There are times when we need to take our gardening to new heights and we can do this by way of climbing perennial flowers. Whether you’re trying to create a cozy outdoor room with a pergola or just installed a small arbor, either structure will seem bare without climbing plants. It’s even better when those climbing plants add gorgeous flowers to your garden structures.
This climbing plant is in the Ranunculaceae or Buttercup family and is as varied as the colors of the flowers it produces. The fragrant or non fragrant flowers are available in all colors and bi colors with single or double petals and can be an inch to several inches wide. They twist around their support by leaf stalks called petioles. They can be used on trellises, arbors, pergolas, fences or other shrubs.
Be certain of the type of Clematis you’re buying because these plants have a large range of USDA hardiness zones. Some are cold hardy to zone 3 while others are only cold hardy to zones 8. It’s more difficult to find a clematis vine that will survive the farthest southern USDA zones of 10 or 11.
Some grow only moderately fast while others grow at a fast rate. Also, some only grow 2 to 3 feet wide and tall while others climb nearly 25 feet tall with a spread of 6 feet. Clematis needs sun to part sun conditions but it will do best of the roots are kept cool and moist with shade while the vine gets sun.
The wisteria vine is part of the Fabaceae family or pea family and you can see similarity in its seed pods. The wisteria will add a sweet aroma to the structure it covers by sending out small branches. Wisterias definitely needs a sturdy garden structure to climb since it gets woody and heavy with age. It’s best known for its large drooping flowers in shades of purple and lavender.
There are several types of wisterias such as American, Chinese and Japanese. For more detailed information, see my article “Tips on Growing a Wisteria Vine.” The USDA zone hardiness can vary between plants but range from zones 3 to 10. They can grow as large as 40 feet so they have no problem covering a large pergola and becoming an outdoor room’s “roof.”
Who doesn’t love the beauty of climbing roses? These climbing flowers always bring a cottage garden to mind. They’re often seen sprawling over white picket fences or blooming profusely over a romantic arbor. When it comes to climbing roses, there are so many varieties to choose from in many flower colors. Roses need full sun to bloom their best.
Hardy climbing roses are able to withstand freezing temperatures and this still leaves quite a wide range of USDA hardiness zones. Most climbing roses are hardy from zones 5 to 9. When it comes to covering garden structures with climbing roses, I think arbors and fences win hands down. Another option for smaller climbing roses is a trellis. There are hundreds of attractive varieties to choose from now and can be made from several different material such as wrought iron, metal or wood.
These have a quieter beauty than the other climbing flowers, but these do it in shade. They are a deciduous vine and true climbers. They will scale whatever structure they’re planted beside, even a tree. The lacy flowers are a fragrant white type known as the hydrangea “lace cap” variety, not to be confused with the large showy round clusters of some hydrangeas. They can bloom from the middle of spring to early fall.
They are hardy from USDA zones 4 to 7. Just like other hydrangeas, these will do best in acidic to mildly acidic soil. The climbing hydrangea can grow as large as 30 to 40 feet or larger as they age. So this is another climbing plant that will do well on large structures such as pergolas, but they also are pretty scaling a fence or other garden structure.