Growing Vine Plants: Choices, Design Tips
Pictures of Vine Plants
There's a little bit of everything in this gallery showing some of the types of vine plants available. Kiwi is grown for its variegated leaves and is relatively uncommon in the many areas of the U.S. By contrast, morning glory is grown for its flowers and is ubiquitous in American yards. I also cover, for example, wild vines.
A Vine Plant for Every Landscaping Need?
Well, not quite every need. But the range of functions covered by vine plants is impressive. Dry, shady areas under trees are frequently a problem in landscaping. One solution is growing Vinca minor there. Or how about when you have an ugly fence you wish to camouflage? Morning glory fits the bill in full sun, climbing hydrangea in shade.
Morning Glory Flowers
Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) is a classic and has myriad uses. Besides disguising fences, it is a good choice for covering an arbor or for running up a lamppost or mailbox post. As an annual vine plant, it may not fill up a space as early in the season as you'd like, but the trade-off is its drop-dead beautiful flowers.
When talking "wisteria," it is important to distinguish between Chinese and American types. Chinese wisteria vine plants are beautiful but slow to flower and invasive in North America. This article tells you how to improve your chances of inducing blooming.
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet autumn clematis is prolific in putting out its white, fragrant flowers in fall. Too bad that is not the only thing prolific about this vine plant. Because, unfortunately, its seedlings will pop up all over your yard. You'll have to pull them up if you don't want more autumn clematis than you already have.
Think ivy is ivy? Think again! Growing English ivy, a vine plant notoriously invasive in places like the Pacific Northwest, is an entirely different matter from growing Boston ivy. Even in New England, I have to keep a very close eye on English ivy lest it spread out of control.
Trumpet Creepers: Invasive Vine Plants
I told you to watch out for invasive vines, right? Here is yet another one. Trumpet creeper is invasive, but many are tempted to grow it because it attracts hummingbirds with its orange to salmon flowers. Personally, my choice would be to resist the temptation (take it from one who knows!).
Bittersweet: Trick or Treat for Landscapers?
There are three plants called "bittersweet," and I lay out all the facts about each of them in this piece. Oriental bittersweet is a poor choice for use in your landscaping, as it is invasive and inflicts severe damage on trees. When these vine plants coil around a tree trunk, they squeeze so hard that the disfigurement they cause is lasting.
Japanese honeysuckle is invasive in many areas, so you might want to learn about non-invasive alternatives. I offer some of those here, as well as detailed information about Hall's Japanese honeysuckle. Find out exactly what it is, and learn to distinguish it from a namesake plant.