The first step to trellis gardening this Spring? Choose your vine! A to Z: Part I
Updated: Mar 12, 2022
When it comes to vines, the list is endless! To help you narrow it down, as SPRING approaches, we'll go through an A to Z list of some of our favorites. Let's start with the 'Apple Blossum' Clematis! We'll be adding more each day, so stay tuned.
'Apple Blossum' Clematis
This popular evergreen clematis is an award winner. It grows very quickly, so it's great if you are a bit of an impatient gardener. Expect masses of beautiful, almond-scented flowers. The leaves are also quite lovely. Leathery, waxy, leaves begin tinged bronze and then turn green. This Clematis makes an excellent screen; and should cover your trellis in a relatively short time. This is a low maintenance plant, with average water needs. It does best in moist, well-drained soil, in full sun (5-6 hours per day) or filtered sun all day, with a cool root zone. It's also a wonderful butterfly attractor.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-9
This is a vining plant lover fan-favorite! The toughest part of selecting Bougainvillea...so many colors to choose from, it may be hard to make a decision. The bright, papery blooms will be abundant, bold and sumptuous. You'll find shades of purple, magenta, pinks, red, orange, white, and yellow. They're salt and drought tolerant, after established. An amazing vine to attract butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. Bougainvillea love full sun or a bit of shade. They are low maintenance, with low water needs, and grow best in well-drained soil. They will bloom periodically all year in areas with warm winters.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11
If you are looking for flowers as beautiful as the summer sky, look no further! This Clematis
will be covered with fragrant, large, star-shaped, sky-blue flowers. The flowers can be up to 6"! They flower from late spring to early fall; and are incredible when grown on a trellis. You can quickly add color to your outdoor space with these fast climbers. They're very hardy, and love moist, well-drained soil, full sun or part shade, and cool roots. The water needs of the Cezanne is average, and overall, it's a low maintenance plant. Butterflies and hummingbirds will love them, and so will you!
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9
This is such an interesting purple / burgundy flower. This woody vine is native to eastern North America and, although it is considered a flowering vine, is far more useful as foliage. If you're looking for a vigorous growing trellis vine to create privacy, the pipe vine is for you. Its heart-shaped, large, vibrant green leaves will create a beautiful natural screen. Typically, the blooms will appear in early summer, but the beauty of the vine itself will continue. To get the most of its flowering potential, plant in full sun, but in warm climates, shade is ok. Moist, well drained soil is best, but be sure to water at the base, not the leaves, to avoid fungal issues. Insulate the roots if the temps drop too low, as it's not a frost hardy plant.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
When we think of Clematis, we generally envision showy blooms in a variety of bright colors,
but the Evergreen Clematis is a bit different. With its vanilla-scented small, creamy white, star-shaped flowers, it is quite a site in the springtime, but it has some unique features, its pointed leaves, reaching
down like fingers, that stay green all year long. The Evergreen is perfect for trellises, with its tendrils that grab on as it grows. The look it gives is dramatic, with dark green leaves that point down and give a weeping effect. It's an incredible vine for creating a natural privacy barrier. It likes full sun, but it will tolerate a bit of shade. It's a fast- growing vine that loves moist, well-drained soil, and cooler roots.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-9
Firecracker Vine (or Fire Vine)
One look and you'll see that there's no secret where this vine gets its name, although it
actually has a few other nicknames, including candy corn plant and cigar flower. It's one of the best for attracting hummingbirds! Easy to grow on a sturdy trellis, these vines love full sun. The tubular, fire-colored blooms grow in clusters on one side of the branches, earning it yet another nickname, Spanish flag. It can bloom for long periods in the right warmth, from early spring to late summer. It is a great attractor to bees, making it a wonderful addition to a pollinator garden. It can get heavy, so make sure you have a well-built trellis that won't rot away, if you want to keep it growing for seasons to come.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11
Ginger Syllabub Rose
The beauty of this large, amber to apricot colored climbing rose is unsurpassed! This impressive rose is known for its exquisite fragrance and continuous blooms. It is a vigorous
climber, and perfect for trellising. These roses are great for attracting bees and can bloom in spring, summer and fall. Feedback from those who have grown them is generally that the first year may not yield many blooms, but in the second year, blooms are much more abundant.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 - warmer
Honeysuckle is one of the best-known climbing vines. We often think of Honeysuckle as one vine, but there are many different types that offer a variety of bright colors. If you love hummingbirds and butterflies, it's a wonderful vine to grow. It's easy to grow, and can actually be a little too vigorous, so make sure to prune and keep it in check. Trumpet Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle are two of the most ornamental varieties. Other popular Honeysuckle options are Major Wheeler, Goldflame Honeysuckle, and Mandarin Honeysuckle. Get a sturdy trellis and get ready to enjoy the blooms and benefits of this fast-growing vine. You'll enjoy the fragrance and fullness, which can offer a great backdrop for your outdoor space or create that natural privacy screen you've been looking for. It can cover even a large trellis quickly! It likes full sun, but can
tolerate some shade, particularly in warmer areas. The top may tend to grow larger and shade the bottom portion, which can cause it to become woody and less attractive lower down, so be sure to keep it pruned to avoid this problem.
