HomeOutdoor Decor35 Perfect Climbing Plants for a Trellis

35 Perfect Climbing Plants for a Trellis

Here are your best options for the perfect climbing plants for trellises.

From climbing flowers to vining vegetables, for vertical gardening is a fun and innovative way to grow plants.

Trellis plants are climbing plants that use a support structure to grow, which can be anything from a plant stake to an arbor. They give a little help to keep the plant upright and secure it as it grows vertically.

There are a variety of reasons why you may want to consider vertically reaching plants.

Photo on top of climbing plants that are on trellis, red flowers and trumpet shaped with long vines. Bottom photo of purple climbing plants on trellis.

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Flowering vines can add color and texture to otherwise overlooked areas, and climbing vine plants with a lot of foliage can act as a privacy screen or cover up something that isn’t exactly pretty. 

Also, plants that grow well vertically are great in small spaces. 

Please note, since we encourage the use of native plants on this blog, we have noted which species’ on our list are native to North America.

If you would like information on which is native to your specific region, your state’s native plant society is a great resource.

What Are The Best Plants For Trellis?

Whether you’re looking for edible plants or beautiful, flowering plants that will look great in your garden or yard, this list of the best plants for a trellis will get you started. 

  1. Trumpet Vine
  2. Sweet Pea
  3. Morning Glory
  4. Black-eyed Susan Vine
  5. Passion Flower
  6. Virginia Clematis
  7. American Wisteria
  8. Honeysuckle
  9. Mandevilla
  10. Star Jasmine
  11. Chocolate Vine
  12. Climbing Hydrangea
  13. Scarlet Runner Bean
  14. Virginia Creeper
  15. Moonflower
  16. Bougainvillea
  17. Caroline Jessamine
  18. Climbing Rose
  19. Nasturtium 
  20. English Ivy
  21. Butterfly Vine
  22. Purple Hyacinth Bean
  23. Crossvine
  24. Blue Sky Vine
  25. Cup and Saucer Vine Plant
  26. Canary Creeper
  27. Silver Lace Vine
  28. Creeping Fig
  29. Cypress Vine
  30. Squash and Gourds
  31. Pole Beans
  32. Cucumbers
  33. Peas
  34. Tomatoes 
  35. Cucamelon

Flowering Vine Plants for Trellis

Flowering vines not only make your garden and yard attractive but can also attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. 

1. Trumpet Vine | Campsis radicans

Trumpet vine with red trumpet shaped flowers, climbing upward.

The large vines of the trumpet vine make it one of the best climbing plants for a garden trellis.

But due to their thickness, they should be grown on a durable and permanent structure.

It is a fast growing climber that can cover large surfaces. While the plant does well in partial shade, it needs full sunlight to bloom. 

The trumpet-shaped flowers have a yellow throat, and their color turns from orange to red. Not only are they beautiful, but butterflies and bees also love them. 

✓ Native to North America

2. Sweet Pea | Lathyrus odoratus

Sweetpea flower vine growing outward and up.

Sweet peas are a fragrant climbing plant that is great for trellises. They’re easy to grow and produce cute flowers, but they prefer spring and fall cooler temperatures. 

They come in colors ranging from white to pale pink to blue. 

3. Morning Glory | Ipomoea

Morning glory vine with blue flowers, growing up fence.

Morning glory is an annual fast-growing flowering vine. It does well in full sun and partial shade.

Morning glories grow very tall and its trailing flowers are perfect for large structures like arbors and arches. 

✓ Native to North America

4. Black-eyed Susan Vine | Thunbergia alata

Green vines and orange flowers with brown centers climbing up wood clapboard wall.

Black-eyed Susan vines are bright, beautiful, and vigorous climbers.

The cheerful blooms can be yellow, white, apricot, or pink. It does well climbing a trellis but can grow well in pots or hanging baskets. 

They do well in full sunlight and are considered a perennial in warmer climates.

✓ Native to North America 

5. Passion Flower | Passiflora

Purple passion flower vine, extending outward.

These climbing plants like full sun and grow tall vines that look great on a large support structure such as a pergola or arbor. They have unique and striking flowers.

The Passiflora incarnata L., purple passion flower is the native kind that bears sweet fruits.

6. Clematis | Clematis

Purple clematis climbing up trellis.

Clematis vines are beautiful perennial vines that can thrive from partial shade to full sun.

And the best thing about them is that they come in different colors and bloom at various times throughout the year. 

Clematis do well as climbing plants as they have a long reach and can grow quite pretty tall.

While they can be grown in a garden bed or pots, they do well on a vertical structure. 

Sweet autumn clematis, in particular, is famous for easily producing fragrant white flowers in partially shaded areas, however is not native, and is considered invasive.

The clematis native to North America is Clematis virginiana.

7. American Wisteria | Wisteria frutescens

American wisteria climbing plant on a trellis.
flickr photo by Ezra Freelove shared under a Creative Commons (BY 2.0)

Wisteria is typically full of foliage even in the shade, but its flowers can be profound in partial sun. 

Chinese wisteria is known for producing long-hanging bunches of white-purple flowers, but it’s also invasive and causes damage to structures.

