Plants for vertical gardens are often used when ground cover is not available or not desired. Vertical gardens use vines since these plants can grow up or down vertically. Vines use one of four methods to attach themselves for support; tendrils, clinging, twining and climbing. Vines that cling or climb with tendrils can dig into brick and mortar causing damage to the host building.
Many varieties of vegetables can be used in vertical gardens. Examples include cherry tomatoes, pole beans, snap peas, cucumber, squash and zucchini. These are self-training plants that work the runners up the trellis or fence once you provide them direction. Regular-sized vine tomatoes can also be grown in hanging baskets that allow the vines to hang down; other hanging vegetables include cucumber and beans. No support is needed for the plant; the basket will need a sturdy hook or wire to support it.
A few varieties of smaller fruits can be grown as vertical plants in a garden. Grapes and berries are common. Small melons can be supported by a vertical framework. Fruits use an arbor, or large trellis to support the woody vines.
There are many types of ivy used for vertical gardening. English ivy is one of the more well-known. Boston ivy, honeysuckle, Virginia creeper and trumpet vines are other examples of ivy. Many types of ivy are used as covering for buildings and chimneys; some ivies, such as English ivy and trumpet vines can become invasive if left unchecked.
Flowering plants are often used as landscaping in vertical gardens. Morning glory, nasturtium, climbing roses, jasmine, wisteria and sweet pea are examples of flowering vines. Flowering vertical gardens are used to attract birds, butterflies and increase aesthetics around a property. These plants can grow either on a trellis or directly on a building.