Bare spots along hillsides fall victim to erosion as the soil is quickly swept away when the winds pick up or the rain falls. Planting evergreen vines slows down erosion as they serve as a ground cover, but evergreen vines aren’t just for erosion control.
They also eliminate weed growth and provide beauty to your yard’s most barren areas, including under trees and other areas of deep shade. Vines control erosion as the roots are responsible for holding the soil in place.
Evergreen vines are known for their thick and fibrous roots. When you plant them next to each other on steep hillsides or close to ponds, the vine’s roots band together, preventing the soil from breaking up.
The leaves prevent the rain from washing the dirt away because the rain doesn’t hit the ground directly. Using vines as a form of erosion control is not only cost-effective; they are also pleasant to look at.
- Helpful Vine Planting Tips
- Extraordinary Evergreen Vines for Erosion Control
- Evergreen Vines – English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
- Evergreen Clematis (Clematis armandii)
- Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – Extraordinary Evergreen Vines
- Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
- Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
- Impressive Evergreen Vines – Wisteria (Wisteria spp.)
- Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata)
- Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
- Jasmine (Jasminum) – Flowering Evergreen Vines
- Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
- Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)
- Evergreen Vines – Creeping Myrtle (Vinca minor)
- Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
Helpful Vine Planting Tips
When planting vines on steep terrain, use either erosion control or fiber mulch mats to prevent seeds or plants from being washed away. These mats are a single layer of mulch that is held together inside a fiber mesh.
Mats are used in areas where the standard mulch is frequently blown or washed away. To use them, lay them down over the young plants or seeds you planted. When planting any vine, consider what type of support it needs.
Woody and heavy stems tear down lightweight supports; choose something anchored into the ground instead. Twining vines or ones with tendrils require arbors or a trellis for support. However, you can train them to grow on lattices, strings, or wires, too.
Vines with aerial roots do best on stone walls where the roots can grab onto the surface. Flowering vines, including climbing roses, must be tied onto their supports because their canes don’t twist, produce aerial roots, or twine.
Determine if you wish to plant annuals or perennials. Annuals require replanting each year, while perennial vines come back. If you opt for perennial vines, check the hardiness zone before purchasing because they aren’t suited for every growing zone.
Annuals aren’t as picky as they only stick around for one growing season. Always check your planting location for soil and lighting requirements for the vines you are planting. If necessary, amend the soil for the best results.
Extraordinary Evergreen Vines for Erosion Control
Not all vines spread outward like creeping thyme; some grow up. For those that reach toward the sun, use supports, such as stakes, posts, or trellises.
Many gardeners use vines for their twining ability and how they cling to retaining walls and hillsides or evergreen border shrubs, but they also make great accent plants.
Evergreen Vines – English Ivy (Hedera helix)
The woody English Ivy vine is easy to grow outside and is hard to kill. Growing only eight inches tall, this plant makes an excellent ground cover as it spreads horizontally when not supported.
However, with the proper support system, English Ivy climbs as high as 50 feet. Greenish-yellow to greenish-white flowers rest among the evergreen leaves in the early spring.
English Ivy is hardy to zones four through nine. Protect this plant from the heat in the summer and the cold winter winds. These vines for bad soil are fine with any dirt as long as it’s well-draining. Find a location with partial shade and keep the dirt on the dry side.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
Grown for its sweet nectar and pleasant fragrance, Honeysuckle works well for erosion control, too. Home to yellow and red tubular flowers, Honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators.
The combination of bright flowers and green vines add beauty to barren areas of your landscape. With over 180 species of Honeysuckle, it’s easy to find the one that grows in your region.
When selecting the ideal planting location, look for areas with full sun to part shade. Honeysuckle grows well in different soil types but prefers fertile and well-draining soil.
Evergreen Clematis (Clematis armandii)
A type of showy vine, Evergreen Clematis is an excellent choice for a natural privacy screen when grown on a trellis. Its spreading nature makes it ideal for retaining walls and steep hillsides.
The leathery, deep green leaves of these evergreen ground covering vines are home to clusters of small, star-shaped white flowers that bloom in the spring. The twining stems require regular watering to reach their full length of 25 feet.
Plant this vine in well-draining soil with a neutral pH balance. Choose a location in partial sun that provides shelter from cold winds. To control the overall size, prune back in the late spring once the blooms finish.
Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – Extraordinary Evergreen Vines
The stems of Carolina Jessamine reach an impressive 20 feet long and can climb across anything. The glossy green leaves retain their shine all year and give dense coverage in the areas where they are planted.
During the late winter through early spring, each vine is dotted with small, yellow flowers that give way to seed capsules. This sprawling vine is native to the southeastern portion of the United States, where the summers are hot and the winters are mild.
These vines tolerate partial shade but thrive in areas with full sun. Too much shade leads to a slower growth rate and a more leggy appearance.
Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
Star Jasmine or Confederate Jasmine is known for its intensely fragrant white flowers. This species is slow growing initially; expect it to take a while to become fully established. Once mature, it reaches up to six feet tall and six feet wide.
