Vines serve a number of purposes in the landscape. When grown on trellises or arbors, they create shade in the summer and increase your yard's privacy. When grown up a wall or fence, vines add colour and texture and hide unattractive surfaces. Some even attract birds and provide shelter. If you garden in a windy area, choose wind-resistant vines that can tolerate a breezy climate.
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Two vine members of the Trachelospermum genus tolerate wind. The confederate or star jasmine (T. jasminoides) grows from 10 to 15 feet long and has dark evergreen foliage. It produces aromatic white blossoms in the spring and climbs by twining and growing holdfast roots. Star jasmine is hardy in USDA Zone 8 to Zone 10 and prefers sun to partial shade. The yellow star jasmine (T. asiaticum) grows to 12 feet long. It blooms with fragrant yellow flowers in the spring and is hardy in Zone 7 to Zone 8. This slow-growing, wind-resistant vine prefers partial shade. Yellow star jasmine climbs by twining.
Vines for Poor Soils
Some vines require fertile, amended soil to thrive, but others tolerate or even prefer poor soil. The cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) tolerates wind, drought, heat and salt. It has deciduous foliage and blooms with bright orange-red flowers from summer through autumn. Cape honeysuckles are hardy in Zone 8 to Zone 9 and grow to 20 feet tall. They prefer sun to light shade and sandy, poor soil. The trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is hardy in Zone 4 to Zone 9 and grows from 20 to 40 feet long. It tolerates wind and poor soil, and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Trumpet vines produce orange-red flowers from midsummer through late fall and have deciduous foliage.
Vines for Well-Drained Soil
Some vines grow best in sites with excellent drainage. The Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) grows from 10 to 20 feet long. This twining evergreen is hardy in Zone 7 to Zone 9 and prefers sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It tolerates wind and drought and produces aromatic yellow flowers in the spring. The railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-capre subsp. Brasiliensis) grows naturally in windy, oceanfront sites. This creeping vine produces pink to red funnel-shaped flowers atop upright stalks year-round. A perennial, the railroad vine is native to the West Indies and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It thrives in warm climates.
Some wind-tolerant vines are attractive but grow too aggressively to be used as ornamentals. The Madagascar rubber vine (Cryptostegia madagascariensis) tolerates wind and drought. This attractive vine was grown as an ornamental plant and was especially useful in xeriscape landscapes, but is today considered an invasive species in Hawaii. Madagascar rubber vines have tough, glossy evergreen foliage and bloom with lilac-pink flowers. The golden pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum) tolerates wind and grows naturally along roadsides, in tropical forests and in disturbed areas. Normally grown as an indoor houseplant, this climbing vine is considered an invasive species in Hawaii and some other South Pacific regions. An evergreen, the golden pothos vine has variegated yellow and green foliage and climbs using aerial rootlets.
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- University of Hawaii at Manoa; Salt and Wind Tolerance of Landscape Plants for Hawai'I; Norman Bezona, et al.; January 2009
- NC State University; Salt- and Heat-Tolerant Plants for the Southeast Coast; Shirley Waggoner-Eisenman; April 2005
- NC State University; Perennial Vines for North Carolina; Erv Evans
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Ipomoea Pes-caprae
- Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk; Epipremnum Pinnatum cv. Aureum; March 2010
- University of Hawaii at Manoa; Tropical Vines for Hawai'i Landscapes; Melvin Wong; May 2007