Purple Flowered Vines
NC vines
(Image credit: Milaspage)

Perennial vines are popular in gardens for a number of reasons. Most produce lovely flowers, many with blooms that attract pollinators. They are generally low maintenance but provide impact when trained on walls, fences, arbors, gazebos, and other garden structures. They also provide privacy screens. There are many North Central vines you can choose from if you live in this region.

Choosing Vines for North Central States

When growing vines in the North and Central states of the U.S., it’s best to choose those that are native or that at least will not become invasive and overgrown if non-native. For example, honeysuckle is a pretty, sweet smelling vine with flowers pollinators love, but be sure not to choose the highly invasive and damaging Japanese honeysuckle. Here are some other native and non-invasive options:

  • Sweet pea: This pretty and vigorous vine produces delicate white, pink, and lavender flowers and can grow up to 12 feet (4 m.) high. Sweet pea thrives in full sun and tolerates drought.
  • Clematis: One of the most popular of flowering vines, clematis comes in different varieties and colors. ‘Roguchi’ will bloom from June through September. Clematis is fine in partial shade and needs a lot of organic material in the soil.
  • Climbing hydrangea: This vine has both beautiful foliage and flowers. Be patient, though, as climbing hydrangea may take a few years to establish and bloom. This is a root climber that can grow up a wall.
  • American Wisteria: American Wisteria is a stunning native vine, especially for an arbor or trellis because of the flowers. They grow in grape-like clusters and look elegant and whimsical when hanging down from overhead.
  • Hops: The hops vine is grown for beer making but the unique, cone-like flowers and tall, quick growth also make this a good choice for the home garden. It will create a privacy screen in no time but does need to be cut down to the ground each year before new spring growth starts.

Growing Vines in Northern States

Before choosing North Central vines, be aware of how they climb. Some types climb by sending out roots to grab onto and climb up a wall easily. A twining vine, such as wisteria, needs a structure to grow around like a fence or arbor. Matching vine to structure is essential for success.

All growing conditions, such as soil type, water needs, and fertilizing, will vary depending on the vine, so do some research before selecting vines.

Most vines will benefit from trimming and pruning to keep them healthy and to maintain a reasonable size and shape. Prune vines in the late winter or early spring if they bloom on new wood or need rejuvenation. Vines that bloom on old wood can be pruned after flowering.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.