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Vines used on backyard fence as screening (NY area)

Vines used on backyard fence as screening (NY area)

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  #1  
Old 06-25-08, 12:51 AM
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Vines used on backyard fence as screening (NY area)

Hello all. I was wondering if I could get some suggestions on what type of vines I can use for a chain-linked fence in my backyard.

I live in Long Island, New York. I have a chain-linked fence in the back and the reason I want to put vines on the fence is in hopes of providing privacy and to screen the unsightly views that are on the other side. This part of our yard gets a good mix of sun and shade.

I prefer to use a clinging vine as it won't need any type of support (besides the fence) to help it grow. Basically, I want these vines to have adhesive rootlets to be able to grow across the fence. The fence itself is about 50 feet long and 6 feet high.

The vines themselves don't need to produce any type of flowers. Even vines that will produce just green leaves would suffice. However, I don't want vines that will have any sharp thorns. Preferably a type of vine that will be low maintenance and stay green for most of the year.

So, in summary, these are the types of vines I am looking for:

- to be able to grow in the Northeast
- will be used just for screening along a chain linked fence
- low maintenance (I don't mind to do a little pruning)
- won't need much watering (at least not once they're established)
- fast growing (preferably ones that can be planted now?)
- clings to fence and spreads horizontally

Also, can I purchase these vines at a local nursery or do I need to go somewhere else?

Hopefully there's a vine out there that will fit my needs!!

Thanks in advance and I hope I didn't leave any info out.

ed
 
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  #2  
Old 06-25-08, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Ed,

I hate to discourage you, but when it comes to perennial vines. there aren't really any that grow fast initially after they are planted. Perennial vines take their time establishing their roots so they can support all that upper growth. It can take 2 or 3 years or more before you see appreciable growth.

A clinging vine that holds on by twining could also be suitable since it's a chain link fence.

My thought would be to plant whatever you choose for your perennial vines and also plant some annual vines since the annuals will grow quickly as they only have the one season. You may have to plant the annuals for 2 or 3 years.

Long Island, NY has hardiness zones 6 and 7 and with some perennial vines it might be helpful to know your zone. If you don't know yours you can use this zip code zone finder.
http://www.gardenweb.com/zones/zip.cgi

I'm not sure what you mean by a mix of sun and shade, but I'm guessing that different parts of the fence get different amounts of sunlight.
Full sun is 6 hours or more
Part sun is 4 to 6 hours of sun
Part shade is 2 to 4 hours of sun
Shade is 2 hours or less.

Akebia quinata aka five leaf akebia aka chocolate vine is semi-evergreen. If you are in zone 6 don't expect it to be evergreen unless you have a very warm winter.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c...a_quinata.html
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=A149

Gelsemium sempervirens aka Carolina jasmine is not a true jasmine but is evergreen and hardy to zone 7 and might be your best bet if in zone 7.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c...pervirens.html
http://www.floridata.com/ref/G/gelsem.cfm
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=C519

Bignonia capreolata aka Doxantha capreolata aka Cross vine aka Trumpet flower (not to be confused with Campsis radicans aka trumpet vine) is evergreen to semi-evergreen depending on your zone.
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=W830
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c...apreolata.html
http://www.floridata.com/ref/B/bignon_c.cfm

Lonicera sempervirens aka honeysuckle is native and semi-evergreen in my zone 7 garden. My favorite one is Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman' as it has nectar for the hummingbirds, berries for the birds and blooms from the end of May to hard frost in my garden. There are other named varieteis of this native vine such as L. sempervirens 'Alabama Crimson'. Be sure it is Lonicera sempervirens and not Lonicera japonica which is terribly invasive in the environment.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c...pervirens.html
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=B934
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=B913
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=D990

Another repeat blooming honeysuckle that isn't invasive is Lonicera heckrottii 'Gold Flame'. It's fragrant but variable, so if you desire fragrance, purchase it in bloom and sniff.
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=B839

You may get recommendations for evergreen ivy, but that can be slow to establish and become a pest over time. I don't recommend them.


One of the fastest growing annual vines that comes to mind would be Aristolochia elegans aka Dutchman's pipe and should not be confused with Aristolochia durior aka Aristolochia maurophylla or Aristolochia tomentosa, which are deciduous perennial vines.
http://www.floridata.com/ref/A/aris_ele.cfm

You may get recommendations for morning glory as an annual. I don't recommend them as once you plant them you can almost never get rid of them and they become a pest.

There are other annual vines that come to mind but before I list those I'd like to know what you are thinking at this point.

