In the first two installments of Plants That Can Cover A Chain Link Fence – Part I: Annual Flowering Vines and Part II: Perennial Flowering Vines we discussed two alternative species of plants that can be used to cover a chain link fence. In this installment, we will cover Evergreen Plants that can perform the task.
Not only can an evergreen plant make your fence look attractive, they also provide interest into the winter months and provide a great framework for other winter-growing plants.
Plants you can consider in this category include:
· Persian Ivy
· English Ivy
· Boston Ivy
· Creeping Fig
· Carolina Jessamine
Besides being used to cover a chain link fence, the evergreen plant Persian Ivy is commonly used as a ground cover alternative to grass in areas where it is difficult to grow grass including beneath large trees. It is also used to cover bald spots where grass won’t grow. It is ideal for covering fences because the roots attach to the surface. It does best when grown in a full or partial shaded area, but is tolerant of full sun in northern zones. It grows fast and will reach heights of 8-inches to 12 inches, and tolerates drought, heat, poor soil, humidity, slopes, and moist areas. The leaves grow in a range of 3-inches to 5-inches long and feature a slightly wrinkled and leathery appearance.
The evergreen plant English Ivy is ideal for this purpose because it features roots along the stems of the plant that cling to surfaces like a chain link fence. It is easy to care for and can be placed in hard-to-reach locations because it is so low maintenance. It performs well in shady areas and prefers organically rich soil. If your soil needs more organic matter, you can amend it with compost before planting this ivy. It is suggested that you space multiple plants about 18-inches to 24-inches apart. For quicker coverage, it is recommended to provide a space of 1-foot.
This particular vine grows 50-feet or more. However, that may not occur during its first year. Be aware that this vine grows very slowly without noticeable growth until the second year. It surges during the third year.
It is recommended that you water English Ivy regularly to ensure that the soil remains moist until the plant is established and growing. It tolerates dry conditions once established. It rarely requires fertilizer. However, if you are concerned with its growing pace, you can spray half-strength liquid fertilizer on it.
Named Boston Ivy because it is a popular climbing vine that covers walls of many old buildings in Boston, this evergreen plant is from which the term “Ivy League” derives because it grows on the walls of buildings of a number of so-called Ivy League universities. If not monitored, the plant can take over a location and climbs over support due to tendrils.
It is essential that you keep the soil moist otherwise the leaves can turn dull and wilt. There is no need to fertilize. The plant will spread 15-feet or more and climb up to 50-feet within a few years. If you trim it, it may take on more of a shrub appearance. The essential thing to keep in mind when caring for Boston Ivy is to be sure you keep it within its boundaries.
Also called Fig Ivy, Creeping Ficus, and Climbing Fig, the evergreen plant Creeping Fig thrives in zone 8 and higher of the USDA Plant Hardiness Map and will grow year round. It is ideal for covering fences because it grows as much as 20-feet tall. It does well in full or partial shade and likes well-drained soil. It is suggested that you give it 2-inches of water a week. You can use divisions of the plant to propagate.
As the plant gets older, it may take on a woody appearance and the leaves will look old. Heavy pruning can bring the plant back to its former mature appearance. Be aware that once this ivy establishes itself, it can be very difficult to remove.
Carolina Jessamine can grow more than 20-feet in length and twines it stem around the fence. The leaves have a glossy appearance and stay green all year round. It features clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers in late winter and spring followed by seed capsules that ripen slowly over the remainder of the growing season.
Native to the Southeastern region of the U.S., this evergreen plant performs well where the winters are mild and the summers are hot. It can withstand an occasional frost. However, persistent freezes can kill it. According to the USDA plant hardiness map, the plant thrives in zones 7 through 9. It thrives in sunny locations. However, it will grow slowly and become leggy in partial shade. It does best in fertile, organically rich, well-drained soil. If your soil lacks these traits, you can amend it with compost before planting the Jessamine.
Feed it general-purpose commercial fertilizer in the spring. However, it is recommended that you spread a 2-inch to 3-inch layer of compost leaf mold or aged manure for the best results.
It is essential that you prune the Carolina Jessamine or it will become wild with most of the foliage and flowers at the top of the vines. It is suggested that you cut back the tips of the vines after the flowers have faded to promote fuller growth on the lower segments of the stem. You should also prune during the growing season to remove lateral vines that may stray away from the fence and remove dead or damaged vines.
(Next time: Non-Evergreen Plants)