler'
    http://www.gardenvines.com/catalog/....html?osCsid=0d261de6a5200e2a91b0ae7917319da1

    Lonicera sempervirens 'Magnifica'
    http://www.gardenvines.com/catalog/....html?osCsid=0d261de6a5200e2a91b0ae7917319da1

    Lonicera heckrottii 'Gold Flame' aka Goldflame honeysuckle is a cross between a native Lonicera sempervirens and a non-native with the misleading name of Lonicera americana. It's not a purebred native but it's not invasive and is fragrant. The fragrance can be variable on this one so purchase in bloom if fragrance is important to you.
    http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/l/lonhec/lonhec1.html

    Newt
     
  13. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Desha,

    Congratulations on your new home! I was wondering if you made a choice on which vine to plant. I do hope that if you chose any clematis that you chose from the group that don't need hard pruning every year.

    Newt
     
  14. widnxl

    widnxl Member

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    Location:
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    Newt - I live in Washington DC - very close to you and am looking for a vine to grow on a trellis that is on the side of my front porch - I usually plant morning glories but am tired of waiting until September for them to bloom and want something that blooms throughout the summer, plus it would be great to have a perennial vine. I love your ideas for native honeysuckle and the ideas below are fantastic and informative. A couple of additional questions. I am not planting in the ground but in two 3 foot by 18 inches deep planters - that are self-watering. Will the Honeysuckle thrive not in the ground? Also, since the vine would be by the front door, I am concerned of attracting bee's -- what are your experiences here? I also welcome any other thoughts you might have.

    Regards, Nicole


     
  15. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Nicole,

    Yes, you aren't far from me at all. I think your honeysuckle will be ok for a few years as your container is fairly generous. Do understand that most vines, including honeysuckle, will have large root systems to support the top growth. You may find that after 6 or 7 years you may need to either find a larger container or top and root prune to keep it in the container. The lack of growth and flowering will be your indication. I don't recommend any synthetic fertilizer. Instead add about 40% compost to your potting soil mix.

    I'm not sure that the self watering system is a good idea. I once tried those with tomatoes and found they stayed too wet when we get our downpours.

    I haven't found any problem with bees. I do get lots of hummers and the birds eat the berries in the winter.

    Newt
     
  16. itlajfk

    itlajfk Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Desha,

    I'm really new to this forum (at least as far as 'posting' goes), but I have had the experience of living in Houston, TX for the past 14 years and can comment on the things that worked for us.

    a) Bougainvillea grows really fast and has gorgeous flowers, BUT it has wicked thorns (at least the genus we had did). If you ever have to prune it (which you will), you will be cursing it. Perhaps there are types that don't get as thorny, in which case you might consider them, as the flowers are truly beautiful, and the plant is pretty low maintenance aside from pruning. The only other thing is, it is not a natural climber (you have to attach/tie it to your support). There's where those nasty thorns come into play again...

    b) Honeysuckle - Actually, we didn't find it very invasive in Houston (maybe too hot), but I live in Nova Scotia, Canada now, and it is brutal. Maybe try a piece of it somewhere under 'contained' conditions and see what happens...

    c) Jasmine - would be my pick. Grows quickly, smells beautiful (the white flowered plant was the one we had). Gorgeous foliage, easy to maintain and climbs on its own.

    d) Wisteria - grows really fast, but grows so fiercely down there it will probably pull your chain link down. Probably not a good idea unless you are prepared to build a supplemental support for it, but it will find its own way up any support system you give it.

    Have you considered something other than vines? For example, Hibiscus -Ours grew to about 8 ft. tall and probably would have kept going if we hadn't had the occasional bad freeze that forced us to cut the tops off. Oleander? I know a lot of people find them invasive, but if you keep them cut back and don't let them turn into trees, they have beautiful scented flowers... Again, neither of these required much maintenance other than pruning, which you would have to deal with with any vine... Or what about Bottle Brush?

    I'm sorry I don't know all the Latin names for these plants, but if you're interested I can send you pics from my garden in Houston and perhaps you will be able to identify them from those.

    Best of luck!
     

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