10 climbing plants ideal for the walls of the house or garden

Climbing plants can transform a garden, cover bare walls or fences, climb over pergolas, obelisks and garden arches, and add height to plantings. Climbing plants can make the most of even the smallest gardens, and many of them thrive happily in a pot. Let’s see the 10 best climbing plants for the garden.



How to choose the perfect climbing plant

When choosing a climber, be sure to check its height and width. Some stay compact and maneuverable, but others are more adventurous and quickly disappear across rooftops. Choosing the right variety for the available space is important if you want to avoid constant pruning.

It is equally important to know how to support the stems that grow upwards. Climbing plants use different methods of support, and some need more help than others.

Many naturally wrap around their supports once established, but most will need to be tied to trellises or cables.

Some climbing plants, such as ivy, cling to structures by means of aerial roots that attach them to the supporting wall or fence. Let’s see the list of top 10 climbing plants for the garden.

1. Wisteria

climbing plants for the garden

An instantly recognizable home garden classic. Wisteria sinensis (wisteria) varieties generally have shorter flower clusters than Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria) cultivars, but both are equally impressive.

These vigorous climbers will need a sturdy support frame to climb on, as they can live to impressive ages.

They need a very sunny location to thrive and soil that is not waterlogged and drains water well. Care must be taken where it is grown, as its roots are very strong and tend to lift the soil. Try to grow it at least 1 meter away from the wall of the house. See: growing wisteria

2. Clematis (clematis)

climbing plants for the garden

Whether your garden is large or small, there is a suitable clematis for every site.

For a shady wall, choose the popular Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’, which grows well in a cool location and receives little sun.

If you have plenty of space, Clematis montana cultivars are always an impressive springtime sight.

For a smaller garden or balcony, there are many smaller patio varieties that will happily grow in a container.

3. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea)

climbing plants for the garden

Bougainvillea is a tender, compact, erect, evergreen shrub with thornless stems and colorful flower-like bracts.

It is best grown in a pot so you can bring it indoors in winter. Can be put outside after frost. See: Bougainvillea

4. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus)

climbing plants for the garden

This vigorous vine grows to gigantic proportions and covers the walls with dense foliage.

Virginia creeper is grown for its colorful fall leaves, providing an incredible sight as the foliage takes on striking red and orange hues.

Parthenicissus quinquefolia is better known as Virginia creeper, with five leaflets per stem. His cousins ​​P. tricuspidata (or Boston ivy) and P. henryana are equally impressive and do well in sun or shade.

5. Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum)

climbing plants for the garden

Evergreen vines play a particularly useful role in creating year-round coverage and interest in the garden.

Often confused with jasmine, Trachelospermum has become a popular choice in recent years for its beautiful glossy foliage and intense, fragrant summer blooms.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is one of the best, with a rich fragrance and dark leaves that contrast beautifully with the pale flowers. If you like variegated foliage, T. jasminoides ‘Varigatum’ is a more decorative perennial.

6. Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)

climbing plants for the garden

The climbing hydrangea is a useful option for a cool wall with little sun.

Shady walls can be a challenge, but Hydrangea petiolaris grows well in cool areas.

With its large, bright white flower heads and contrasting dark heart-shaped foliage, it brightens up even the darkest walls.

Autumn turns its leaves golden, providing an elegant seasonal change. Although a great climber when mature, it can take time to establish.

7. Ivy (Hedera helix)

climbing plants for the garden

This evergreen vine doesn’t always have the best reputation, but there are plenty of cultivated varieties that perform much better than the usual wild ones.

With a sturdy build and well-formed evergreen foliage, ivy can make a good mantle for a wall or fence.

The variegated Hedera ‘Goldheart’ propeller is particularly eye-catching. Try the fast-growing H. hibernica if you have a lot of space to fill.

8. Climbing rose

climbing plants for the garden

Who can resist the charms of a climbing or branched rose? Stacked layers of voluptuous petals make these beauties a must-have for forming surrounding pergolas and pillars.

Climbing roses, such as Rosa ‘Alberic Barbier’ and Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’, are vigorous and create a cloud of blooms when spread over sheds and walls.

If you don’t like the idea of ​​thorny stems, opt for the elegant but vigorous Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’, which is virtually thornless.

For a more controlled presentation, opt for a smaller climbing rose, such as ‘Klettermaxe Jasmina’ or ‘Paul’s Scarlett’, which are smaller and less vigorous.

9. Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

climbing plants for the garden

A classic home garden climber that always attracts bees and hummingbirds to the garden.

No list of climbers would be complete without the trusty honeysuckle. Hummingbirds love its tubular flowers and the berries that follow provide valuable food for birds.

Lonicera ‘Gold Flame’ offers plenty of fragrance and showy rose-gold flowers in summer. For a more traditional variety, try the buttery yellow Lonicera ‘Halliana’, or switch things up with the tropical-looking flowers of L. ‘Dropmore Scarlet’, which will remain semi-evergreen in temperate regions.

10. Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea)

climbing plants for the garden

The flowers of passionflower are spectacular and have an exotic appearance, while its orange fruits (Mburucuyá) increase its interest.

Passion flowers provide general shelter for insects and birds, and nectar for some pollinators.

It may also be interesting to read: 10 ideal plants to have in the bathroom.

Grow best in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Passiflora ‘Constance Elliot’ is a beautiful, hardy passionflower, with large, fragrant, ivory-white flowers followed by edible orange fruits. It grows well in partial shade and can be grown outdoors or in a cool greenhouse.

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