View Full Version : Building a Vine Wall

04-24-2007, 10:33 PM
I live in NYC and share a roof deck with my neighbors. I would like to section off the roof deck and was thinking about setting up a trellis wall and growing vines as a barrier.

Does anyone know if this would work? Or what kind of vines/structure would be best? It would need to be fast growing, and preferably something that would not wither away in the winter time...

thank you!


04-30-2007, 04:53 PM
There are different kinds of vines, ones for shade, ones for sun. Evergreen, not evergreen.

English Ivy is evergreen, but it clings with roots that can tear apart stone & wood it grows on. It also is best in shade, and I'm guessing your roof is sunny.

Boston Ivy can take sun, and uses suckers, not roots, to cling, so that will work, but it isn't evergreen so it won't be there in the winter. It does get pretty in the fall though.

Trumpet Vine has wonderful orange flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds (though maybe not where you live). However, it also isn't evergreen. It also uses suckers.

Clematis can be fairly fast growing, has beautiful flowers, and grows by twining stems & branches around supports (perfect for a trellis) however it is susceptible to disease, can be finicky to grow, and is not evergreen in the slightest.

Grape has big showy leaves, is fairy drought & sun tolerant, and can produce grapes, but again, nothing in winter.

Climbing Rose can grow really fast, but doesn't do well in containers (which I assume you'd have to use). Plus, no winter interest.

All told, I would use clematis and some small potted evergreens in the corners, such as Thuja's or Dwarf Alberta Spruces. When you plant clematis make sure you plant them really deep. The first 2 sets of leaves should actually be buried in the soil. This makes sure then come back if damaged. The evergreens do fine in containers because of their slow growth, but do make sure the pot is plenty big, if you're unsure between two sizes, go with the bigger size, or you'll have to repot eventually.

You won't have 100% coverage in the winter, but to try to get that with a vine, in a container, in full sun, on a rooftop, is going to be really really hard.