Plants That Grow on Trellises

Plants that grow on trellises can provide privacy and shade to a home landscape. Both vines and climbing plants are appropriate to grow on a trellis, pergola or, in some cases, along a fence or wall. Many vines, such as ivy, will take to a trellis on their own, while others, such as bougainvillea, do better if trained or tied to a trellis when young. Many of these plants may become invasive or may wander onto other plants, so they need to be monitored.


Bougainvillea is a colorful, evergreen vine that thrives in frost-free areas and can be trained along a trellis, pergola or fence. This plant is often seen covering entryways or growing along trellises in the South, Southwest and California. Bougainvillea is showy--but not because of its blooms. This plant produces papery, round bracts in pinks, purple, reds, yellows and whites that give the appearance of having colored leaves. In reality, the foliage is green. Bougainvillea should be planted in sun in most climates, but performs better in light shade in the hottest, most humid regions. It requires regular to moderate water.


If you're looking for a plant that will not only grow up a trellis but will add a lovely fragrance to your yard, honeysuckle (Lonicera) is a good choice. Hardy in most climates, though it may die back in winter, honeysuckle can easily be trained to climb a trellis, from which it will produce fragrant, tubular flowers in spring and summer. Japanese honeysuckle (L. japonica) is prevalent throughout the South and produces a sweet-scented purple-white flower. This variety is invasive. In general, honeysuckle thrives in full sun to some shade with moderate water.


Ivy (Hedera) is a neat, compact, evergreen vine that will climb just about anything from a trellis to a cement wall and may used to disguise any vertical surface. Ivy climbs by producing small rootlets along the vine that will grab onto a surface, making it a sturdy climber and a difficult one to remove. If planted near other plants, be careful to keep ivy away, as the rootlets may strangle neighboring plants. Ivy is available in many varieties and will survive in all but the coldest climates. In general, these plants thrive in full sun to part shade in hottest areas and require regular water.

Keywords: climbing plants, vines on trellis, plants for privacy, pergola, plants trellis

About this Author

J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.