14 Perennial Flowering Vines to Take Your Garden to New Heights

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14 Perennial Flowering Vines to Take Your Garden to New Heights

Clematis growing from trellis

Bryan E. McCay

Add color and texture to vertical spaces with these beautiful greenery vines and perennial flowering vines that return every year. Try one on an outdoor arbor or trellis, or drape them along a fence in your yard.

Trumpet Vine

Andrew Drake

Add a summertime burst of orange, red, or yellow to structures with beautiful trumpet vine. This fast grower will help attract hummingbirds to your yard and bring color to hot, dry spots. It grows best in full sun and can tolerate drought and neglect; it prefers to grow in soil without many nutrients.

Plant Name: Campsis selections

Size: Climbs to 30 feet

Zones: 5-9

Test Garden Tip

The native trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) can spread aggressively via underground stems and may become weedy in a garden unless planted someplace it can be contained. The Chinese trumpet vine (Campsis grandiflora) is a little less vigorous so can be easier to keep in bounds.

False Hydrangea Vine

David McDonald

This perennial flowering vine earned its common name because it closely resembles climbing hydrangea. False hydrangea vine, however, has showier flowers with large white bracts that look like big petals—though you can also find varieties with pink bracts. It prefers to grow in part shade or full shade with well-drained soil.

Plant Name: Schizophragma hydrangeoides

Size: Climbs to 40 feet

Zones: 5-9

Test Garden Tip

The variety ‘Moonlight’ has especially beautiful foliage; the dark green leaves have a noticeable silvery overlay.

Dutchman’s Pipe

Lynn Karlin

An underused vine native to North America that deserves a lot more attention, Dutchman’s pipe has heart-shaped leaves that can be as large as 10 inches wide. It has unique, pipe-shaped purple flowers in spring, though they’re often hidden underneath the beautiful foliage. This vine grows well in both sun and shade, though it’ll produce more flowers in full sun, and it needs soil with good drainage.

Plant Name: Aristolochia macrophylla

Size: Climbs to 30 feet

Zones: 5-8

Test Garden Tip

This vine is a host plant for a variety of swallowtail butterfly, so if you see caterpillars munching the leaves, don’t be alarmed. They’ll soon be beautiful butterflies.

11 Vine Supports That Take Climbing Flowers to the Next Level

Bittersweet

A favorite of fall crafters, bittersweet is a quick-growing climber that has tiny yellow leaves in fall and yellow-orange fruits with bright red seeds that dry well. The vine is very easy to grow in full sun with well-drained soil, but you need a male and female vine in order to get fruit.

Plant Name: Celastrus scandens

Size: Climbs to 30 feet

Zones: 3-8

Test Garden Tip

Choose native American bittersweet and avoid growing Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), which may look similar but is an invasive weed.

Hardy Passionflower

Scott Little

Add a touch of the tropics to your yard with this hardy, easy-growing perennial flowering vine native to the southeastern United States. Though it’s late to poke out of the ground in spring, it grows fast and produces masses of intricate, lavender flowers in summer. It grows best in full sun with well-drained soil, though it tolerates part shade, too. Hardy passionflower produces underground runners and may spread aggressively. It also has a high flammability rating and should not be planted on structures.

Plant Name: Passiflora incarnata

Size: Climbs to 8 feet

Zones: 6-8

Test Garden Tip

Like Dutchman’s pipe, this plant is a host plant for some butterflies. Allow the caterpillars to eat the foliage—plants quickly recover and grow back—and enjoy the butterflies weeks later.

Clematis

Clematis growing from trellis

Bryan E. McCay

Few perennial flowering vines offer the versatility of climbing clematis. Choose from varieties that bloom in spring, like (Clematis alpina), or fall (C. terniflora), or anytime in between. Clematis bloom in virtually every color, and there are even evergreen varieties, such as (C. armandii) for mild-winter climates. If you plant it, follow the growing instructions for your type, but in general, clematis grows best in full sun with well-drained soil that’s consistently moist.

Plant Name: Clematis selections

Size: Climbs from 4 to 25 feet, depending on type

Zones: 3-9, depending on type

Test Garden Tip

If you want to go native, select species such as C. pitcheri and C. texensis—they’re native to North America.

Akebia

Justin Hancock

The prize for best foliage goes to akebia; each leaf is delicately divided into five blue-green leaflets, giving the plant a soft texture. It’s earned one of its monikers, chocolate vine, because the purple or white flowers smell just like chocolate—though they’re usually hidden in the leaves. You’ll see the best flowers and growth if you plant this perennial flowering vine in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained, rich soil.