USDA Hardiness Zones: Most Honeysuckle: 4-9; Trumpet Honeysuckle grows best in the Southeast; Japanese Honeysuckle thrives in the Midwest
When it comes to ivy, we suggest Boston Ivy over English Ivy. The aggressiveness of English Ivy is the primary reason. It is important to know that English Ivy is regarded as invasive in many areas of North America and growing is discouraged. We often think of Boston Ivy climbing up walls of old buildings, and it is true enough, this is the same plant that gave Ivy League universities their nickname. It's a vine that will cling to almost anything, and its thick, lush leaves will tolerate shade or sun, making it the ideal plant to cover your vertical space. Should you decide to grow Boston Ivy on a wall, you should be sure that you are willing to make a long-term commitment. Once started, it is difficult to remove and can be damaging. If
you are not ready to give your home an ivy facade, but you would like the luxurious look of those thick luscious leaves, Boston Ivy can also be grown on a trellis quite easily. It is an amazing option for a natural privacy screen, and since it will grow in sun or shade, has few disease issues, and can even tolerate urban pollution well, it's an extremely flexible vine to work
with. Boston Ivy is not an evergreen. It's green in summer and turns a beautiful shade of red in fall. Birds will enjoy feasting on its dark blue berries. It enjoys medium-moist, loamy soil, and full sun to part shade. Prune regularly and avoid allowing it to sneak over to any of your trees, where it can cause problems. Its water needs are average.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
Jasmine (Star Jasmine)
There are many different varieties of jasmine, both vining and shrub. One of our favorites is Star Jasmine (aka Confederate Jasmine), which is a very popular flowering vine in California and the southern United States. It's an amazing climber, extremely fragrant, and great attractor of bees. It is best planted in the
spring and is a fast grower. It likes full sun to partial shade, moist, well-drained, loamy soil, and it best suited to late spring and early summer planting. It's an easy plant to care for, and is low maintenance once established. This jasmine's creamy white flowers are highly fragrant. Pruning should only be needed if you wish to control the growth.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10
Kiwi Fruit Vine
Here's one you might not think of for your trellis gardening endeavors, but it's both beautiful
and produces the delicious fruit that many of us love. That's right! You can grow kiwis yourself. It's a woody vine that can be trellised. Kiwi Fruit Vine produces lovely white flowers in spring, and then fruit in fall. It should initially be planted in early spring or late fall; and will grow quickly in size. Only mature female vines will produce fruit, and it can take up to three years. Once the vine is producing fruit, it can bear fruit for up to 40 years! The vines are lush and green in spring and summer, but they will lose their leaves in the winter. Full sun to partial shade is ok, with regular watering, but well drained soil.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-9
'Lemon Bells' Clematis
Clematis chiisanensis or 'Lemon Bells', was first introduced by the University of British Columbia. It features flowers that a bold lemon-yellow, dangling from dark purple stems. Once the flowering is done, fluffy seed heads dangle along the vine until summer's end. Plant slightly deep in soil, to keep roots cool, and maintain well-drained soil with mulch or a ground cover to shade the root. This clematis will grow best in full sun to partial shade.
Water regularly in dry weather. Prune lightly. Lemon Bells will attract bees and butterflies, so they're great for your butterfly or your pollinator garden. Fertilize in spring for best results.
USDA Hardiness Zones: up to 6