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15 Vines That Grow in Shade
Vines are like the poetry of the plant world, weaving tales of enchantment up trellises, along fences, and across buildings.
They transport us to idyllic country gardens, where the air is filled with the scent of blossoms and the whisper of spring breezes.
Our handpicked selection of 15 fabulous flowering and non-flowering vines isn't just about good looks.
They're versatile performers that can gracefully embrace the shade or partial shade, adding an extra layer of charm to those less sunny spots in your garden.
And guess what? Some of these climbers can even bring the outdoors in, thriving in pots and adorning your interior walls with living, breathing art.
So, are you ready to let your garden (and your imagination) grow upwards? Without further ado, let's embark on this vertical voyage, exploring these 15 spectacular shade-loving vines.
15 Vines That Grow In The Shade
Clematis (Clematis) is a flowering perennial vine that is long-lived if planted correctly. Clematis don't like to be moved though, so make sure you have the right spot when you plant your gorgeous vine.
The ideal location will have well-drained soil that’s rich and loamy. Find a spot where the roots will stay cool. In most cases, you can count on nearby plants to shade the soil.
There are many different varieties and colors of clematis and each one climbs a bit differently. Know which type you have (tendrils, adhesive suckers, or twining stems) when choosing the perfect wall, trellis, or another climbing spot.
Do be aware that deer find clematis delicious, so if you have a large deer population you'll need some sort of deer spray for the plant.
2. Trumpet Vine
Trumpet vine (Campsis) is a creeping vine that, like clematis, likes shady roots and sun on its leaves. The large reddish-orange blooms are a huge attractant for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Considered to be an invasive plant by some, it's best to plant trumpet vine on a sturdy trellis and train it to grow as you'd like.
Trumpet creeper likes a good moist soil that's rich in humus. Blooms last from May until the first frost in many places.
Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is instantly recognizable with its distinct draping lilac-colored flowers. It can be quite invasive and can be seen growing on trees along the roadside all over the southern parts of the US.
If planted near your home, you'll want to be careful about keeping it trimmed, as it can snake its way under roofs and behind gutters, causing damage if left unchecked.
That being said, this vine is gorgeous and ideal to plant over arbors, trellises, or gazebos where it can grow unchecked and show off its beauty. Wisteria can handle partial shade, but be sure some parts of the plant get a good 6 hours of sunlight per day. These vines like slightly acidic, well-drained soil.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) has over 200 species from India, Ethiopia, China, Afghanistan, and even one from the US. These shrubs and vines have white, yellow, or pink tubular or trumpet-shaped, scented or unscented flowers. The scented varieties typically have a beautiful fragrance.
Leaves are sometimes evergreen, but varieties that are cold tolerant enough to live outdoors in colder zones are deciduous.
These vines like partial shade and good soil drainage. They'll train well on trellises and arbors.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera) vines bloom with sweet-smelling flowers that really fill a garden with fragrance and color. They are attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds which is a great reason to plant them.
Honeysuckles are very adaptable, enjoying all types of soil and varying pH requirements with the exception being very wet boggy soil.
They thrive in full sun to partial shade. Hardiness varies depending on species, of which there are several. Vines need training during their growth phase and yearly pruning to keep them where you want them.
6. Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea Vine (Lathyrus odoratus) is an annual vine that comes in a wide range of colors with very fragrant flowers. It can grow as high as 8 feet in a season and climbs by tendrils.
They need to twist their tendrils around support of some sort. You could use trellises, arbors, wires, or even chain-link fences.
Sweet Pea Vine likes full sun to light shade and do best when temperatures are cool, so they may not do well in very hot summers.
7. Bleeding Heart
Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) is a twining evergreen that originated in West Africa. It's best known for its distinct flowers that look like dangling hearts. The flowers last several months.
As they age, the flowers turn from white to pale pink or lavender, then eventually become tan as they dry up. It will bloom most of the year given sufficient light and warmth but is most prolific in summer.