Another idea would be to plant evergreen shrubs. They would give you privacy much more quickly. If that sounds like a possibility, let me know the different sun conditions and how much depth you have.

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 06-27-08, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Thanks for the very informative response Newt! I greatly appreciate it...

The fence gets part sun and my zip code puts me in zone 7.

Based on the many different types of vines you gave, my choices right now would be in the following order:

1 - Aristolochia elegans - the usage seems perfect for my situation, the luxuriously dense foliage makes a great screen, and the flowers they produce are very unique, and it seems like they grow pretty fast

2 - Akebia quinata - very green and dense foliage, grows rapidly, seems to stay green through the winter as well

3 - Gelsemium sempervirens - the yellow flowers would compliment the siding on our house, and it's low maintenance

I thought about planting shrubs in front of the fence, but then when I figured out how many shrubs I would have to plant (considering the fence is 50-60 feet wide), it exceeded my budget.

Do you think the local nursery would carry these vines?

Stupid question...but I'm curious if these vines need to be planted into the ground/soil first or are there vines that will just cling onto the fence and grow from there? I'm assuming that they'll initially need to be planted in soil first , and once established, they'll just cling and twine onto the fence...

Thanks again,
ed
 
  #4  
Old 06-27-08, 05:45 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Most of the time it is difficult to find what you want at local nurseries. There are many online nurseries that offer a variety of plants. Just Google your plant of preference.

Aristolochia elegans is an evergreen vine native to South America. Zone 7 and Zone 8 are a little too cold. http://www.floridata.com/ref/A/aris_ele.cfm

Akebia quinata sounds great until you get to the part that it is a rampant grower, which means labor intensive to keep in check and invasive. This plant, too, is semi-evergreen in Zones 4-6 and if subjected to prolonged extremes of cold.
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/a/akequi/akequi1.html

Gelsemium sempervirens is a Carolina jasmine and deciduous in colder climates. Although tolerant of cold, a deep freeze can take a toll. The jasmine, too, is a rampant grower, but can be kept in check with pruning. The problem with planting rampant growers is that they tend to be invasive. And, we do have forum posts about neighbors on the other side of the fence being invaded by vines on fences. http://www.floridata.com/ref/G/gelsem.cfm

Privet hedge is an inexpensive shrub that is evergreen. It is fast growing and can be invasive if not kept in check. It is listed on the noxious weed list in many areas. It's only noxious and invasive in the landscapes of gardners who do not keep up with proper pruning. You must keep the hedge pruners handy, but it makes for a great privacy hedge and can grow to desired height and kept in check. Just plan far enough distance from the fence to allow for access to prune the back of the hedge when pruning. Privet is likely available at local nurseries. You may find better deals online. This is a most resilient plant and can be drastically pruned to the ground, and it will come back.

On properties where I have lived where privet served as a hedge, I was an OCD hedge pruner, but it made for a great privacy hedge and barrier to separate formal from informal areas of the landscape. I never let it get above just below armpit height so that I could easily run the hedge clippers without having to climb on a ladder. It was important to keep the hedge at a manageable height. When pruning evergreen hedges, it is important to maintain a pyramidal shape so that light can enter the interior of the hedge. Holes about the size of a full-spread hand in top and along sides at random spacing will allow for air circulation and sunlight to enter the center of the hedge.
 
  #5  
Old 06-29-08, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Ed, you are so very welcome!

...my choices right now would be in the following order:

1 - Aristolochia elegans - the usage seems perfect for my situation, the luxuriously dense foliage makes a great screen, and the flowers they produce are very unique, and it seems like they grow pretty fast
Please keep in mind that this is an annual vine where you live and you will have to replant each spring. Once a hard frost occurs, the vine will die. I suggested planting Aristolochia elegans as a fast growing annual while the perennial vines get established. That way you would only have to plant it for 2 or 3 years. After that you should have some cover from the perennial vines. There are hardier perennial Aristolochia, but none are evergreen. I would suggest you do a google search with the term:
Aristolochia elegans + hardy
and you'll find some interesting and helpful info and conversations.

2 - Akebia quinata - very green and dense foliage, grows rapidly, seems to stay green through the winter as well
I had no idea that Akebia is invasive. Now that Twelvepole has pointed that out, I would NOT recommend it.
http://www.invasivespecies.net/datab...=188&fr=1&sts=

3 - Gelsemium sempervirens - the yellow flowers would compliment the siding on our house, and it's low maintenance
Do keep in mind, as Twelvepole pointed out, that it might not stay evergreen every winter, or it could lose it's leaves after a hard freeze, but will green up in spring. A persistent hard freeze will kill it.

