Colorful Flowering Vines
Flowering Vines FAQs
Flowering vines are a great way to add interest and color to bare walls or ugly posts. From purple flowering vines, to bright pink, you have a lot of options to choose from. Before planting a flowering vine, ask yourself these questions.
IS THE SPOT SUNNY?
Most flowering vines, and all mentioned here, like sun and won’t bloom in shade.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF (OR ALLERGIC TO) BEES?
If so, don’t plant a flowering vine over or on a doorway, arbor, mailbox, gazebo, or any other spot you’ll be near.
IS YOUR HOUSE MADE OF MASONRY OR WOOD?
Vines growing against wood siding can contribute to rot.
DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE LOOK EVERY YEAR?
Then plant an annual vine like morning glory, moonflower, or hyacinth bean. All grow quickly from seed.
‘Dortmund’ climbing rose adds a romantic air to this entry.
‘Dortmund’ Climbing Rose
‘Dortmund’ climbing rose (Rosa ‘Dortmund’) features abundant, single red blooms with striking white centers and yellow stamens. This vigorous plant reaches 15 to 30 feet if not pruned. Wear gloves when you do—its sturdy thorns are legendary. Deciduous. Grows throughout the South.
If you want a stunning, visual impact, you can’t go wrong with the bougainvilleas. Native to Central and South America, they grow well in Florida, South Texas, and along the Gulf and south Atlantic coasts. And with the introduction of varieties that can be bought in full bloom and grown in containers, more Southerners can enjoy these plants than ever before.
Bougainvilleas are suited for growing against walls or on sturdy fences, trellises, or arbors.
The showy Clematis is not demanding but does have a few specific requirements. Plant next to a trellis, tree trunk, or open framework to give stems support for twining. Provide rich, loose, fast-draining soil, and add generous quantities of organic matter such as decomposed ground bark. A Clematis vine needs constant moisture and nutrients to make the great rush of growth, so apply a complete liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season.
Perfect for smaller spaces, this gorgeous twining vine (Wisteria frutescens) is smaller, less aggressive, and grows at about a third of the rate of Asian wisteria. This selection blooms at an early age, with lovely, lightly fragrant racemes gracefully falling downward. Use in containers for porch or patio, train up an arbor or trellis, or as a small free-standing tree.
Native to eastern Texas and the southeastern U.S., the Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is a robust, easy-to-grow, hard-working vine. It grows in any soil and is very drought-tolerant, preferring full sun to partial shade. The Trumpet Creeper climbs by aerial roots to heights of 30 to 40 feet and will grow in the toughest spots, covering an ugly wall, fence or other structure in one growing season. The beautiful red summer flowers will attract hummingbirds to your garden.
Purple Passionflower (Maypop)
With exotic-looking summer flowers, the purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) serves as host to the larvae of the zebra longwing butterfly and feeds numerous pollinators. It climbs by tendrils to a height of 10 to 18 feet, preferring full sun or partial shade and medium to dry, well-drained soil. Fragrant flowers bloom in summer. Fleshy, egg-shaped, edible fruits called maypops appear in July and mature to a yellowish color in fall.
When Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is blooming in late spring and early summer, a profusion of white, starlike flowers on its evergreen foliage perfumes the entire garden. Train it above doorways and windows and against walls. It’s not hardy in the Upper South.
Adorned with fragrant, bell-shaped blossoms in early spring, Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is great for training on structures—its thin, pliable stems don’t damage them. It grows and covers very quickly and is good for screening. Deer don’t like it. Evergreen. Not hardy in Upper South.
Hybrid mandevillas (Mandevilla sp.) feature glossy evergreen foliage and large, spectacular red, pink, or white flowers that appear nonstop in warm weather. The new Sun Parasol series has both vining and bush-type plants, so check the label. Fast growers. They’re not hardy to frost.
A packet of seeds is all you need to blanket a bower with blue, purple, red, pink, or white morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor). Plant in spring. Each flower lasts for only one day, but new ones open up every morning all summer and fall. This annual vine grows throughout the South.
Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is a rugged, adaptable, carefree Southern native. Trumpet-shaped blooms of orange or red decorate evergreen leaves in midspring. Climbs any surface. ‘Tangerine Beauty’ (shown) flaunts abundant orange blooms with yellow throats. Grows throughout the South.
Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a deciduous climbing vine that shows off from late spring through summer and can climb up to 20 feet tall. This southern favorite attracts hummingbirds with its showy, trumpet-shaped blooms (ranging from golden yellow to deep scarlet) and red berries. Try planting ‘Major Wheeler,’ a mildew-resistant selection with yellow blooms, or ‘Cedar Lane,’ a quick-growing selection with deep red flowers. Trumpet honeysuckle grows best in Zones US, MS, LS, and CS (USDA 6 to 9) and prefers full sun to part shade and regular water.
Did you know this beloved Southern showstopper is a climber too? Climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangeaceae anomala petiolaris) perform best in Zones US, MS, and LS (USDA 6 to 8). These rapid growers can reach 60 feet tall. In late spring to summer, clusters of wide, white flowers bloom on the vines. If your climbing hydrangea doesn’t bloom during the first season, don’t worry—it can sometimes take 10 years for these vines to produce flowers. In fall, the green leaves fade into yellow.