American wisteria is a safer bet because it’s less aggressive and not prone to overgrowth.

✓ Native to North America

8. Honeysuckle | Lonicera periclymenum

Honeysuckle vines climbing up over an obstacle. The flowers are white and maroon.

Who else has childhood memories of honeysuckles? That alone makes it a great addition to your yard or garden!

The honeysuckle is very easy to grow, and it’s a hardy perennial. It can thrive anywhere from part shade to full sun. 

It has a sweet fragrance and blooms from early summer to the fall.

Aside from smelling great, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love the flowers of honeysuckle. 

The coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, is the native option which has trumpet shaped flowers.

9. Mandevilla | Mandevilla spp.

Pink flowers of mandevilla vine climbing up fence.

Mandevilla loves sunshine and grows vertically with the help of tendrils. The plant will do the rest if you provide a trellis system. 

Their flowers, which come in deep reds, mandevilla pink, and white, bloom during the spring and summer. 

✓ Native to North America

10. Star Jasmine | Trachelospermum jasminoides

White flowering jasmine grows along a trellis fence.

Also known as Confederate Jasmine, this is one of the shorter vines on the list.

But what star Jasmine lacks in height, it makes up for in beauty, so don’t overlook it!

The tiny white flowers appear from late spring to early summer, but their leaves are pretty all season. It’s easy to grow and thrives even in the shade. 

11. Chocolate Vine | Akebia quinata

Flowers that are brownish purple have vines attached and are growing upward.

This one gets its name due to its chocolate-scented blooms. The chocolate vine’s flowers are deep purple, which offsets the oval-shaped velvety dark green leaves.

12. Climbing Hydrangea | Hydrangea petiolaris

Hydrangea climbing up a structure.

Climbing hydrangeas have dark green foliage with bright yellow edges and large, white flowers. 

When the plants are young, they can be slow-growing and need to be protected in the winter. 

For the climbing native choice, look for Hydrangea barbara.

13. Scarlet Runner Bean | Phaseolus coccineus

A red colored runner bean plant with flowers tangled in the vines.

Scarlet runner beans boast scarlet or white flowers shadowed by bright green leaves that grow in clusters of three. 

While it is more commonly grown as an ornamental plant, it does produce bean pods containing 6-10 seeds per pod in late summer.

The immature pods are edible in small amounts but have a rough, fibrous texture.

14. Virginia Creeper | Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia Creeper, creeping over doorway of house.

While the flowers on a Virginia creeper are hard to notice, don’t worry – the leaves are the real star of this vine. 

During the summer, the five-pointed leaves appear bright green but darken to crimson when the weather cools toward late fall. 

Its aerial roots allow it to attach itself to fences, walls, and even trees with sucker discs, and it grows each season significantly. 

Make sure it gets a little sun for the best growth and color. Also be aware that this plant can be very invasive, so be sure to keep it in check.

15. Moonflower | Ipomoea alba

Big white moonflower growing on green vine.

Moonflowers bloom in the evening (hence the name!), and their blossoms can be six inches wide. 

They need full sun and are annual in cool climates, but they’re perennial flowering vines in a mild USDA zone.

✓ Native to North America

16.Bougainvillea | Bougainvillea spp.

Lush, burgundy colored flowers growing against long arms of dark green foliage over the arch of a house entrance.

This flowering vine has electric pink or purple flowers and is a genus of woody tropical vines. 

In frost-free zones, it’s evergreen but may need to be replanted or overwintered indoors in northern regions.

17. Carolina Jessamine | Gelsemium sempervirens

Yellow flowers and thick dark green leaves climbing out and up.

This climbing plant blooms in early spring with beautiful and fragrant bright yellow flowers. It needs full sun and is a fast-growing climber. 

For tips on how to get the best blooms in the spring, check out how to care for your perennials during the fall.

✓ Native to North America

18. Climbing Rose | Rosa spp.

pink roses climbing over a trellis and bending over.

Climbing roses are similar to rose bushes, except they have long canes (stems) that allow them to grow up a trellis or other structure. 

They come in a lot of color varieties, such as pink, purple, red, white, and yellow. 

 Look for Rosa setigera, for the native choice.

19. Nasturtium | Tropaeolum

large green leaves of vine grow up with bright red flowers between.

Also known as the Jewel of Africa, Nasturtium has bright green foliage with white lines.

The multi-colored fragrant blooms emerge in midsummer until early fall. While they are prone to pests such as caterpillars, they can repel flies in your garden. 

20. English Ivy | Hedera helix

English ivy climbing up stone wall.

Ivy plants are an excellent choice for trellis plants for shade. There are wide varieties of ivy plants.

Certain varieties, like English ivy, can be invasive and grow quite large and quickly up the sides of buildings. So make sure to be aware of this!

However, if you live in an area where this plant’s rampant growth isn’t a problem, you’ll love its lush, evergreen foliage. 

21. Butterfly Vine | Mascagnia macroptera

A large shrub with yellow flowers and lots of vines coming out.
flickr photo by K M shared under a Creative Commons (BY 2.0)

Despite this plant attracting butterflies, it’s named for its butterfly-shaped seed pods. 