It can grow 10-15 feet tall, but as a container plant will remain much smaller. Provide support, such as a trellis, if you want to let it ramble. It can also be kept pruned or pinched back into a shrub-like form and also works well in a hanging basket.
Kadsura vine (Kadsura japonica) is an evergreen, variegated vine that you can use on a variety of garden structures. It doesn't grow well in full, hot sunlight.
The red fruit only happens when both sexes of plants are present in an area and are only produced on the female plants after pollination and fertilization have taken place.
Kadsura likes filtered shade and well-aerated, moist soil.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a tropical vine that is native to French Polynesia. It is commonly grown indoors as a trailing vine for countertops or hanging baskets but can be grown outdoors in partial shade.
These plants like moist soil but not overwatering so make sure the soil is well-drained.
Because they are tropical plants by origin, they do best outdoors in more southern climates where the temperatures range from 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Passion Flower
Passion Flower vine (Passiflora) is widely distributed in the southeast, especially from Florida to Texas. These plants were given the name Passionflower or Passion vine because the floral parts were said to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story.
It attracts butterflies and bees with its beautiful blooms. It can be found growing as a wildflower as often as in cultivated gardens.
It's is an herbaceous vine, up to 25 ft. long, that climbs with axillary tendrils or sprawls along the ground. Blooms happen from April through September. This vine likes partial shade and dry to moist soil of many varieties.
11. Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is part of the grape family. It's distinguishable by its five-fingered leaves (which helps distinguish it from three-leaved poison ivy).
It's a great ground cover or climbing vine, but can be quite invasive so be clear you want it where you plant it. Virginia Creeper's beauty comes in the fall when its foliage turns a rich crimson orange color.
Because it has adhesive tips on its roots rather than invasive tendrils, it is safe to plant on buildings.
This vine does well in all sunlight conditions, can tolerate dry soil, and works in almost all soil conditions.
12. Hydrangea Vine
Hydrangea Vine (Hydrangea anomala) is the climbing version of the hydrangea shrub. This perennial deciduous vine can get heavy with large flowers so it needs firm support for climbing on.
They are good in zones 5-7 and do well in both full sun or partial shade. If you're in a very hot area, it's best to provide them with afternoon shade as a break from the summer sun.
These vines can get quite large and long growing from 30-80 feet in length, though they can also tolerate pruning to keep them at more manageable sizes.
Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea glabra) is sometimes known as the paper flower. It can be grown on a trellis or over an arbor, against a building or a fence, in containers, as a hedge or ground cover, in tree form, and as a bonsai.
Riotous with color, these blooms will last for months in warmer climates.
Bougainvillea needs at least 6 hours of full sun a day to flower profusely and look its best. So though you can plant it in partial shade, you won't get the same color as if you plant it in full sun.
It's hardy from USDA zones 9b – 11. 1 or 2 random nights near freezing temps won't kill it, but you don't want much beyond that for it to survive.
Ivy vine (Hedera helix) is a fast-growing vine that is most often used as ground cover. Bear in mind that is considered invasive by many gardeners and some wouldn't recommend planting it. It can be grown in containers as well as outdoors.
These evergreen perennials can spread as much as 15' wide when used as ground cover. It's hardy from zone 4-9 and likes part shade to full shade and fertile, moist soil.
15. Climbing Rose
Climbing Roses (Rosa setigera) are an absolutely beautiful addition to every garden. They come in many different varieties but we're particularly fond of the old heirloom varieties with their rich fragrance and shabby full flowers.
There are varieties available for zones 3-10 with certain types tolerating shade better than others. Always check to make sure you're buying the right plant for where you want to grow it.
Most roses bloom throughout the summer. Roses like slightly acidic soil and morning watering.
As you can see, each of these vines brings treasured attributes to the garden. Flowers, pollinator attractors, sweet fragrance, or fall foliage may influence your decision but each choice will be beautiful.
For more posts here at GardenTabs.com, please check out the ones we've selected for you below:
How to Use a Trellis for Vertical Gardening