Plants for a Trellis

Climbing plants make a living wall of lush-green foliage and are a stunning backdrop for a flower or vegetable garden. The trellis is a natural screen that can block an undesirable view or provide privacy in your yard. A trellis filled with brilliant-colored flowers and fragrant vines is a visual pleasure. Some plant ideas for your trellis follow.

Morning Glory

The morning glory plant can reach heights of 15 feet or more when grown in partial shade. This delightful climber thrives in early-morning light and produces large, trumpet-shaped blooms that range in color from pastel pink and blue to rich purple and deep rose. Blooms traditionally open in early morning, creating a bold display of color, and fade by early afternoon.

Scarlet Runner Bean

Scarlet runner bean is a perennial vine that provides dense foliage and thrives in the summer sun. Blooms resemble traditional bean blossoms, but are scarlet, making this plant a showstopper when in bloom. Foliage is rich green and provides shade or a privacy screen long after blooms have faded and bean pods are set.

Cardinal Climber

Cardinal climber produces 2-inch red flowers with white centers. When planted in early spring, cardinal climber reaches a height of 10 feet or more, as its tiny palm-like leaves cover the trellis. Blooms last throughout the summer, making this a favorite climber for sunny locations.

Sweet Pea

Sweet pea climbing varieties climb to heights of 6 to 8 feet. These highly fragrant flowers come in pale pastels and deep shades of pink, rose and lavender. Although sweet pea prefers a sunny location, it is not tolerant of high temperatures. Plant sweet pea early so it will mature prior to the hottest part of summer. Locations with bright morning sun and partial afternoon shade are ideal.

Black-eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan vine variety grows to a height of 3 to 6 feet and produces an abundance of yellow, orange or white blooms with dark centers. These are ideal for partially shaded areas, as they will not tolerate full afternoon sun. Blooms appear in late summer or early fall.


Nasturtium vines provide vibrant colors--yellow, orange and red--and create a fiery display in midsummer. Delicately scented blooms float above heart-shaped foliage. Some varieties reach heights of 10 feet or more and prefer a sunny location. Nasturtium blooms are edible and add spicy flavor to a fresh garden salad.

Keywords: climbing plants, living wall, vine plants, trellis

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.