The cool, moist and temperate weather makes spring an ideal time for planting. There are few better ways to quickly add height, color and texture to the garden than with vines. We love vines because of their versatility; train and prune them, and they’ll grow pretty much anywhere and in any shape your space requires.
Our favorite vines are prolific growers, each with a unique “payoff” like a burst of fragrant flowers or a lush carpet of shiny foliage. Here are five vines we love and how to grow them.
How to Grow Vines
Silver Bells Chocolate Vine
Akebia quinata ‘Silver bells’
- Why we love it: Beautiful clusters of light green leaves, prolific grower, climbs up just about anything – no training necessary!
- The details: Hardy to zone 5a. Grows 10’ wide, 6-8’ tall. Water deeply 1x weekly during the growing season. Semi-evergreen. Full sun to partial shade.
- Where to plant: This vine looks lovely growing along a south or east-facing fence line, or over a front yard arbor.
- The payoff: Lovely hanging bunches of prolific, fragrant flowers in early-mid spring.
- Why we love it: Lush, shiny and dark foliage form a dense carpet of green all year round, and then explode into a constellation of white, longlasting star-shaped flowers in late spring.
- The details: Hardy to zone 8a. Grows to 18-20’. Full to part sun.
- Where to plant: This vine doesn’t mess around – let it be the star of the show as a sun-screen on your south-facing porch, or let it sprawl over the front fence — just be sure to put it somewhere you can enjoy the fragrance.
- The payoff: The flowers! You’ll smell them before you see them. Simple, beautiful, fragrant, lovely.
Moonlight Hydrangea Vine
Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’
- Why we love it: A gorgeous, specimen plant on the rare side with pink stems and new growth, and lush silvery ovate leaves.
- The details: Hardy to zone 6. Slow grower to 10-15’. Deciduous. Part sun to part shade – tolerates full shade.
- Where to plant: Perfect for a shaded trellis or arbor, or even up a tree in the woodland garden.
- The payoff: If you have patience, this plant will put on a beautiful show fragrant white hydrangea-like flower clusters 5 or 6 years after planting. Trust us – it’s worth the wait!
Blue Crown Passionflower
- Why we love it: Star-shaped dark green foliage looks lush and tropical in all seasons. Prolific grower with lots of personality.
- The details: Hardy to zone 7. Grows quickly – up to 30’ in a season. Requires trellis or arbor for best shape. Evergreen in mild winters, perennial in the case of hard frost. Full sun.
- Where to plant: Over the arbor in your south-facing front yard, or up a trellis as a sun-shade in front of your west-facing porch.
- The payoff: This vine is appropriately named- the flowers are a sight to behold! Gorgeous dark purple, green blue and creamy white large (4” across) flowers cover the plant in summer.
- Why we love it: Looks beautiful in all seasons with it’s dense, evergreen leaves, spring flowers, and fall berries.
- The details: Hardy to zone 7. Slow growing to 10’. Evergreen. Full sun to part shade.
- Where to plant: Up a trellis in a quiet, bright, meditative corner of the garden.
- The payoff: Its summer cream-colored flowers are heavily scented, but the real payoff comes in autumn, when the vine is laden with showy, blue-purple berries.
What are your favorite vines? Share with us in the comments!