Vines that can take shade

Vines that can take shade

Bathenosisus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy). Image: WikicommonsWikicommons

One of the common requests I receive as a nurseryman is: “Do you have any vines for a shady spot?” It’s a good question, as most common vines are sun lovers. Whether you’re covering an ugly fence, want something attractive to climb the side of your house or need a pretty vine to train up the tree, there are actually vines that prefer shade or are shade tolerant.

advertisement

Article continues below this ad

Hardenbergia violacea It is a popular choice for shade. With its dark green, oblong, leathery leaves and twining habit, this evergreen tree looks good all year round. From December to April it produces small masses of dark purple, pea-shaped flowers that appear in late winter. It will need a little morning sun or bright indirect light to be happy, but it is a vigorous vine that eventually develops a sturdy trunk and branches. It is easily trained and drought tolerant once established. I have found it to be resistant to diseases and insects.

Cadsora japonica “Variegata” It has gorgeously variegated leaves that are glossy dark green with creamy white edges. It should be noted that most vines intended for shade will have foliage, not flowers, which is what the magnolia relative does. It will reach 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide and looks especially attractive on pergolas or arches. Although slow to bloom, 1-inch waxy white flowers will appear in the spring. Red berries can follow in the fall. Another excellent trellis or fence cover is Holboellia coriacea (sausage vine). Akebia relative features luxurious, three-parted glossy leaves all year round. In early spring, cascades of small, scented white flowers appear. They may be followed by tubular, plum-colored seed pods, leading to their common name.

advertisement

Article continues below this ad

Creeping fig (Ficus pumila) It has become a popular choice for a shade wall, and for good reason. It is one of the few vines that does not need separate support. Its tendrils will attach to any wall, even plaster, and will then climb over 20 feet. The delicate green leaves eventually fill in densely, and in the fall they will take on a reddish glow. This evergreen tree is drought-tolerant, problem-free, and attractive all year round.

Hydrangea petularis (climbing hydrangea).  Image: Wikicommons
Hydrangea petularis (climbing hydrangea). Image: WikicommonsWikicommons

advertisement

Article continues below this ad

Parthenocysus tricuspid It’s a mouthful, but you can call this charmer by its common name: Boston Ivy. Known for covering the campus’s brick Ivy League buildings, it also serves as a home for Bay Area parks. The large leaves can be variable in shape but usually feature three serrated lobes. In late fall, the foliage turns bright red. It grows quickly, making it an excellent choice for an “instant” screen or hedge cover. Water regularly during the growing season.

Hydrangea petularis, or climbing hydrangea, is a hardy vine from Japan and Korea. Its clusters of large white flowers in June and heart-shaped leaves make an attractive cover for a house wall or arch. More three-dimensional than most vines and multi-branched, this sturdy vine is great for adding texture. It also has attractive, exfoliating, reddish-brown bark.

Cuban schizophrenia.  Image: Wikicommons
Cuban schizophrenia. Image: WikicommonsWikicommons

Cuban schizophrenia In appearance it resembles climbing hydrangea. This woody-stemmed vine is prized for its 4-inch, serrated deep green leaves and large clusters of pure white, hydrangea-like flowers. The foliage turns golden yellow in fall. As with climbing hydrangeas, they cling to flat vertical surfaces and grow via sticky rhizomes carried on the trunk.

advertisement

Article continues below this ad

    (Tags for translation)Akebia

You may also like...

Leave a Reply