Arbor coverage

Asked March 16, 2017, 8:50 PM EDT

I have a 14' x 20' arbor attached to my sunroom. Over the years I've grown grape Vines for coverage; however, the grapes attracted raccoons and with the dead leaves, they were too much work. I cut them down and grew wisteria with beautiful blooms the past 7 years. The wisteria is too invasive and grew 50' up surrounding trees and I constantly prune them from the house! Their weight has damaged and moved the arbor. I plan to remove it and repair the arbor this year. Any recommendations as to what Vines would provide coverage and shade without as many problems would greatly be appreciated. I live in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Thank you. Jacqueline Szafranski.

Allegheny County Pennsylvania vines horticulture

1 Response

Wisteria is beautiful when it blooms, but is, indeed, aggressively invasive. To permanently remove the wisteria, you will need to treat the vine's stumps after you cut it down. You should apply a product like Brush-B-Gone®, Brush Killer® and Roundup Pro® concentrate undiluted to cut stems. Use a paint brush or a plastic spray bottle to apply the herbicide to cut surfaces. This application should be down when the temperature is above 40 degrees.

After you have rid yourself of the wisteria, I recommend planting a variety of native honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens, commonly called trumpet honeysuckle). There are many varieties available, 'Major Wheeler' is one of my favorites with its beautiful red flowers. Here's a link to more info about native honeysuckle vines: http://www.abnativeplants.com/plant/Lonicera-sempervirens
Lonicera sempervirens is not aggressive like Japanese honeysuckle. It is a great plant for pollinators including hummingbirds.

If you do not wish to attract bees, another lovely native vine is Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). This plant does not attract as many pollinators with its tiny flowers. It does produce small berries in the fall which are attractive to many species of birds. It requires annual pruning to keep it under control. Here's a link to more info: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=287536&isprofile=1&basic=virginia%20creeperC

Thanks for your question. Happy Gardening!