Our 7 Favorite Climbing Plants to “Wow” your Outdoor Space

Our 7 Favorite Climbing Plants to “Wow” your Outdoor Space

Installing a pergola, gazebo, archway or trellis is a wonderful way to beautify your outdoor space and create a cozy area to gather and visit. Take things to the next level by adding the right climbing plants, and bring life, color, soothing scents, and shade to your space.

Read on to learn about 7 show-stopping climbing plants for different styles and climates, and find the one that’s perfect for you!

1. Camellia

how to grow camellias

Camellias (Camellia japonica) are evergreen shrubs that grow up to 10 to 15 feet tall, with a spread of 6 to 10 feet. They are warm-weather plants, perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 7a (Kentucky) to 9a (Gainesville, Florida).

Camellias boast showy round blooms that can be pink, lavender, orange, white, red, or yellow, and their attractive, glossy evergreen foliage will bring cheer to your pergola in the depths of winter. Camellias also thrive in partial shade, unlike most flowers, which is a big plus if your trellis or pergola is near a tree or other shade source.

The homeowners in item number 1 of this blog post used camellias to adorn their custom-made mailbox trellis, and they look divine!

Click here to learn all about how to grow camellias, and click here and here for more shade-loving plants.

2. Morning Glory

how to grow morning glories

Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) vines will grow very quickly to a height of 6 to 10 feet. This vine produces copious vividly-colored trumpet-shaped flowers that can be white, purple, red, blue, pink, or also bi- or tri-colored.

Morning glories are very hardy and can actually spread out a little too much, so you may need to pull some up if they start to get out of bounds. Because of this, they are considered and invasive weed in some states, such as Arizona and Arkansas, where planting them is now illegal, so check with your local gardening center before ordering morning glory seeds online.

Morning glories’ hardiness and beauty make them very popular choices in other areas, though, as well as their availability in blue, which is one of the most difficult bloom colors to come by (see “Heavenly Blue” morning glory in the photo above). Morning glories are considered annuals, but they will often re-seed themselves and come up on their own year after year.

Click here to learn how to grow morning glories.

3. Bougainvillea

how to grow bougainvillea

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) is a strikingly-colored, fragrant climbing shrub that comes in orange, lavender, purple, red or yellow. Bougainvillea’s brightly-colored “flowers” are actually bracts, like what poinsettias have, with tiny white flowers coming out of them.

Bougainvillea can grow very large, up to 15 to 25 feet tall with a spread of 25 to 33 feet, so you will need to prune it to keep it the size and shape you want. Bougainvillea is a warm-weather plant originally from Brazil, perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 9b (Tampa, Los Angeles) to 11a (Puerto Rico).

But if you love their beauty and don’t live where it’s warm and sunny all the time, you can actually grow bougainvillea as a houseplant with the proper care.

Click here to learn about growing bougainvillea.

4. Wisteria

growing wisteria

Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) is a flowering shrub that grows to a height of 15 to 60 feet, with a spread of 40 to 50 feet. Because it can get so large, wisteria is a plant that requires plenty of pruning to keep it under control.

The payoff, however, is absolutely amazing. Wisteria produces abundant, long “garlands” of blooms that can be purple, white, blue or lavender, and which produce a heavenly scent.

These strands are particularly striking on a structure with a horizontal surface, such as a pergola or arch, from which they can cascade down (see the photo above and the photo at the top of this article).

Wisteria is perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 5a (Madison, WI) to 9b (Orlando, Florida), so this beauty is on the list for gardeners in most of the U.S. Wisteria also thrives in partial shade, unlike most flowers, which is wonderful if your pergola is in a less-sunny part of your property.

Click here to learn all about how to grow wisteria.

5. Laguna Rose

how to grow roses

Laguna roses (Rosa Laguna) are climbing roses with large, vibrantly-colored deep-pink blossoms that grow in clusters of 6 to 8. Laguna roses are also disease-resistant and wonderfully fragrant, and they bloom repeatedly. What’s not to love?

Laguna roses grow to a height of 8 to 9 feet, and are perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 (New York) through 9 (Coastal California). Click here to learn about growing Laguna roses.

6. Moonflower

how to grow moonflowers

Moonflowers (Ipomea alba) are vivid-white flowers in the morning glory family. Moonflowers are 5 to 5 ½ inches in diameter and trumpet-shaped like their cousin the morning glory.

But unlike the morning glory, moonflowers open up during the late afternoon and stay open at night. They get their name because their lovely white blooms reflect the moon’s glow (see photo above).

Moonflowers have fragrant blooms and eye-catching heart-shaped foliage, and they can thrive in partial shade. They make a perfect addition to a moon garden for evening get-togethers or for unwinding on your gazebo at the end of the day.

Moonflowers are perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 (Texas minus the panhandle) through 11 (Puerto Rico), and easily grown from seed as annuals elsewhere. Moonflower vines can reach up to 15 feet tall.

Click here to learn about how to grow moonflowers.

7. Sweet Pea

how to grow sweet peas

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are so wonderfully fragrant, their heavenly scent is referenced in both their common name (“sweet”) and their botanical name (“odoratus”). But this annual flowering vine is no slouch in the appearance department, either.

Sweet peas sport lovely fan-shaped blooms that can be pink, purple, red, white, lavender, or yellow, and that looks a little bit like Phalaenopsis orchids (see photo above). Sweet peas are drought-tolerant annuals that reach a height of 4 to 10 feet tall and have a nice spread. Sweet peas prefer plenty of moisture and sunlight.

Click here to learn all about how to grow sweet peas.

Happy gardening! Stop by our website for easy solutions to everyday problems, so you can spend more time gardening and less time cleaning.

Photos courtesy of candiru, Toshihiro Gamo, mogollon_1, Iqbal Osman, David, Holger, Michael Coté, and Sarah.

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