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Based on my research, climbing vines such as Creeping Fig attach themselves to surfaces using 'peds', which are next to impossible to remove, and end up damaging surfaces such as stucco. It has been recommended to me to build a lattice 8-12 feet away from the wall, and let the plant climb on that, but that isn't an option for me.

What other options are available for less destructive vines to cover the wall of a house or other stuccoed surface without damaging the surface?

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How about grapes? You will need to put trellis or lattice up, but the grapes won't glue themselves to the stucco and so the lattice can lay right up against the wall. Grapes are also delicious if you pick a good edible variety or good for making wine if you pick a suitable wine making variety. Grapes come in basically three classes, eating, juice and wine, and they usually but not always are not good for more than one of those, or maybe two.

Edit: if you are growing figs, maybe grapes aren't the best idea. Your choice will be limited to muscadine grapes (which maybe just just fine for you). Other choices are perhaps kiwis or passion fruit?

  • Unfortunately building a lattice isn't an option in this case. That makes me wish it was though! – David Smith Nov 5 '15 at 18:22
  • Well it can be right up against the wall, that's still not an option? Also I edited my answer at the bottom – Escoce Nov 5 '15 at 18:24
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I can't think of any climbing plant which will be appropriate - climbing plants cling and climb in two ways; there's the self clinging ones (like your Creeping Fig, Hedera varieties, Parthenocissus varieties, Hydrangea anomala) and then there's the twiners (Wisteria, Clematis, Honeysuckle) - these need supports to twine around to 'climb' up a wall. Even climbing roses need to be tied into a strong frame of some sort.

If you don't want to damage the stucco with a self clinging climber, then your only recourse is to erect supports, either by attaching them to the wall (and, obviously, damaging the stucco) or by erecting a framework which is independently fixed into the ground in front of the wall.

I'm a bit curious as to why you'd like a climber - isn't stucco one of those finishes which needs regular maintenance in terms of repair/painting? Any mature climber would surely make that much more difficult...

  • Our HOA requires that houses be a basically beige stucco. I bought the house, and knew the terms, so I'm not looking for sympathy, but we have a couple of neighbors who have what I believe is a creeping fig covering several walls, and it's visually very appealing (at least much more so than the beige stucco). I'm just looking for an option like that which won't decrease the value of the property, as I'm told many creepers do. – David Smith Nov 5 '15 at 19:07
  • Well the vine will cover the lattice – Escoce Nov 5 '15 at 19:57
  • Bit of a problem then, given the two methods of climbing plants use - I can see why they decrease value, despite increasing the aesthetic appeal. – Bamboo Nov 5 '15 at 22:03
  • I've seen clinging vines rip the paint off walls, grow into crevices and tear siding off. They also tend to promote rot in damp climates. Twiners do worse damage with any opening they grow into and as they grow, crush any support they're allowed to encompass. About the only thing that would be a good support would be properly pointed brick and precise, continuous use of pruning equipment to not allow it past the masonry wall surface and to not let it grow into any vents at ground level. – Fiasco Labs Nov 6 '15 at 5:46
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Wondering if you could install a lattice support using a pipe frame (maybe copper) and then wire lattice work. You could have the frames on hinges do they would open like French doors and you could trim the inside of the vine to keep It from growing on the house walk itself.

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