Q: I just removed a lot of ivy that had grown picturesquely up one wall of our stucco house, and I am horrified at the damage done by the roots that grew into the stucco. After I refinish that wall, what kind of flowering vine would you suggest to soften the house but without such devastating effects?
A: Any vine that clasps a surface with suction cups or aerial rootlets will damage stucco or wood. Instead of ivy, try star jasmine, thunbergia (black-eyed Susan vine), pink jasmine (J. polyanthum) or a climbing rose. These vines can be trained on a trellis. Wisteria is a beautiful structural vine, but requires a strong trellis to support its massive growth.