People are always coming into our Tampa Nursery looking for something to cover an area, maybe a brick wall, a fence, a border around a garage, or an arbor. If you have a shady area a place you want to cover without using a typical groundcover, we recommend a few different kinds of vines.
Carolina Jasmine is a twisting vine with reddish stems that has beautiful little yellow flowers. People on the outskirts of the city may even see this vine in their yard. Many times this vine will crawl up trees and you will see it throughout the tree. It is not extremely dense until it gets mature but will climb to great heights in its quest for sunlight and does need sufficient moisture to thrive.
If the area you want to cover is more shady, a creeping fig (ficus pumila) would be a great choice. It roots laterally alongside the stems so it will stick to and grow right up a fence or brick wall. It doesn’t have a lot of flowers but will give a natural look to any area. It is a great hardy vine that will grow in shade, but also does really well in the direct sun. A small planting can grow to cover the side of a building in a matter of two or three years.
None of these two should be confused that with English Ivy, a hedera helix that is another great choice when you desire the European look. It will also cling to walls, concrete or bricks. It will even grow on the north side of the home.