Gardening Q & A: Growing Vines On A Concrete Wall

Posted by: on July 30th, 2012 | 5 Comments
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Ivy on a concrete wall

The roots of climbing plants sometimes cause cracks in your wall to expand. To avoid the problem, train the plants on a trellis or wire.

 

Q. Can you recommend a hardy plant to grow up a concrete wall? (I have) full sun for about 5 hours each day. Would love something flowering.

Submitted by kknharris on The Home Depot’s Community Forums

A. Thanks for writing, kknharris. Our fabulous Home Depot Community associate GardenGail answered your question in our Garden Club Forum, but because it’s such a good question, and a lot of gardeners want to grow climbers on concrete walls or bricks, we decided to re-visit it here. We’re also going to expand on it and mention a few annual vines that offer beautiful flowers.

As GardenGail mentioned, bougainvillea, potato vine, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, and jasmine are all good choices that will grow quickly on a wall, and give you great coverage, color, and flowers. Boston ivy puts on a spectacular show in autumn when the foliage turns brilliant red.

If you had shade, we’d also suggest climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris). Although these perennial vines grow somewhat slowly, they produce big, beautiful clusters of white flowers that can be spectacular on a brick wall.

Clematis is another sun-loving perennial vine with flowers in rich purple, pink, white, and other colors. It can look a bit scraggly in winter, though, so keep that in mind if you’re going to be looking at it when it’s not actively growing.

To invite wildlife to your garden, try cross vine (Bignonia capreolata). Its orange, red, and gold trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds in spring and summer. It’s a vigorous grower that takes sun to part sun and grows in almost any kind of soil.

There are also many good annual vines you can grow from seeds, like morning glories, moonflowers, and climbing nasturtiums.

Some climbing plants may need additional support, like a trellis or wire attached to the wall. That will give them something to cling to and keep their roots from getting into any cracks in the concrete. Over time, the roots can make the cracks expand, so keep an eye out for potential problems when training a vine up a wall.

Any of these climbing plants can make your wall more attractive and add privacy to your landscape. Good luck!

What kind of plants do you grow on your wall? Leave a comment and let us know what works for you!

We get a lot of great gardening and lawn care questions on our online Garden Club Forum. Go see for yourself, and while you’re at it, post a question or two. Your question might be featured right here on the Apron in Gardening Q&A.

And sign up for the Home Depot Garden Club. You’ll get coupons, sneak peeks at local ads, and access to our terrific projects, how-tos, and garden checklists.

Photo (cc) Randy Roberston

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  1. Christy says:

    Hi,
    I love this idea and look, but we current have ivy on the side of our stucco house and it is doing a lot of damage to the stucco. Will the climbing plants mentioned here damage the stucco?
    Thanks!

    • Lynn Coulter says:

      Christy, a lot of climbing plants can damage stucco and other surfaces. Ivy, for example, has small rootlets that can get into small cracks and expand them as they grow. I would put a trellis and/or grid of lightweight wire in front of the stucco and train the plants to grow on that. You’d still get some coverage but that would keep the plants off the surface itself. Good luck! Lynn, Home Depot Garden Club

  2. As you suggested, Bougainvillea would be beautiful on my brick wall. However, will it die through the winter, or come back in the spring?

    • Lynn Coulter says:

      Hi, Bobbie. Bougainvillea is hardy to zones 9 and up, so it depends on where you live. It’s a beautiful tropical, if you are in a climate that doesn’t get too cold for it. Good luck with your wall. Lynn, Home Depot Garden Club.

  3. Calogero says:

    Well, I have bougainvillea, jasmine, vines and nasturtiums here!