Vines – How To Choose

May 2, 2016

These flowering plants all have vines in common, but there are significant differences in size, hardiness and use. This quick guide should help you decide which vining plant fits your needs.

morningglory-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseMorning Glory

Morning glories are an annual vine known for their profuse flowers. There are many colors available when started from seed. ‘Blue Heaven’ is the most popular color which is generally available in small pots during the spring selling season. Morning glories are vigorous and often reseed themselves and show up the next year.

What to Expect: Profuse flowering with flowers open only in the morning. By late afternoon, they are tightly closed.

Perfect For: A mailbox, porch railing or trellis.


clematisvine-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseClematis

There are many types and varieties of clematis to be had! The older varieties have a specific bloom time (which also varies), while the newer varieties have a much longer bloom time, sometimes the throughout the entire summer season.

What to Expect: A perennial vine of almost any color or size imaginable. The flowers themselves vary widely according to cultivar.

Perfect For: A mailbox, railing or trellis. Some varieties like to wind through other plants along the ground.


thunbergia-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseBlack-Eyed Susan Vine (thunbergia)

This is a very unusual looking annual vine with its signature orange flower with a black eye.

What to Expect: A bold profusion of small flowers. Since it is an annual flower, you will need to start fresh each year with a new plant.

Perfect For: A mailbox, container or hanging basket.




mandevilla1-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseMandevilla

Mandevilla is a tropical vine which can be set outside during the summer season and very often wintered over indoors. Pink and red are the most popular colors. When selecting a mandevilla, make sure you check the variety to determine whether it’s a vine or bush type.

What to Expect: Loads of pink flowers all summer on vines reaching 6-8′.

Perfect For: Containers set outside during the summer season.



passionflower-1-300x300 Vines - How To ChoosePassion Flower (passiflora)

Passion flower vines are a tropical flowering vine . Like mandevillas, they can be wintered over in a cool but indoor spot. The flowers are complex and beautiful.

What to Expect: One of the most stunning flowers around. less prolific than a mandevilla, but if you love these blue flowers, you won’t care.

Perfect For: Containers set outside during the summer season.



trumpet-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseTrumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

The Trumpet Vine will grow larger with each year it is in the ground. Orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers are produced all season and deepen in color as they age. Trumpet vines are known for offering irresistible food for hummingbirds.

What to Expect: A vigorous flowering vine hardy to zone 4 and reaching 20-30′. Plant in full sun.

Perfect For: Covering a fence, pergola or side of a small building.



dutchman-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseDutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla)

The variety that is hardy in our area is known mostly for its abundant foliage. Large heart shaped leaves cover the vines and provide a wall of green used either for aesthetics or privacy.

What to Expect: A fast growing vine reaching 20-30′. Plant in full sun. Purple flowers in late May, but not as showy as other vines.

Perfect For: Covering anything with a mass of foliage. Traditionally used for screening porches from the sun.



honeymajor-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseHoneysuckle ‘Major Wheeler’ (Lonicera sempervivens)

Another hardy flowering vine. This honeysuckle is not invasive and is actually a native plant for our area. a profusion of clusters of red flowers virtually cover this plant attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

What to Expect: A hardy vine that will reach 20-30′ height and width which does great in sun or shade.

Perfect For: Growing on a fence, pergola or trellis.



climber-300x300 Vines - How To ChooseClimbing Rose

Climbing roses are not true vines but have a similar aesthetic effect. They can be trained onto a trellis and will require some extra care though the seasons.

What to Expect: Big colorful blooms on stems reaching 6-15′ depending on the variety.

Perfect For: An excellent focal point or specimen for the cottage garden.

Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

A beautiful old fashioned vine that becomes very vigorous during its third year in the ground. The flowers are lace-caps on dark green heart-shaped leaves. The leaves turn yellow in the fall.

What to Expect: A slow growing vine reaching 40-60′. Plant in sun or shade. Fragrant white hydrangea flowers in late June.

Perfect For: Will grow up the trunk of a shade tree. Can also be used on fences, walls, or a pergola. Needs sturdy support.