Vertical gardening is a fun way to add beauty and drama to your garden. If you’re wondering what plants grow on a trellis, then this list of trellis plants is for you! It covers everything from climbing flowers for sun or shade, vining perennials, annuals, tropicals, and even vining vegetables.
20 Trellis Plants For Your Garden
Lucky for us there are lots of different types of climbing plants out on the market these days. Everyone will be looking for different vertical gardening ideas, so I’ve organized my list of vine plants down into two separate categories – vining flowers and vining vegetables.
Hopefully that will make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. I’ll start with with the best climbing flowers first, then give you a list of vining vegetables after that.
Flowering Trellis Plants
This first section is all about flowering trellis plants. I’ve further broken down this list into annuals, tropicals, and perennial climbing plants. Anyone can grow the annual climbing flowers. If you live in a warm climate, then you may also be able to grow many of the vines listed in the tropical climbing flowers section too. Those of us who live in cold climates will likely be more interested in the my list of cold hardy climbing plants below that.
Annual Climbing Plants With Flowers
I’ll start this section with my list of annual flowering vines. These are all good climbing flowers that will grow to cover a garden trellis or other vertical structures very quickly, and add tons of color to your garden. The tradeoff is that they are all annual plants, which means they won’t grow back next year.
1. Vining nasturtium – If you’ve never grown nasturtium in your garden before, then you definitely should add this one to your list. Nasturtiums have bright, beautiful flowers that not only look nice, they’re edible too! An excellent addition to either the flower garden or to mix into your vegetable beds. Amazon Jewel and Spitfire are two of my favorite climbing nasturtium varieties.
2. Black-eyed Susan vine – These bright and beautiful full sun climbing vines grow equally well on a trellis the garden or in container vertical gardens. Black-eyed Susan vines are vigorous climbers, and make a lovely backdrop to other flowers in the garden.
3. Morning glory – Another wonderful annual flowering vine, morning glories are fast growing trellis plants. They grow to be very tall, so they would be perfect for quickly covering large structures like arbors and arches. Morning glories grow well in full sun to part shade.
4. Sweet pea – Fragrant climbing plants with cute flowers, sweet peas are small vining plants perfect for garden trellises and planters. Sweet peas are super easy to grow, but prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall.
5. Petunias – Traditionally grown as trailing plants, petunias make good trellis plants too. They can be trained to grow vertically on a small trellis or obelisk, and are perfect for growing in pots or in the garden. Petunias are great for the full sun, but they grow very well in part shade too.
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Tropical Climbing Flowers
The climbing flowers in this list are wonderful for growing in your garden if you live in a warm climate with mild winters. But don’t worry, even if your winters are as cold as ours are, you can still grow these gorgeous climbing flowering vines! Simply grow them in pots and overwinter them indoors.
6. Jasmine – One of my favorite fragrant flowers, jasmine are absolutely beautiful climbing plants! I wish I could grow them in my garden, I would plant them next to every window so I could enjoy their heavenly scent inside too. Jasmine are wonderful climbing flowers, and they grow very well in pots for us northern gardeners.
7. Bougainvillea – If you can grow bougainvillea in your garden, you are so lucky! This one will only grow in very warm climates of zones 10+. This dense vining plant is covered by bright flowers pretty much year round, and I swoon over it every time I visit California.
8. Passion flower – Another plant that I envy anyone who can grow it, passion flowers are climbing plants that like full sun. They have striking flowers that are very unique, and the tall vines would look amazing growing on a pergola, arbor, or large garden supports for climbing plants.
9. Mandevilla – Commonly sold growing in pots in colder climates like mine, mandevilla are flowering vine plants that are hardy only in the warmest growing zones (10-11). They aren’t too hard to overwinter though, so keep that in mind if you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough to grow them in your garden.
Cold Hardy Climbing Plants
If you live in a cold climate like I do, then you will definitely want to add a few of these cold hardy climbing plants to your garden. The plants in this list are all cold hardy perennial climbing vines, so they will come back year after year.
10. Climbing roses – If you’re looking for climbing perennials for sun, then climbing roses are for you! Climbing roses aren’t vine plants that grow up a vertical support by themselves, but they have long pliable branches that can be trained and tied to grow on arbors and trellises. These perennial climbing flowers look gorgeous as the backdrop in any garden, and they are very hardy.
