Proven Vines for Tucson

Proven Vines for Tucson

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As you walk to the vine area at Harlow Gardens, the first thing you notice is many choices.  Before you get overwhelmed, consider where the vine goes: shade or sun?  This will limit the choices you have to make.  Here are five vines each for shade and sun.

5 Best Vines for part-shade or full-shade

  1. Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) – Evergreen – Hardy to 20 degrees.
  2. Pink Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthemum) – Evergreen – Hardy to 20 degrees.
  3. English Ivy (Hedera helix) – Evergreen – Hardy to 10 degrees.
  4. Algerian Ivy (Hedera canariensis) – Evergreen – Hardy to 10 degrees.
  5. Creeping Fig Vine (Ficus pumila) – Evergreen – Hardy to 10-20 degrees.

5 Best Vines for Full Sun

  1. Cats Claw Vine/Yellow Trumpet Vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati) – Evergreen/semi-deciduous – Hardy to 10 degrees.
  2. Campsis tagliabuana and other cultivars – Deciduous – Hardy to 10 degrees.
  3. Bougainvillea species – Evergreen – Where protected, hardy to 30 degrees.
  4. Pyracantha species – Evergreen – Hardy to 10 degrees.
  5. Carolina Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – Evergreen – Hardy to 10 degrees.

The biggest problem limiting success is placement.  On hot walls, vines are best planted from fall to spring so they can acclimate to the hot summer sun.  Bougainvillea vines are the most cold sensitive.

Harlow Gardens
5620 E. Pima Street
Tucson, AZ 85712

  • I’ve had a wall covering suggestion of creeping fig from my irrigation company. What I’m looking for is a vine that not only grows on one side of the wall, but down the other side, also. The street side of my wall, with my neighbor’s need to sterilize her property and keep a barbed wire fence, does not lend itself to any visual softening. Because the property lines are so close to one another, it makes it impossible to plant on the street side – which is the reason for considering something I can plant on the inside wall to flow over and cover the outside (street side) wall. Do you think the creeping fig is a good choice, or would you suggest another idea?
    Thank you,

  • Cathy,
    Creeping fig is a great choice for shady walls. It prefers shade from our hot afternoon summer sun. With this in mind it will work on north and east facing walls. If your walls are south or west facing, I would recommend either Cat’s Claw or Tangerine Beauty Crossvine. Come see us and we can show you these vines.

    Thank you,

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