Plants for a Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are a way to grow favorite plants and flowers while saving much-needed space within a garden. Vertical plants, like flowering vines, help turn a colorless, old wall into a lush and vibrant display. Enhancing outdoor structures like a pergola or arbor complements surrounding plants and helps to connect outdoor living spaces together. When considering vertical plants, keep in mind how much support is needed and their preferred growing requirements.

Carolina Jasmine

Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is an evergreen vine with a rapid to moderate growth rate, covering a vertical garden like a pergola or arbor in a short period of time. As an evergreen vine, Carolina jasmine retains its foliage color all year long. The twining and wiry stems grow 10 to 20 feet tall and hold the fragrant, yellow flower that is trumpet-shaped. Carolina jasmine foliage bronzes in winter to create a striking garden display. Wind- and drought-tolerant, Carolina the vine has fine to medium texture. They require full sun to part shade and well-drained soils to thrive. Plant Carolina jasmine in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 7 to 9.

Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata) is a tender perennial vine with a vigorous growth rate and clumping habit. The five-petaled flowers on black-eyed Susan grow 1-½ inches long and come in shades of yellow to orange. Opening to form a flat trumpet shape, the blooms create a showy and colorful display among the garden. The petals on black-eyed Susan vines surround the deep brown to purple centers that make the "eye" of the flower. Growing 6 to 10 feet all and wide, black-eyed Susan vines are hardy plants to use in a vertical garden like covering an outdoor structure. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. Grow the black-eyed Susan in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11.

Italian Clematis

Italian clematis (Clematis viticella) is a deciduous vine with a twisting, twining climbing method and rapid growth rate. Climbing 15 to 20 feet tall, Italian clematis produces 3 inch long lavender-to-blue flowers that light up the vine. Emerging in mid-summer, they last into early fall, making for a long-lasting blooming season. The masses of deep blooms are resistant to wilt and bloom on new wood. Italian clematis requires full sun and well-drained soil. Plant Italian clematis in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.

Keywords: vertical garden plants, Carolina jasmine, black-eyed Susan vine, Italian clematis

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and