The BEST Climbing Vine for Your Trellis? I’ll Show You!

The BEST Climbing Vine for Your Trellis? I’ll Show You!

If you are considering purchasing a trellis, your next step will be to choose a beautiful vine to adorn it.

If you aren’t sure you want a trellis yet, I show you different ways to add and use one in your garden HERE.

You just can’t go wrong with a trellis…or by growing a climbing vine!

There are so many lovely options! I wish I could grow them ALL in my little garden.

If you’re like me, you have to make a choice.

I’ve grown so many different vines in my various gardens over the years.

I’ll fill you in on how to choose the best climbing vine for your trellis and also the ones I consider to be the most beautiful climbing vines for a trellis and more.

The best vine for your trellis is determined by:

  1. The environment in which the vine will be planted, whether sun, shade or part sun. Choose a vine that will thrive in its location.
  2. The height of the trellis. Choose a vine that will climb to the height of the intended trellis at maturity.
  3. The weight of the vine. Choose a vine that your trellis will be able to support even at the vine’s maturity.
  4. The maintenance level desired. Some vines require more maintenance than others.
  5. The function desired from the vine – whether beauty solely or privacy screen.
  6. The aesthetic value of the vine. This is a subjective factor.

For more info on trellises and how to choose the right one, check out my blog HERE.

1. The Environment in Which the Vine will be Planted

The first step in choosing the best vine for your trellis is to determine where it will be planted.

Once you select the location, begin to pay attention to how many hours of sun that location receives.

Also, note what time of day the sun is shining on it.

If the location receives 6 or more hours of sun, you are shopping for a vine that takes full sun.

If the location receives 4-6 hours of sun, you are shopping for a vine that takes part sun.

If the location receives 2 hours of sun or less, you are shopping for a vine that grows in part shade.

This is a basic explanation. There is more to consider here because the afternoon sun is brutal compared to the gentle morning sun.

For more thorough info on this, check out this blog by Proven Winners.

https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/finding-right-plant/what-does-full-sun-or-part-shade-mean

2. The Height of the Trellis

Every vine has a height it is expected to reach.

If you do a simple google search on the vine you are considering, you will find the height range.

If your trellis is 6’ tall and the vine is expected to grow to 20’, you most likely can make it work but it will require a tremendous amount of control and maintenance.

You will have to prune it back continually after it surpasses 6’.

Or perhaps you could just allow the vine to spill over to the rest of the garden.

Ideally, however, you want the trellis height and the vine’s expected height to match or be close.

If you are using a 6’ trellis, choose a vine that grows to 6’-10’ and isn’t a vigorous grower.

Maybe clematis or an annual vine like cardinal climber vine.

The Best Climbing Vine for Your Trellis

Clematis does not disappoint. It may take a few years to get to its peak but it will be worth the wait.

3. The Weight of the Vine

When choosing the best vine for a trellis, take into consideration the weight the vine will be at maturity.

Will your trellis be capable of supporting it even at that time?

You don’t want to grow wisteria on a 6’ round metal trellis. The base of wisteria gets woody and the vine heavy.

It is best grown up a thick post on a pergola and then supported by the heavy-duty wood slats that cross above a pergola.

The Best Climbing Vine for Your Trellis

Wisteria vine is stunning when in bloom, Even its woody branches are beautiful. The weight of wisteria must be considered, though. Here it is supported and showcased by a sturdy pergola.

Some varieties of clematis, however, are generally not too heavy.

Annual vines like morning glory or black-eyed susan vine won’t get too heavy.

These would be fine on a 6’ trellis. Take a minute to do a little research on your vine’s weight at maturity.

4. The Maintenance Level Desired

For the most part, vines are easy to grow. But there is a range in effort required on various vines.

Some vines will need some training to climb. You will need to tie them to the support to get them started and then they’re good.

Others will need continual help finding the support. These are your high-maintenance vines.

Climbing roses are considered high-maintenance (for various reasons) and are not for the lazy gardener or even the half-hearted gardener.

They are GORGEOUS though, so if you have the time to maintain them and learn how to grow them, they will pay you back with unparalleled beauty.

Some vines grow vigorously which makes them easy…until they outgrow their intended space.

Now you have the task of keeping them in control.

This will increase the maintenance level.

You can solve this ahead of time by choosing the proper vine for the trellis and the space you have.

Growing annual vines is easy but still requires planting at the beginning of the season and then cleaning up at the end of the season.

The good part is that you can plant a vigorously growing vine that will cover your trellis quickly in one season, but not have to worry about the vine taking over or the weight of the vine.

You will be removing it at the end of the season so it won’t have time to develop into a problem.

5. The Function Desired From the Vine

When selecting the best vine for your trellis, stop and take note of the function you desire from your vine.

If you are solely wanting a beautiful vine to enjoy, then your options are wide open.

If, on the other hand, you are wanting your vine to offer a privacy screen between you and your neighbor, perhaps…or if you want to use your vine to hide a less-than-attractive spot in your garden or by your house, you want to be careful which vine you select.

An evergreen vine or, at least, a semi-evergreen vine would be ideal as a privacy screen.

Ivy is a slow grower but is a beautiful vine and would make a lovely privacy screen if you have time to wait on it. (After established, it can be a bear to control and will have to be trimmed back often.)

