The Q&A Archives: vine for pergola

Question: What type of planting would you recommend for shade for my new pergola.. We have dogs, so we have to make sure we get plants that are animal safe. thanks

Answer: Not many flowering vines will perform well under shady conditions, but here are a few that don't seem to mind shade:
Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris): This 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.

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