In warmer climates, it grows as a perennial. And as an annual in northern climates. 

22. Purple Hyacinth Bean | Dolichos lablab

A hyacinth bean purple flowering vine shoots up toward the sky.

This annual vine plant needs full sun and sturdy support. Once established, it doesn’t need much care to produce lovely purple and violet flowers. 

These flowers eventually form reddish-purple pods that mature to the size of lima beans and are used primarily for foraging.

23. Crossvine | Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine begonia growing on trellis.

This semi-evergreen to evergreen vine produces trumpet-shaped flowers that last for weeks. It’s a flower loved by Hummingbirds.

They bloom better in full sun but can tolerate shade as well.

✓ Native to North America

24. Blue Sky Vine | Thunbergia grandiflora

Delicate purple flowers growing ups and ups s they climb with delicate vine.

The blue sky vine produces purple-blue, cuplike flowers with golden throats.

It’s a fast-grower, growing up to 8 feet in one season.

25. Cup and Saucer | Cobaea scandens

Purple flowers climbing with vines.

The cup and saucer vine plant has bell-shaped purple or cream flowers resembling cups, while the green leaves resemble saucers. 

This semi-hardy will become a perennial if grown in warmer climates or brought indoors during the winter.

26. Canary Creeper | Tropaeolum peregrinum

Yellow feather star shaped canary creeper flowers grow from it's climbing vines.

In the same family as nasturtiums, the canary creeper is a bright climbing plant that grows quickly. 

In all but the mildest gardens, it grows as an annual.

27. Silver Lace Vine | Polygonum aubertii

A white lacey leaved flowering plant and vine climbing and bending over.
flickr photo by K M shared under a Creative Commons (BY 2.0)

This rampant, sweet-smelling vine is excellent for a large area that needs screening quickly. 

It can, however, become invasive unless growth is restricted or contained.

28. Creeping Fig | Ficus pumila

This vining plant works well in full or partial shade and as a wall cover. 

Over time, it becomes more difficult to dislodge this plant from any structure.

29. Cypress Vine | Ipomoea quamoclit

Red flower of cypress vine extending upward.

This fast grower has fern-like foliage, and can reach heights of 10-20 feet.

A couple of bonuses of this pretty creeping vine is that it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and repels deer.

Its aerial roots allow it to attach itself to fences, walls, and even trees with sucker discs, and it grows each season significantly. 

Make sure it gets a little sun for the best growth and color. Also be aware that this plant can be very invasive, so be sure to keep it in check.

✓ Native to North America

Vegetable Vining Plants For Trellises

If you haven’t considered taking your vegetable garden vertical, you should! 

Growing plants on a trellis can provide several benefits, including increasing your harvest, reducing pests and diseases, saving space, easy harvesting, and more. 

30. Squash and Gourds

A yellow and green gourd grows, hanging from a fence.

When growing squash and gourds, it’s best to use trellises. They can support the weight of the vegetables and keep them off the ground, which helps protect them from pests and diseases. 

And, of course, there are many types of squash and gourds, such as butternut, delicata, and spaghetti.

31. Pole Beans

beans climb up around poles they are attached to.

In terms of fast-growing vegetable plants, pole beans are one of the best trellis plants.

Their easy-to-grow vines will easily cover large vegetable garden structures. 

32. Cucumbers

Cucumbers hang from their climbing vines from a trellis.

The cucumber plant is a fast-growing climbing plant that can grow under full sun to partial shade. They work well for arbors, lean-tos, and a-frame trellises. 

There are also a variety of cucumbers to choose from!

33. Peas

Peas grow on a metal trellis.

Peas are a great choice if you’re looking for a small vining vegetable plant. They are ideal for growing on small arched trellis structures. 

They also love the shade, especially if you live in a hot region. 

34. Cherry, Grape Tomatoes

Small green tomatoes grown on wire fence.

Indeterminate tomatoes are the type that doesn’t need to be secured to a structure. This vining plant needs to be secured to a trellis.

Otherwise, it will touch the ground, making it more susceptible to diseases and impacting the yield. 

35. Cucamelon

An oval cucamelon dangles from its view.

The cucamelon has not been around for very long. This twining vine plant boasts dense foliage, which works well if you’re trying to create a privacy screen or hide something unsightly in your yard. 

They do best in full sun but can thrive in the shade and won’t produce as much.

Are you looking for help on deciding what to do for shady ares in your yard? Check out our article on great ground cover plants for shade. And here’s a great article with ideas for great hedges that are evergreen.

For wintertime, you may be interested in our article on which plants do best outside during cold months in pots. And here’s a great list of DIY planter ideas for spring inspiration.

Don’t forget to Pin it for later!

3 photos stacked of various plants that grow vertically on trellis. One with yellow trumpet shaped flowers, one with blue pansy flowers and the other with purple flowers.

Don’t forget to Pin it for later!

3 photos stacked of various plants that grow vertically on trellis. One with red trumpet shaped flowers, one with blue pansy flowers and the other with purple flowers.

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