With all things considered, I'm thinking that one of the NATIVE honeysuckles would be your best choice. Just be sure NOT to purchase Lonicera japonica aka Hall's honeysuckle aka Japanese honeysuckle as it's terribly invasive. Get one that is labeled Lonicera sempervirens or Lonicera heckrottii. In my zone 7 garden it stays evergreen until late December or early January. It greens up again in March.

Do you think the local nursery would carry these vines?
You should be able to find the honeysuckles at a local garden center or nursery. Make sure to tell them you do NOT want the invasive Japanese honeysuckle.

I thought about planting shrubs in front of the fence, but then when I figured out how many shrubs I would have to plant (considering the fence is 50-60 feet wide), it exceeded my budget.
Maybe another idea would be to plant just a few shrubs every fall. Many garden centers will put their plants on sale then and fall is a great time to plant. Then you could grow annual vines from seed each year until the shrubs get large enough. Consider that a shrub in a one gallon container will be the same size in three years as a shrub in a 3 gallon container. It will also be much less expensive. You could scratch in some compost to a strip along the fence and plant the vine seeds in either fall or spring. When you plant would depend on which vine(s) you choose. The vine seeds would be planted between the fence and the newly planted shrubs. You'll need to plant the shrubs a bit away from the fence anyway so they can reach their mature width without growing into the fence. That way you could choose a mix of shrubs You would plant them in groups of 3 or 5 for better visual interest. The diversity of maybe 3 different types of evergreens will give better visual interest and, depending on what you choose, more diverse wildlife value. If you plant all one shrub you it will look like soldiers lined up. Another advantage of planting a mix of shrubs would be if one were to die. Replanting a new or different one won't be so obvious or jarring to the eye.

With no disrespect to Twelvepole, I would NOT recommend privet. It's terribly invasive and would be a chore to keep pruned to size once it gets going. I find it sprouting in my garden on a regualar basis as one of my neighbors has it growing and the birds spread the seeds.

Stupid question...but I'm curious if these vines need to be planted into the ground/soil first or are there vines that will just cling onto the fence and grow from there? I'm assuming that they'll initially need to be planted in soil first , and once established, they'll just cling and twine onto the fence...
No question is stupid, especially when it comes to gardening. It actually tells me that you are probably a novice gardener. I've found many novice gardeners don't realize that an annual plant is one that grows, flowers, produces seed and dies all in one year. A perennial is one that often takes a year or two to establish their roots, but when planted in the right place, will return each year. So to answer your question, you will have to plant the perennial vines in the ground. They will most likely come in pots. The annual vines for temporary cover will most likely have to be planted from seed. This site shows how to plant from pots aka containers.
http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/lands...structions.htm

This first site shows how to plant a Clematis vine. The procedure is basically the same for any vine you will get in a pot. You can click on the pics in the second link.
http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/plantf...lematis_15.asp
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_plants_v...201727,00.html

One more thing to keep in mind. Any vine you plant on a chain link fence will grow through the links and your neighbor will have it too. You may have to trim a vigorous vine on both sides of the fence if your neighbor isn't inclined to or doesn't want the vine to sprawl on their ground.

You can check references for mailorder nurseries or search for seeds or plants at this site. You may want to first search google with the particular plant you want and then check the references for the nursery here. You might search google with terms such as:
seeds + Aristolochia elegans
seeds + Aristolochia

Please don't hesitate to ask more questions.
Newt
 
  #6  
Old 07-04-08, 11:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Zone 7 B
Posts: 90
This was a big help

I had the same questions and ironically, I had just found jasmine vines on sale in a grocery store for $1!! I bought three of them but was afraid they would be too invasive on the chain link fence. I have other plants in front of the fence but still need a cover plant because I can't stand the sight of the fence (it was here when I moved).

So just to clarify, If I plant the jasmine on the fence, how much will I have to prune when it matures and covers the fence. Right now I have a vine that has very rapid growth at the top. I don't know what it is, but it sends branches out and I have to prune it at least every two weeks to keep it from bushing out so much and getting really tall. The pruning has become a pain and I don't want to have to do the same thing with the jasmine.

And would it get into my other plants in the bed in front of the chain link fence like wisteria - sending out those invasive tendrils that must be cut back constantly in the summer? Thanks so much for your help.
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-08, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Bibbus, I've not grown jasmine, but without knowing which jasmine you purchased I couldn't research it's growth habit. Was there a tag on yours with the full name?

Newt
 
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