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Good Climbers

Fill your bare trellis with blooms and vines that grow vertically. While perennials are best to keep the structure covered year-round, starting off with a few annuals can help fill in the blank spots until a couple of seasons have thickened up the permanent residents. Here are a few hardy scramblers to brighten up your lattice.


Photo by <a href="" target="_blank">Andrew Dunn</a>

Clematis montana

Perennial twiner that grows up to 30 feet. Blooms May to June for up to 4 weeks. Features 4 petals, 2 inches across and deciduous green leaves.

Needs sun or light shade; hardy in zones 6 to 9.


Photo by <a href="" target="_blank">Benjamin Graves</a>

Ipomoea alba

Annual (in the North) twiner that grows up to 15 feet. Blooms summer to frost. Features fragrant, trumpet-shaped white blooms are 5 to 5½ inches across and unfurl in late afternoons for night bloom. Each blossom lasts only a day. Foliage is rich green with round or heart-shaped leaves.

Needs sun or partial shade; hardy in zones 9 to 11.

Sweet Pea


Lathyrus odoratus

Thick-flowering annual that grows up to 6 feet, with fragrant blooms in a variety of colors and small green leaves.

Needs full sun; hardy in zones 3 to 10.

Morning Glory


Available in annual varieties and vigorous perennials bloom from midsummer to autumn. Grows up to 20 feet of pink, purple, blue, or white flowers.

Needs full sun; hardy in zones 3 to 10.


Photo by Carsten Niehaus/GNU

Bougainvillea glabra

Perennial that grows 15 to 25 feet and blooms summer to frost. Features three petal-like bracts surround tiny white florets that form in clusters at tips of stems. Evergreen green or variegated heart-shaped leaves.

Needs full sun; hardy in zones 9 to 11.



Carolina Jasmine

Gelsemium sempervirens

Perennial that grows 10 to 20 feet and blooms spring and summer. Features fragrant, pale to deep yellow trumpet-shaped blooms up to 1¼ inches long and evergreen glossy, lance-shaped leaves.

Needs full or partial sun; hardy in zones 7 to 9.

Climbing Hydrangea

Photo by Barra/GNU

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

Perennial that grows up to 50 feet. Blooms 4 to 6 weeks in late spring. Provides winter interest with rough, peeling bark on stems. Features fragrant white lacecap flowers and green, finely toothed, heart-shaped leaves.

Needs full sun; hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Dutchman's Pipe

Photo by Wayne Ray

Aristolochia macrophylla

Perennial that grows 25 to 30 feet. Blooms May and June. Features pipe-shaped but inconspicuous blooms with deciduous, dark green large heart-shaped leaves.

Needs full sun or partial shade; hardy in zones 5 to 8.