15 Easy-Growing Flowers For Fences

White Picket Fence with Pink Azaleas Blooming and a Teal Bike
Photo: Ralph Anderson

Good fences make good neighbors, especially when combined with beautiful blooms. Rose-purple azaleas draped over a white picket fence create an iconic picture of spring in the South, while sweet-scented climbing roses are a welcome sight in summer. If you're looking to add charm to your own fence, here are our favorite easy-to-grow flowers and flowering shrubs for every season.

01 of 15


Purple hydrangeas against rustic fence and gate
Rosmarie Wirz/Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Hydrangea spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, part shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained clay or loam
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

Don't rein in the magic when spring and summer-blooming hydrangeas put on a boisterous show. Granted, folks will be jealous, but share a bloom and they'll soon get over it.

Try hydrangeas such as 'Nikko Blue,' 'Endless Summer,' 'Little Lime,' 'Ruby Slippers,' 'Incrediball,' 'Bobo,' 'Quick Fire,' and 'Bluebird.' Provide full morning sun and afternoon shade, planting in fertile soil along a sturdy split-rail or picket fence for the best display.

02 of 15


White Picket Fence with Pink Azaleas Blooming and a Teal Bike
Ralph Anderson
  • Botanical Name: Rhododendron spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Part sun, filtered sun
  • Soil Type: Light, well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acidic

While some azaleas are petite, Southern Indica hybrids such as 'Formosa' can grow as big as a bus. The short picket fence in front tames the azalea just a bit while also framing the blossoms in spring while the shrub is in bloom.

After that, the fence will help define space. You can create the same sort of effect with other vigorous spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythias, spiraeas, loropetalums, mock oranges, flowering quinces, and weigelas.

03 of 15

Black-eyed Susans

Easy Growing: Black-eyed Susans
Ralph Anderson
  • Botanical Name: Rudbeckia spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, part shade
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, tolerates clay
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

Unlike walls, most fences aren't solid, so plants don't have to choose one side or the other. Perennials and reseeding annuals can start out on one side, spread by roots or seeds through the pickets, and bloom for you on the other side too. Black-eyed Susans are great for this.

Other good choices include asters, bearded irises, bee balms, daylilies, four o'clocks, goldenrods, mums, phlox, purple coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, and spider flowers.

04 of 15

Climbing Roses

Rose-Covered Arch
Hector Manuel Sanchez
  • Botanical Name: Rosa spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, fertile, loamy
  • Soil pH: Mildly acidic, neutral

Vines and sprawlers need something to climb, and what better structure than a pretty fence? Climbing roses are doubly delightful when their blossoms produce a sweet perfume, with some flowering in springtime and others blooming repeatedly until fall. Though they can grow to 12 feet tall, these roses tend to produce even more blooms when trained horizontally along a fence. Roses do best in full sun and well-drained, fertile, loamy soil.

05 of 15


Ville de Lyon Clematis in Mary Startzman's Garden in Berea, Kentucky
Robbie Caponetto
  • Botanical Name: Clematis spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, part shade
  • Soil Type: Fertile, moist, well-drained
  • Soil pH: Neutral, slightly alkaline

Some favor clematis for the mailbox, but these vining plants are even more charming growing along a fence. Initially you'll need to use wire or twine to attach it loosely, until the vine builds its own scaffolding to scramble up. Clematis blooms best in full sun, but prefers a bit of shade around its feet, which can be provided by the fence itself or by other plantings.

06 of 15

Carolina Jessamine

Carolina Jessamine
Campwillowlake/Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Gelsemium sempervirens
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, part shade
  • Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained, moist
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

This native vine's cheerful yellow blooms appear just as spring is beginning to warm the garden. Carolina jessamine grows upward very quickly, but when planted away from trees and structures it will gracefully drape over a fence or arbor. Plant in full or part sun, and try to limit pruning in fall so you'll have loads of flowers.

