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enter image description here I have an arbor over a walkway, under a large tree. I want to find a vine that will grow on this under these conditions:

  • dry clay based topsoil
  • medium shade all day
  • USDA hardiness zone 6b
  • lots of bird activity

The arbor is 4' wide and 7' tall, with lattice on the sides for the vine to climb on, and the top is designed for the vines to intertwine in. The vine should preferably have most of these characteristics:

  • evergreen foliage
  • free branching habit
  • perennial woody vines
  • good disease resistance
  • moderate growth
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so what did you choose to plant? –  kevinsky Jun 13 '12 at 15:08
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In no particular order of preference

Akebia, the Chocolate vine fragrant purplish or reddish flowers, semi evergreen, pest and disease free, flowers have an edible pulp-any type of soil, tolerates shade. Downsides: plant two for fruit production, not a native North American plant, might be too vigorous if it likes it

Celastrus scandens, bittersweet, highly coloured red berries encased in yellow shells, tolerates shade, attracts birds, north american native plant, any soil. Downsides: berries are poisonous to humans, may be too vigorous with growth to 30 feet, best cultivars may be hard to find, need a male and female plant. Newest cultivar 'Bailumn' is self fertile (or a graft), larger berries or you may find a combo plant of 'Hercules' and 'Diana' the older cultivars

Humulus Lupulus, Hops, for the beer maker in your home!, vigorous, tolerates shade, interesting fruiting structures Downsides: not native, likely will die down to the ground

As I am bored with what everyone else has I am growing this plant from seed: Kentucky wisteria, fragrant purplish flowers Downsides: probably needs more light, not interesting to birds, only available from seed where I live, see Gardens North

Edit: Whether a vine is evergreen is not always easy to determine as climatic factors play a part. A euonmyus plant is evergreen in zone 6 but not necessarily so in zone 5.
The wisteria and hops are the least likely to be evergreen in zone. The most likely is the Akebia. Look around for bittersweet vines in your local botanical garden or nursery for information on how they will behave for you.

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Are these vines evergreen? –  jmusser Jan 3 '12 at 2:52
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