Issue 66 Vines to Grow on Trellises

Small Vines Great for a small space or a free-standing trellis, most of these vines reach a maximum of around 10 feet. They’re also fairly lightweight, so they don’t need a huge, heavily built trellis to support them.
Small vines
Name Type Size Exposure Comments
Black-eyed Susan vine Thunbergia alata Annual 8 ft. Full sun Flowers are usually yellow with black centers, but may be white or pink
Clematis Clematis hybrids (Small cultivars like ‘Niobe’) Perennial vine 4 to 10 ft. Full sun to part shade Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 or 5 to 9; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; wide range of colors
Morning glory Ipomoea purpurea Annual 6 to 12 ft. Full sun Flowers in white, pink, red, blue and purple, some bicolors; fast-growing; reseeds but seedlings are easily pulled
Rose Rosa hybrids (Small cultivars like ‘Jeanne LaJoie’ or climbing ‘Rainbow’s End’) Shrub or woody vine 4 to 10 ft. Full sun Most small climbing roses are cold-hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; may need to be covered in zone 5 and colder; will need to be trained onto trellis
Sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus Annual 5 to 6 ft. Full sun Fragrant white, pink, purple and red flowers; vines may need a little encouragement to climb
Big Vines If you’re looking for a big impact in your garden, these vines will do it. Many of them reach between 10 and 20 feet, while several actually get much bigger, up to 40 feet. You’ll need a big, heavy trellis to support these plants, or try growing them over a pergola for a shady seating area.
Big vines
Name Type Size Exposure Comments
American bittersweet Celastrus scandens Woody perennial vine 15 to 25 ft. Full sun to part shade Cold-hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; showy red-orange berries in fall; may reseed but much less invasive than Chinese bittersweet (C. orbiculatus); need a male and female to produce fruit
Grape Vitis hybrids Woody perennial vine 8 to 20 ft. Full sun Most cultivars are cold-hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; high maintenance if grown for fruit production, but can be grown as an ornamental that produces some fruit; large leaves may turn red-purple in fall
Hyacinth bean
Lablab
purpureus
Tender perennial 10 to 20 ft. Full sun Usually grown as an annual, although cold-hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 12 to 3; rose-pink or white flowers are followed by glossy red seed pods; grows quickly and will cover a trellis in a season
Porcelainberry Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Perennial 10 to 20 ft. Full sun to light shade Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; leaves like grape leaves; some cultivars are variegated; flowers are not showy, but late-summer fruit turns from pink to rich blue; attracts birds; can reseed
Rose Climbing or rambling rose hybrids like ‘Lady Banks’ or ‘Climbing Cecile Brunner’ Shrub or woody vine 10 to 20 ft. Full sun Most climbing roses are cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 6 with protection; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 10 to 1, but may flower better in warmer (zone 7) climates; ramblers will clamber over a structure, but roses need to be tied to a structure
Trumpet honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens Perennial 10 to 20 ft. Full sun Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1; fragrant scarlet and yellow flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies
Trumpet vine Campsis radicans Perennial vine 25 to 40 ft. Full sun to part shade Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9; red, orange or yellow trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds; large and heavy vine that needs a sturdy support; can spread aggressively
Wisteria
Wisteria sinensis
Woody perennial vine 25+ ft. Full sun Cold-hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8; heat-tolerant in AHS zones 8 to 1; grapelike clusters of fragrant white or purple blooms are more reliable in warmer climates; vines very heavy and may damage structures, so be sure structure is sturdy