Guide to Vines

In the past we have covered how vines can impact your Austin decking and how to keep them from causing damage. Today we’ll go into more detail on which vines are the most invasive and which ones are safer to have around your deck.

Vines Growing on House
Invasive Vine Species

An invasive species of vine is one that:

  • Grows fast
  • Germinates quickly
  • Adapts to many environments
  • Survives in a wide variety of growing conditions

In addition to damaging your deck, invasive vines can also choke out other plants by taking up resources and hybridizing with other plants.

  • Blackberry Vine: They may produce delicious fruit, but blackberry vines can become invasive without a lot of pruning.
  • Boston Ivy: Boston Ivy can be problematic because even if pulled off a structure the tendrils can remain adhered to the surface.
  • Cross Vine: It’s a beautiful vine that attracts hummingbirds like crazy, however, it grows very aggressively and requires a lot of pruning or it can become invasive.
  • Porcelain Vine: This is a perennial vine that stands out because of its clusters of shiny berries.
  • Oriental Bittersweet: These twining vines can grow up to 60 feet long. Needless to say it can get overgrown very quickly.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle: You can identify these by their fragrant white flowers that turn yellow.
  • Morning Glory: The combination of self-seeding and fast growth can make this vine pesky on a deck. The lush vine does produce beautiful blooms, but it’s best kept on chain-link fences.
  • Trumpet Vine: Beautiful yes, for both its trumpet-shaped flowers and the hummingbirds they attract. However, they are fast growing and can easily become invasive.
  • Wisteria: Though wisteria is one of the most attractive of all vines, it’s also extremely large. It can top out at up to 30 feet and the clusters of grape-like flowers themselves can grow to two feet.

Safer Vines Species

Many vines exhibit invasive properties, however some are easier to manage than others. Here are a few to try around your deck.

  • Black-eyed Susan: Black-eyed Susan is great because it stays put and doesn’t become overgrown easily. Its spray of yellow flowers will brighten up any outdoor area.
  • Bougainvillea: This vine is a real showstopper with its multitude of papery bright pink flowers.
  • Clematis: It’s extremely versatile and its flowers come in a wide variety of colors. Opt for the dwarf version for easy maintenance.
  • Climbing Hydrangea: The aerial roots will grow into the deck but they are very slow growing. So keep these off the deck but add them nearby to enjoy the clusters of white flowers.
  • Jasmine: Fragrant and attractive, Jasmine is easy to grow and the flowers bloom during the winter so you’ll have a little pre-spring bouquet.
  • Sky Vine: Sky vine only grows about 12 feet so it’s easier to maintain. Even though it may not be tall, it makes up for length with large lavender flowers throughout the summer.
  • Snapdragon Vine: You don’t have to worry about these small plants taking over your deck. Though it does sometimes self-seed snapdragon vine only grows six feet.
  • Tweedia: This vine lives up to its dainty name. At a maximum of three feet tall and one foot wide Tweedia won’t be invasive, and you’ll get to enjoy the turquoise flowers all year long.

Vines are beautiful and can provide an abundance of privacy, but they can also be a lot of work to keep in line. It’s usually a better idea to grow them around your deck, not on it. However, if you do want to try a vine, stick to the ones on the safe list and avoid the really invasive ones.

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