07 of 15

Star Jasmine

Star Jasmine
Nadtochiy/Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, slightly alkaline

Star jasmine is not a true jasmine, but the South loves it anyways. This vigorous grower is evergreen in USDA Zones 8–10, blanketing walls, leaping up posts and trellises, and clipped into hedgelike forms. The deeply fragrant perfume of its tiny white flowers permeates neighborhoods in late spring, attracting bees as well as human admirers.

08 of 15


Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Forsythia spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, average soil
  • Soil pH: Depends on species

Forsythia provides a much-needed burst of sunshine at the end of winter and a welcome declaration of the arrival of spring. The bright gold flowers appear before the foliage, which is fairly unremarkable until the leaves change color in fall. Some types tolerate part shade, but plant this shrub in full sun for the best show.

09 of 15


white mandevilla vine
Steve Bender
  • Botanical Name: Mandevilla sanderi
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Well-drained but moist
  • Soil pH: Mildly acidic to alkaline

This tropical vine is grown as a summer annual in much of the South, trained to grow along fences and frame trellises. Mandevilla prefers moist, well-drained soil and doesn't blink an eye at hot, humid, or coastal conditions. It can be grown year-round in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, where it may appreciate some afternoon shade.

10 of 15

Trumpet Vine

trumpet vine
Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Campsis spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Loamy or average, moist
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

Trumpet vine's exuberant flowers may look tropical, but these plants are hardy in most of the South. In fact, the native version, Campsis radicans, can be grown in USDA zones 4–10. Grow these plants in average soil in full sun (non-native species prefer loam), and prune established vines back hard each year to keep the growth under control.

11 of 15

Butterfly Bush

Steve Bender
  • Botanical Name: Buddleja davidii
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Soil Type: Any well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, slightly alkaline

Enticingly sweet-scented and pleasing to pollinators, butterfly bushes are also easy to grow throughout the South. Plant in full sun in average soil (heavy clay soils could use amending to improve drainage). Choose a dwarf type if you want a more compact shrub; otherwise expect your butterfly bush to grow up to 12 feet tall. These plants appreciate moisture but are drought-tolerant once established.

12 of 15


Yuletide Camellia Bush
Steve Bender
  • Botanical Name: Camellia spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acidic

If you live on a shady lot, camellias are the obvious choice for a fence planting that will wow the neighbors. Camellias can be fall or winter-blooming, with some growing into small shrubs and others developing into attractive evergreen trees. Plant in acidic, fertile, well-drained soil in part shade and you won't need to provide much more than a light pruning after it flowers.

13 of 15

Morning Glory and Moonvine

John Greim / Contributor / Getty
  • Botanical Name: Ipomoea spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

We're all familiar with morning glory, the tender vine that opens its trumpet-shaped blooms each morning, but what if your fenceline gets more admirers at the end of the day? Morning glory's cousin moonvine another fast growing creeper with heart-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped flowers, but it opens on cloudy days or after sundown. Morning glory comes in a range of blues, while moonvines are white or lavender.

14 of 15


Getty Images
  • Botanical Name: Viburnum spp.
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, fertile
  • Soil pH: Acidic

This elegant shrub can grow anywhere from 6 feet tall to 20, depending on the species, but viburnums have in common beautiful white snowball or lacecap blooms and lovely fall color. The Chinese snowball viburnum is popular for the huge, hydrangea-like blossoms it bears in spring. Plant viburnum at the fenceline so the flowerheads can droop over and delight the neighbors.

15 of 15


Steve Bender
  • Botanical Name: Passiflora caerulea
  • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, moist clay, loamy, or sandy soil
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral, alkaline

This unusual and striking vining plant can be grown throughout the South and is evergreen in the warmest climates. Plant in full sun or part shade in well-drained, moist soil, where the vines can eventually grow to 40 feet long. The vine's egg-shaped, orange fruits also are interesting to look at but have a bland taste.

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