An outside trellis is useful, attractive way to save space in a garden. Vines and other climbing plants have tendrils, aerial rootlets or twining stems that will easily climb a trellis. Keep in mind that some climbing plants and vines are annuals, which means you will have to plant a new vine every year. In addition, some do best on a trellis placed in the shade, while others need full sun.
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
This annual vine is known for its array of colorful and delicate flowers, which look stunning when cut in large bunches. Many varieties of sweet pea exist, all of which have a pleasing fragrance, but the best ones for a trellis are those that are labeled as "tall-growing" or "vining." If planting in full sun, choose heat-resistant varieties.
Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
The ornamental sweet potato vine is becoming very popular among home gardeners. The vine is often planted in containers or hanging baskets, but it is equally attractive when trained on a trellis as well. These vines are warm-climate plants and tolerate sun very well. The ornamental sweet potato vine is grown for its colorful foliage, which ranges from deep purple to variegated leaves in shades of pink, cream and green. The plant is most often grown as an annual, as it does not survive in cold conditions.
American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
This twining perennial vine is very popular as an ornamental. The vine features beautiful yellow capsules that open early in the winter to reveal bright orange seeds, which remain all winter long. The leaves are thin and smooth, and grow up to four inches long. In the fall, they turn brilliantly yellow. This vine is not to be confused with the Oriental bittersweet vine, which is considered an invasive species in much of America.
Clematis (Clematis sp.)
Clematis is one of the most popular climbing plants in America. Many species and cultivars of the perennial vine exist, with more being introduced each year. These plants need moist, cool soil and thrive in temperate climates. The species vary widely in flower color, although those that produce deep purple and blue flowers, such as the Jackman and Big Petal varieties, are highly desired. For ease of care, choose species that are labeled as vigorous climbers.
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp.
This perennial vine uses aerial rootlets to climb, which makes it perfect for a trellis that has a fine weave. The climbing hydrangea blooms in June with large clusters of white flowers. In the fall, the plant loses its leaves to reveal reddish bark with a peeling texture that is visually interesting. Climbing hydrangeas prefer cool, loamy, moist soils.