Looking for a vine for dry shade

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    For a SoCal client, I’ve found very few options for a vine that will grow on a wall, in the shade. Complicating it is that it’s inside the drip ring of an oak. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Roland Beinert

    Poison ivy?


    Does Virginia creeper grow there? I think that does well in dry shade.

    Andrew Spiering

    Haha… 🙂

    Andrew Spiering

    Great question.  Here are a couple that I have used in dry shade around oaks:

    Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig)

    Creeping Fig does well in sun or part shade and takes little irrigation (depending on where you live).  It can cling to walls and does not need any support.  Though, you should keep it pruned back.  I have seen it become top heavy and pull off of large parking structure.  If you want to play off of the oak leaf, there is a variety quercifolia.

    Hardenbergia violacea (Lilac Vine)

    This is an Australian native that does well in dryish shade.  It seems to bloom all the time, but it needs a support structure to grow.  If the wall has not been built yet, perhaps something like greenscreen would work for your application?

    You could also try Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy) and Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle).  Both do well in SoCal I believe.

    I hope this helps!


    The ficus will grow in the shade, but it roots into any surface of whatever its growing on.  

    And having had to maintain both of those vines during a previous life, I can say they both require constant pruning at 2 years on, and will look horrible for quite a while if it is let go too long to then be cut back.  

    Have you considered wire vine ? https://www.google.com/search?q=wire+vine&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=9-x3UbXCGsGfiQLIl4HYDQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1567&bih=964  Like T.jasminoides, it will need support.


    Many thanks Roland, Andrew, Toby and David for your ideas. Quickly researching now. Best, Jeff

    Andrew Spiering

    Glad to help!  Let us know how it goes… 

    Mark Di Lucido

    Ficus pumila. Certainly does well on east-facing walls and I’ve seen it on north-facing wall too in USDA zone 9. This evergreen has attractive juvenile leaves which belie its eventual aggresiveness

    Sam Bennett

    Trachelospermum jasminoides- Star Jasmine. 

    Goustan BODIN

    I don’t know if this is available/suitable to your area :

    Trachelospermum asiaticum

    Jasmine smell, grows in shade, use as groundcover or climber. Trim if you’re not after ‘natural’ look

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