Are there bland and boring spots in your landscape where you can’t decide what to plant? Is there mostly shade with just a few hours of morning sun, or maybe dappled sun for part of the day? Consider adding shade tolerant perennial vines for repeating color and texture in the area. When selecting, make sure they’re hardy to your planting zone.
Perennial vines return each year, scrambling upward to liven a blank wall, fence, or trellis. Plant perennial vines for shade in ground or in containers. Some multiply and can provide plants for other areas of your landscape after a few years.
Climbing Perennials for Shady Areas
Consider these blooming beauties for those blank areas. Add more than one type of shady perennial vine with blooms for a continuous burst of various shapes and colors.
If morning sun is not available, choose a spot with dappled sun availability. Midday and afternoon sun are often too strong for some of these delicate vines, especially if you live in the South.
Shade Tolerant Perennial Vines
- Dutchman’s Pipe: A vigorous grower, dutchman’s pipe may reach 30 feet (9 m.). Consider it for tall fences where it might be attractive cascading over the other side. Unusual blooms shaped like a curved pipe appear in spring and continue through summer.
- Climbing Hydrangea: A great addition for the butterfly garden is climbing hydrangea. Having white, lace-capped flowers that bloom in early summer on established plants. Attractive foliage carries this plant until blooming begins. As a climbing perennial for shady areas, try to plant where it gets dappled sun or light shade. This vigorous grower may require winter pruning.
- Passion Vine: This is another must-have vine to grow in the butterfly garden. Passion vine is a host for some species and provides nectar for many others. Attractive white blossoms, with a purple crown and yellow center, brighten up a shady spot. This heat-loving specimen is perfect for growing in summer, thriving in both shade and dappled sun.
- Clematis: Clematis may be single or double bloomed and is available in a range of colors. Growing anywhere from 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.), there’s no worry of growing out of control. You may find this shady perennial vine in a dwarf type for smaller areas, reaching 3 feet (.91 m.). Roots need the shade, which can also be accomplished with mulch.
- Madagascar Jasmine: Fragrant and evergreen in some areas, trumpet-shaped flowers appear in spring. The white blooms have a sweet, pleasant scent. Plant Madagascar jasmine near a seating area to enjoy all aspects of this perennial vine for shade, where it thrives.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
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