I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and had a bit of trouble finding
vines that would be happy in the dense adobe soil around my house. I
ended up putting some distictis buccinatoria at the bottom of several
aluminum support posts for my porch awning. They've grown up very happily
and produce beautiful orange-red trumpet flowers on occcasion.
However, I've gotten tired of trying to keep them under control. They
are constantly putting out shoots towards the front steps and the porch.
Since I'm basically lazy, I only occasionally get around to chopping them
off, which means that area usually looks like a mess. I have a machete
(really!) and have thought of just leaving it by the front steps for
visitors to use. :-)
I've tried sprays from garden stores that are supposed to prevent cut
areas from regrowing, but I think the distictus just puts out shoots from
somewhere else to compensate. So as pretty as the trumpet flowers are,
I think I'm going to give up and remove them. They're apparently best
suited to walls, not where they can grow in all directions.
I notice that some vines aren't as aggressive. My clematis, for example,
climb up the front railing, but it's easy to trim them back and I don't
think they regrow again that year. Is there a category name for well
behaved vines? Are they the ones that die back every year instead of
growing continuously--sort of like annuals, except they do come back?
(I cut back my clematis every fall.) I looked at Wikipedia, and both
distictus and clematis are described as woody climbing vines, so that
doesn't give me any hints about what word to look for that means
clematis-like behavior instead of distictus-like behavior. Any ideas?
(Yes, I could just put in more clematis, but I'd like more variety if
possible. FYI, this is on the south side of my house, so full sun.)