Water-Wise Vines


Virginia Creeper (Parthenosissus quinquefolia). Photo credit: Susan Buffler


Trumpet Creeper Vine (Campsis radicans). Photo credit: Anne McCormack Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0


Grapes (Vitis spp.). Photo credit: Susan Buffler


Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) in early bloom.  Photo credit: Simona Flickr CC BY NC 2.0

Water-wise vines can be a valuable addition to the landscape. They can be used to provide vertical or horizontal accents and are a great choice for small areas. Vines can be grown on fences, trellises, walls, arbors and other structures.  In fact, vines will grow over just about anything and can cover undesirable surfaces.  Vines can also be trained for the homeowner’s desired effect.   

Vines can provide shade, food, colorful flowers, interesting leaf texture, wildlife habitat, and can create a sense of movement in the landscape.  They can also lower home energy costs.

What is a Vine?

Vines are climbing or trailing plants that have long stems that tend to grow rapidly. Vines can have several different growth forms.  They can twine around objects, have sticky pads that attach to surfaces, or have tendrils that wrap around or cling to objects.   Vines can be annuals or perennials and can have thick woody stems.

What is a Water-Wise Vine?

A water-wise vine is an annual or perennial plant which, when established, requires infrequent watering from once a month to once every two weeks while retaining its aesthetic value.

Caution: some vines can become pests in certain landscapes and are considered weeds in some state. Check with your County Extension office before planting vigorously growing vines.

Problems with vines

Additional Resources:


Colorado – Vines for Colorado
Utah – Annual Vines



Western  Virgin’s Bower (Clematis ligusticifolia) – see p. 29. Photo credit: Jerry Oldenettel Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). Photo credit: utauta Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Boston ivy in autumn. Photo credit: PhilBo23 Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0