The Star Jasmine vine grows well in warmer climates, such as the southern parts of the United States and throughout California.
Pruning back the upward shoots is necessary if you wish to keep the plant at an even height. It can work as a ground cover and be trained to grow on doorways or trellises for a decorative finish.
Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
Also known as Bignonia Crossvine, this vine prefers to climb up walls to reach heights of up to 50 feet. The claw-tipped tendrils grip the stones as it climbs higher and higher.
In the springtime, gardeners will enjoy the trumpet-shaped reddish-orange flowers with a yellow throat. These robust vines are native to the United States and grow wild in several regions.
The bark, roots, and leaves are used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans. The vine is littered with flowers that first begin appearing in April, and the pointy leaves stay green all year in most areas. In colder regions, they turn deep maroon during winter.
Impressive Evergreen Vines – Wisteria (Wisteria spp.)
Wisteria blooms occur during the spring in drooping clusters of blue to lilac flowers. The cascading flowers offer a beautiful aroma, but they only appear on new vine growth.
After the flowers, you will discover brown, bean-shaped pods that remain in place until winter. The vines work their way into nooks and crannies; you don’t want them too close to your home.
Wisteria is an aggressive grower and is toxic to humans, pets, and livestock; plant it with caution. Chinese and Japanese Wisteria are both considered an invasive plant species, so avoid them when planting.
Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata)
This five-leaf perennial gets its name from the brownish-purple flowers sprinkled throughout the vine. The blooms emit a chocolate scent that most homeowners find appealing and unique.
The pleasant, chocolatey scent more than makes up for this vine’s vigorous growth. Its fantastic growth ability is due to its pest and disease-resistant nature. Plant this vine in soil with a neutral pH balance in zones four through eight.
In zones four and five, it’s considered a semi-evergreen rather than an evergreen. Lighting requirements vary based on if you want flowers and fruit or just leaves.
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
These deciduous vines are natural climbers and use suckers on their branches to hold onto any structure. Climbing Hydrangeas can climb up to 50 feet at maturity. Fragrant, flat-topped flowers begin blooming in the summer and can reach up to five inches wide.
Leaves of the Climbing Hydrangea are a medium green during their active growing season but change to yellow in autumn.
The peeling bark left behind after the leaves fall provides winter interest to your landscape. If growing vertically rather than horizontally, the large and heavy vines require extra support.
Jasmine (Jasminum) – Flowering Evergreen Vines
Known throughout the world for its wonderful scent and delicate bee attracting flowers, Jasmine grows well in pots, baskets, and the ground. White flowers are the norm for Jasmine, but occasionally you can find cream or yellow ones.
In warmer climates, expect blooms to appear all year long amid the glossy, bright green foliage. Jasmine requires some work to grow, but it’s worth it. The ideal time to plant these vines is June through November.
For optimal growth, plant Jasmine in well-draining soil that you can keep moist. During most of the year, water them weekly; during extreme heat, increase watering. Prune back any stems that are dead, dying, or tangled.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Sometimes called Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vine is considered invasive by some due to its fast-growing nature. The trumpet-shaped flowers are perfect for attracting hummingbirds and range from shades of yellow to red.
The blooms first appear in the summer and last until the fall. Shady locations inhibit the number of flowers that appear.
Hardy in zones four through nine, the woody vines survive throughout the winter; their leaves and flowers die back but return in the spring. In just one growing season, Trumpet Vine grows up to 40 feet long. Prune it regularly to keep the size manageable.
Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)
An evergreen creeper vine, Partridge Berry is mostly used for ornamental purposes. The white flowers bloom in pairs before turning to small, red berries.
Interestingly, this vine has more common names than others, including Squaw Vine, One Berry, Twinberry, and Winter Clover.
The Partridge Berry Vine aids in erosion control, as it grows as a large mat. The vine branches out, and at every node, it sets down roots. The stems of this vine can grow up to one foot, and the tubular flowers bloom in the early summer.
Evergreen Vines – Creeping Myrtle (Vinca minor)
The fast-spreading Creeping Myrtle sets roots down wherever their stems touch the ground. At maturity, the evergreen vine reaches up to eight inches tall with a spread of up to three feet.
The green, shiny leaves grow in pairs along arching stems. The blue flowers measure an inch wide and bloom only for a month in the spring.
Creeping Myrtle does well in the deep shade and full sun and is a popular choice for erosion control along hillsides and steep slopes.
This vine thrives in average soil and tolerates both dry and moist soil conditions. Cut back the old growth in the early spring by about four inches.
Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
A tropical plant, Sweet Potato Vine is grown as an evergreen in zones eight through eleven. As soon as frost appears, the foliage shrivels up and dies.
This low-maintenance vine requires regular pruning to control its growth and is naturally resistant to numerous pests and diseases.
Known for its large leaves that range from neon green to black, Sweet Potato Vine grows best in full sun but tolerates deep shade. This hardy vine adapts to various soil types, but for best growth, use a fertile soil you can keep moist.
Although it is known as the Sweet Potato Vine, this beauty is not one of the edible vines like squash.
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