Vines do double-duty in a garden. Flowers and foliage make them spectacular vertical accents to train on a fence, trellis, wall, or tree trunk. Create summer shade on a porch with a string trellis covered with vines. Use vines to cover a blank, dull wall or cover a fence. Vines can screen an eyesore or for privacy, Plant vines on an open pergola frame or arbor to create a cool, shaded retreat and give the garden elegant architecture at the same time.
Some vines climb by twining around or thru a trellis, fence, arbor, etc. Since little coaxing is required, twining vines need only a sturdy support. Twining vines include Akebia, Clematis, Crossvine, Honeysuckle, Jessamine, Trumpet Creeper, and Wisteria. Be sure the structure is strong enough to support the vine. For example, Wisteria grows into heavy vines that need strong support.
Other vines are self-clinging with aerial rootlets or tendrils. They are often used to latch onto brick or stone walls, wood fences and tree trunks. These vines include English ivy, Boston Ivy, Climbing Hydrangea, and Virginia Creeper. These need no help climbing, except in the beginning. You will likely need to weave them through a trellis occasionally or tie them to a support. If they’ve latched onto the side of a house, prune them away from windows and gutters. Many of these true clingers hang on for dear life, so much so that removing the stems later leaves the roots behind.
Akebia – Adeciduous to semi-evergreen twining vine that rapidly grows 20 to 40 feet. Develops small purple to red, fragrant flowers in mid-spring that give way to violet elongated fruit pods.
Boston Ivy – Fast-growing, hardy, deciduous vine growing 30 to 45 feet. Bright green leaves turn vivid shades of red in fall. Aerial roots on stems quickly covers brick or stone walls and fences.
Green Showers Boston Ivy – Same traits as Boston Ivy only with extra large green leaves.
Clematis – Perennial vine draped with large, rich flowers up to 5 inches in diameter in summer. Dazzling array of colors and bi-colored varieties available. Prune hard in early spring. Tops prefer sun and roots prefer shade. Grows 8 to 10 feet.
Tangerine Beauty Crossvine – An easy to grow vine that provides an abundance of stunning, tangerine-colored blooms over a long season. Vigorous, self-clinging. It will even tolerate heavy shade. Semi-evergreen. Grows 20 to 30 feet.
English Thorndale Ivy – Fast-growing vine reaching 15 to 20 feet. Noticeable creamy-white veins on extra large rich green leaves. Needs partial shade to shade.
Gold Flame Honeysuckle – Fast-growing deciduous vine 12 to 15 feet with large oval leaves. Clusters of fragrant, brilliantly colored flowers spring through fall. The flower buds are red opening to yellow inside.
Hall’s Honeysuckle – A vigorous twining vine with rich green foliage that will easily cover a large area in a short period of time. Fragrant white to yellow flowers are in early summer. Matures at 15 to 30 feet
Climbing Hydrangea – A vigorous deciduous vine that clings by aerial rootlets. It has a slow growing, shrubby habit until established, and then becomes quite vigorous, producing long, fast growing stems. Lush green foliage with magnificent, white lacecap blooms in summer. Needs partial shade to shade.
Carolina Jessamine – This rapid growing and twining vine can reach 10 to 20 feet, or it can be grown as a mounding shrub 3 to 4 feet tall and wide if not supported. Foliage is glossy with clusters of bright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. Very showy early in the spring.
Balboa Trumpet Creeper – Large, tubular, deep reddish orange flowers in clusters all season long. Once established, this vigorous, clinging vine thrives and blooms profusely. Deciduous.
Flava Yellow Trumpet Creeper – A vigorous climber that produces beautiful, yellow, trumpet-shaped blooms. Once established, thrives and blooms best with little care. Deciduous.
Madame Galen Trumpet Creeper – A very showy, deciduous, self-clinging vine that produces a dazzling succession of trumpet-shaped salmon-red flowers all summer. Vigorous climber reaches 15 feet.
Engelman Virginia Creeper – This fast growing vine easily clings to walls and other surfaces for a quick cover. The dark green foliage turns deep burgundy-red in fall with small, purple-black berries. Deciduous vines grow 20 to 30 feet.
Star Showers Virginia Creeper– A fast-growing vine that clings to walls and other surfaces for a quick, dense cover. The lovely green leaves have speckled markings that resemble a heavy paint splatter pattern. The foliage develops an overcast of pink coloring in cooler weather. Deciduous.
Amethyst Wisteria – This vigorous climbing, twining vine has fragrant 4 to 6-inch long clusters of lavender-blue flowers that bloom in the spring and repeat sporadically through the summer, growing 20 to 30 feet. Blooms at an early age.
Blue Moon Wisteria – Fully winter hardy, this Wisteria may bloom three times a year during the growing season once established. Lilac-blue flowers appear in late spring through summer. Grows 20 to 30 feet.
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