The Q&A Archives: Vines For Trellis

Question: I am looking for a vine to grow on my arched trellis. I am in zone 5, and the spot I want to put it in is mostly shade. What do you suggest?

Answer: Most flowering prefer more sun. However, here are some possibilities that can tolerate some shade and are rated to withstand your winters.

I think your best bet is climbing hydrangea, which clings with small rootlets called holdfasts. It has creamy white flowers and large, heart-shaped leaves. It prefers light to deep shade.

Silver lace vine is a twining climber that is quite vigorous -- the vines can reach 35' long! It too has creamy white flowers, but these are borne in panicles, giving it a lacy look. However, thpugh it would probably grow fine in part shade, it will flower best in a sunnier spot.

There may be some honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) varieties you could try, though they too will flower more vigorously with more sun. Consider Lonicera sempervirens (scarlet trumpet honeysuckle) or Lonicera x heckrottii (everblooming honeysuckle).

Parthenocissus quinquefolia or Virginia creeper is a vigorou grower (30-50 feet) that takes sun or shade and regular water. Leaves turn bright to dull red in fall, but there is no flowering.

You might also consider including an annual vine, such as purple bells vine (Rhodochiton) or scarlet runner bean, for extra color, especially the first year.

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