Plants That Grow on a Trellis

Trellis gardening can be for many reasons. They can be used for support of a favorite flower, to serve as an interesting living "wall" of color and texture, or for a fan-like backdrop for areas in the landscape. Whatever the personal preference is, finding the proper plants that will grow on a trellis can be important. Good choices to use on a trellis include tiger claw, runner bean, muscadine and red passion vine.

Tiger Claw

Tiger claw, or Gloriosa superba, is from the Liliaceae, or lily, family. It is a perennial vine that is fast growing and good for containers or trellises. The lily flower is red and yellow, and gets 3 to 5 inches long. It grows well in warm weather and then dies to the ground after blooming. Tiger claw prefers full sun to partial sun in well-drained rich soils. It will propagate via offsets or by division of its tubers.

Runner Bean

Runner bean, or Phaseolus coccineus, is from the Fabaceae/Leguminosae, or bean, family. It is a perennial vine that will attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. The beans are edible. This vine can be 12 feet long and flowers in red. The flowers are clustered and the beans are similar to green beans. The flowers can be used in salads. Runner bean prefers full sun or partial shade, and can be propagated via seed after soil is above 50 degrees F.


Muscadine, or Vitis rotundifolia, is from the Vitaceae, or grape, family. It is a perennial vine that attracts birds due to its edible fruits. The muscadine is a type of grape, growing at times more than 100 feet long and 6 inches in diameter. They grow in clusters. Vitis rotundifolia prefers full sun but can grow with some shade. They need regular water for proper fruiting. Propagate via layering or by softwood cuttings. They are typically used for wine, jelly and juice.

Red Passion Vine

Red passion vine, or Passiflora racemosa, is from the Passifloraceae, or passion flower family. It is an attractor of over 70 species of butterflies and is evergreen. There are over 500 different types of passion flowers. There are 1-foot-long clusters of red flowers, usually eight to 12 at a time. The vine grows 10 to 30 feet long and the leaves are 4 inches long. Red passion vine prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. Propagate via tip cuttings in spring or summer, or via seed.

Keywords: vine plants, trellis plants, trellis gardening

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.