Dry soil and climbing plants

Asked February 9, 2018, 9:26 AM EST

I have built a rock wall around my back/side yard. The problem I am having is the soil is extremely dry and rocky especially in hot weather. I would like to know if there is a climbing plant that I can plant all along the wall so they will climb the wall and improve the appearance of that area without a lot of maintenance?

Carroll County Maryland

3 Responses

Dry and rocky are tough conditions. We recommend that you try several different vines to see which does best, but also for flowering over a longer period.

Our native coral honeysuckle (not Japanese honeysuckle), trumpet vine, and American wisteria (not Chinese wisteria) should all do well for you. All bloom and attract hummingbirds or butterflies. You could try large-flowered clematis. Clematis like their roots in the shade, so you would have to plant them on the north side of the wall or shade their roots with another plant. You will want or need to do some pruning on the trumpet vine or wisteria, depending upon how happy and thus fast-growing they are.

Whatever you do, avoid English ivy like the plague it is. It is a foreign invasive plant in Maryland and very harmful to parks and natural areas. Climbing euonymus is a similar problem.


Thank you for your rapid response. I have another question pertaining to the same area. Are there any plants or schrubs that would do well there? Additionally, do you have a source for the vines you recommended?

Consider sedum species and a native ornamental grass such as little bluestem. They grow best in full sun.
Here is a link to native plant sources https://mdflora.org/nurseries.html
and a selection of native plants