Plant Name: Akebia selections

Size: Climbs to 30 feet

Zones: 4-9

Test Garden Tip

If you plant two different varieties of akebia, they may produce fleshy, edible fruit.

Climbing Hydrangea

Bill Stites

The most elegant vine for shade, climbing hydrangea bears flattened clusters of fluffy white flowers in summer. Though the foliage may change to shades of yellow in the fall, it’s not a reliable pick for producing autumn color in the garden. However, it is a sure pick for beautifying a shady wall or large fence, as long as it has moist soil and a strong structure to support its heavy vines.

Plant Name: Hydrangea petiolaris

Size: Climbs to 50 feet

Zones: 5-9

Test Garden Tip

Climbing hydrangea is not as fussy as its pink- and blue-flowering bigleaf hydrangea cousins, but it’s a slower grower, so be patient.

8 Surprising Hydrangea Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Boston Ivy

Reed Davis

A vine that shines in autumn for its fall color, Boston ivy has three-lobe leaves that turn fiery red at the end of the season. It’s a relative of the grape and bears clusters of small purple fruits that attract birds at the end of the season. Boston ivy also isn’t picky in the garden and will grow quickly in full sun or shade and most soil conditions.

Plant Name: Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Size: Climbs to 60 feet

Zones: 4-8

Test Garden Tip

Unlike most vines, it climbs using suction cups at the ends of its tendrils. Pulling it off a wall can be tricky because the small suction cups will stay attached.

10

Honeysuckle Vine

If you want to make your yard a haven for butterflies, plant honeysuckle. This easy-care perennial flowering vine doesn’t grow quite as large or rampantly as trumpet vine, so it’s a good pick for smaller-space gardens. It produces tube-shaped flowers in summer in shades of red, orange, and yellow and grows best in full sun with well-drained soil.

Plant Name: Lonicera selections

Size: Climbs to 20 feet, depending on type

Zones: 5-9

Test Garden Tip

Some varieties, like trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) are native to North America, but others aren’t and can become invasive in some areas; check local restrictions before planting.

11

Variegated Kiwi

Lynn Karlin

Add color to your garden with variegated kiwi, which features leaves that start out green but turn pink and white as they mature. It’s a strong grower and produces fragrant white flowers in early summer. Variegated kiwi can grow in full sun or part shade and likes being planted in a loam soil with good drainage.

Plant Name: Actinidia kolomikta

Size: Climbs to 15 feet

Zones: 4-8

Test Garden Tip

Gardeners in cold-winter climates can grow A. arguta, a hardy species that bears delicious fruits. They’ll be much smaller than what you’re used to seeing at the grocery store, though.

12

Purple-Leaf Grape

Not all grapes are for eating! Beautiful purple-leaf grape is a feast for the eyes. In spring and summer, it has purple-flushed foliage that turns stunning shades of red come fall. It offers small clusters of sweet fruits, but the leaves are this plant’s main attraction. Like all grapes, it’s a fast grower that does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Plant Name: Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’

Size: Climbs to 25 feet

Zones: 6-9

13

Perennial Sweet Pea

Use perennial sweet pea to add color all summer long to small spaces. This easy-care vine grows only six feet tall and produces pink or white unscented flowers throughout the summer. It does spread by suckers, so some gardeners have found it a little pesky. Sweet pea vines grow best in full sun and need soil with good drainage, or they’ll rot. If you live where the ground doesn’t freeze in winter, you can plant it in the fall for spring blooms.

Plant Name: Lathyrus latifolius

Size: Climbs to 6 feet

Zones: 3-9

Test Garden Tip

Perennial sweet pea may be weedy or invasive in some areas, so check local restrictions before planting it.

Design a Low-Maintenance Small Garden with These 11 Ideas

14

Wisteria

Wisteria is one of the most loved and hated vines. On the plus side, it bears gorgeous clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white in spring. Unfortunately, the often-planted Asian species (Wisteria floribunda and W. sinensis) are also extremely vigorous growers with underground runners that can overtake a garden. The native Kentucky wisteria (W. macrostachya) and American wisteria (W. frutescens) make tamer but equally beautiful choices.

Plant Name: Wisteria selections

Size: Climbs to 30 feet

Zones: 5-9

Test Garden Tip

Check local restrictions before planting non-native species and varieties because they are considered noxious weeds in warmer regions.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.