The Q&A Archives: Shade loving vining plant

Question: I want to put a trellis in a small flower bed in the front of my home. The bed faces east and we have several trees that provide mostly a shady spot for the entire day. I would like a something that flowers and is easy care.

Answer: Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris): is an attractive deciduous vine with lace-cap like clusters of large white flowers in midsummer. Roots produced on stems will attach the plant to supports. Hardy from Zones 4 to 8, it can be slow to establish, but will grow 25 feet tall or more if it has a good wall to climb. It can, of course, be pruned to keep it smaller. It's a lovely climbing vine for shade, but will grow in sun too.

Five-leaf akebia (Akebia quinata): This is a fast-growing deciduous climbing vine for shade that will also do well in the sun. Hardy to Zones 5 to 8, it has attractive glossy leaves and small purple flowers in mid-spring. It makes a terrific screen and will grow 30 to 40 feet if allowed to ramble. Needs support for climbing.

Variegated porcelain vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata 'Elegans'): Hardy to zone 5, this vine has attractive green leaves that are variegated white and pink. Produces an abundance of porcelain-blue berries; the warmer the summer, the more fruit. Needs support of wires or a trellis to climb.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your garden.

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