If time is not on your side, try honeysuckle. It grows quickly, blooms from spring to fall, and some varieties are evergreen or semi-evergreen.

I have used clematis on a trellis to hide my air conditioning unit. Even though it wasn’t evergreen, in the winter the trellises themselves broke up the unsightly view of my unit.

6. The Aesthetic Value of the Vine

This boils down to the vine you think is the prettiest, which is completely subjective.

Here are my top 5 most beautiful climbing vines for a trellis:

  1. Roses – I LOVE roses. And a climbing rose is the most romantic vine to be found. Roses on a trellis. GASP.
    Most Beautiful Climbing Vines for a Trellis - 1. Roses

    Roses are the most beautiful climbing vine for a trellis. They are iconically romantic.

  2. Clematis – My second most beautiful vine for a trellis is clematis. The blooms are just stunning. I would take just about any variety.
  3. Honeysuckle – Third, I’m going to pick HONEYSUCKLE because it’s beautiful and the scent it offers is heavenly! (Plus it’s the name of my blog – Hey Honeysuckle!)
  4. American Wisteria – Fourth, wisteria. I can’t believe I’m just now getting to it. Wisteria is breathtaking.
    The Most Beautiful Climbing Vine for a Trellis - Wisteria

    Wisteria is gasp-worthy growing on a trellis. This pergola can carry the weight of the beautiful vine.

  5. Mandevilla – My number five most beautiful vine for a trellis is Mandevilla. Why is it number 5? It’s too stunning to be 5. But there just isn’t enough room at the top of the list. Yikes! If you ask me tomorrow, I’ll change my mind because I LOVE THEM ALL!

What is the Fastest Growing Vine for a Trellis?

The fastest-growing vine for a trellis is hyacinth bean vine.

I can’t think of anything that would cover your trellis quicker.

Consider starting the hyacinth bean vine from seed inside and then planting it after the soil warms up.

That would give you a few weeks’ head start.

Enjoy the luscious greenery it offers plus the pretty deep purple seed pods.

For a fast-growing perennial option, try honeysuckle, crossvine, or ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis.

What is the Easiest Climbing Vine to Grow on a Trellis?

The easiest vine to grow on a trellis is honeysuckle.

It will require little training if any to get started and will most likely grow steadily without any assistance.

It is a sit-back-and-enjoy-the-show vine.

Coming in a close second as the easiest climbing vine to grow on a trellis is morning glory vine.

Plant these seeds after the soil warms up, water them, and walk away.

They will find the trellis without any outside help, in most cases.

What is the Best Climbing Evergreen Vine to Grow on a Trellis?

Ivy is the best climbing evergreen vine to grow on a trellis.

It takes a few years to get established but is then hardy.

So hardy you will have to work to keep it within bounds.

However, it is hard to beat in its ability to hold its green leaves throughout the winter.

Ivy climbing a trellis also offers such a romantic feeling to your garden.

‘Carolina Jessimine’ takes second best climbing evergreen vine to grow on a trellis.

It not only offers the benefit of being evergreen to semi-evergreen, but it also gives you beautiful yellow flowers in spring.

What is the Longest Blooming Vine for a Trellis?

Honeysuckle offers the longest bloom time for a vine on a trellis.

It will bloom from spring to fall.

Even though it will cover a trellis quite rapidly, it may take 3 years to give you its biggest display of blooms.

So wait for it. The beauty and the scent will be worth it!

There are so many varieties, so do your research!

‘Black-eyed susan’ vine comes in second for the longest bloom time.

It is an annual where I live (zone 7) and can be started from seed outside when the soil warms up.

To get those blooms faster, buy a well-established potted vine from a greenhouse and plant it in the ground.

It costs a bit more but will save time and give you instant gratification. It will continue to bloom through fall.

What is the Best Vine to Grow on a Trellis in Part Shade?

Climbing hydrangea is the best vine to grow on a trellis in part shade.

Although it will take a few years to get established, it will be a bright spot in your garden when it starts showing out.

It offers a true cottage-style feel to your garden – my favorite.

‘Major wheeler’ honeysuckle can also be grown in part shade on a trellis.

It needs some sun to bloom at its best but will tolerate shade. It blooms from spring to fall and is adaptable and easy to grow.

What is a Native Vine You Can Grow on a Trellis?

Passionflower, also called Maypop, is a native vine that can be grown on a trellis.

It is Tennessee’s state wildflower!

It is also a host to several different types of Fritillary butterflies, including Gulf Fritillary, as well as the Zebra Longwing.

Trumpet honeysuckle, American Wisteria, and Climbing Hydrangea are all native vines you can grow on a trellis.

 

I hope this has helped you decide on the best climbing vine to grow on your trellis! Enjoy your living, growing piece of art!

Tracy Crosland, owner of Hey Honeysuckle

Written by Tracy Crosland

I was born and raised in small town, Tennessee. As an adult, I found myself thrown into the construction business, building new homes in our little town. My son has now taken over the business, which means I do what I want - a lot of playing in my cottage flower garden (zone 7). I hope you feel the love in my garden and in my blogs and that we can be friends.

For more about me, click HERE.

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