Question: What are the best vines I could use over my patio? I want shade, but I don’t have room for a tree.
Answer: You need something that is rather aggressive. Best choices for wide areas of Texas: wisteria, Madame Galen trumpetcreeper and Lady Banksia and the many other fine antique roses. Wisteria and trumpercreepers are deciduous, so you’ll get almost full winter sun. Roses are semi-evergreen in most of the state. Grapes would be an option, but use a white-fruiting type to avoid stains. If you want an evergreen vine, consider Carolina jessamine. It’s smaller than the others listed, but it’s a proven favorite from the Red River southward. Confederate star jasmine is outstanding in the southern half of Texas. Queen’s wreath dies to the ground each year, but it certainly is beautiful in South Texas. It would, however, tend to shroud your patio cover. Sweet autumn clematis would be pretty in East or Central Texas, although it, too, dies to the ground most winters and wouldn’t cover the entire patio roof in one growing season.