11. Wisteria – I’m not lucky enough to be able to grow wisteria in my garden (so close though!), but if you’re in a warm enough zone for it (zones 5-10), then I highly recommend adding this one to your list. Wisteria grows in full sun to part shade, and makes a very dramatic statement when grown over large arbors, arches and pergolas.
12. Ivy – Because they’re only grown for the foliage, ivies are wonderful trellis plants for shade. There are lots of different varieties of ivy plants, and some are more hardy than others so be sure to check the tag for hardiness before planting this one in your garden.
13. Trumpet Vine – The large vines of the trumpet flower are some of the best climbing plants for pergolas and other tall vertical gardening structures. Trumpet vines are gorgeous, and are bee and butterfly magnets. The vines can grow to be as thick as small tree trunks, so be sure you grow this one on a very strong, permanent structure.
14. Honeysuckle – If you’re looking for perennial flowering vines that are extremely hardy and super easy to grow, then honeysuckle would be perfect. Honeysuckles are fast growing climbing vines that will quickly cover trellises and arbors. They can grow anywhere from full sun to part shade (mine grows and flowers very well in the shade), so you can plant them just about anywhere in your garden.
15. Clematis – Clematis are wonderful perennial trellis plants that can grow anywhere from sun to partial shade. The best part about clematis vines is that they come in a variety of colors, and many types bloom at different times throughout the year. So, if you mix and match the different varieties, you’ll have blooming climbing plants in your garden all summer long!
Vining Vegetable Plants For Trellises
If you want some fast growing climbing plants for your garden, then vining vegetables might just be what you’re looking for. Trellising vegetables not only looks beautiful, it’s also better for the plants. When you trellis vegetables instead of leave them to sprawl on the ground, the plants have less issues with pests and disease. Plus, the vegetables are easier to harvest, and they look better too!
Just be aware that there are compact bush varieties for most of the vegetable plants I have listed below. So be sure to read the plant tag or seed packet when you’re looking for what vegetables can be grown on a trellis. Here are some of the best vining vegetables for vertical gardening.
16. Cucamelon – If you’ve never heard of cucamelons, it’s because they were just introduced a few years ago. Cucamelons are fantastic climbing vine plants that have beautiful, dense foliage perfect for creating a privacy screen or hiding something unsightly in your garden. They will perform their best in full sun, but if you don’t mind sacrificing some of the harvest, cucamelons are good climbers for shade too.
17. Cucumbers – Many people are afraid to grow cucumbers on a trellis, but they are wonderful fast growing climbers that will cover a trellis quickly. Cucumbers can grow in full sun to partial shade, and are good climbing plants for pergolas, arbors, arches and trellises. Sumter and Marketmore are two of my favorite varieties.
18. Squash and gourds – Believe it or not, you can grow large vining vegetables like squash and gourds on a heavy duty trellis, arbor or pergola. I grow them on my squash arch every year, but they would also grow very well on other large vertical garden plant supports like pergolas and arbors. Butternut, Delicata and Sugar Pie Pumpkins are a few of my favorite squash plants to grow vertically.
19. Peas – If you’re looking for small vining plants to grow in your garden, peas are a great choice. Peas are climbing plants that like shade, especially if you live in a hot climate. These lightweight vines are perfect for growing on small trellis structures, or a cute obelisk trellis in your garden.
20. Pole beans – One of the best trellis plants for people looking for fast growing climbers for their garden, pole beans are a must. They are easy to grow climbing plants, and the vines will quickly cover tall vertical garden structures like pergolas and trellises. Beans like to grow in full sun the best, but will still produce plenty of food in part shade. Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder are excellent ones to grow.
I hope that you’ve found the best vining plants to grow in your garden. Heck, maybe I’ve even inspired you to grow more than you were planning (time to install a new trellis in the garden?)!
Trellis plants are wonderful for adding height, beauty and interest to your garden. I encourage you to grow tons of different varieties of climbing flowers, and mix in as many trellis vegetables as you can too.
If you want to take it beyond the flower garden, and learn more about growing vegetables vertically, then my new book, Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects That Deliver More Yield In Less Space is just what you need! It will teach you how to grow all of your food vertically (including nearly two dozen DIY trellises and other projects that you can build!), plus it has a detailed list of all the different types of crops that are suitable for vertical gardening. Pre-order your copy today!
Learn more about my new book Vertical Vegetables here.
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Which trellis plants would you add to this list? Share your favorite climbing plants in the comments below.