The Fastest Growing Vines
Vines are wonderful plants. Many are fast growing and can climb up anything a gardener wants, such as fences, trellises or even trees. The fastest growing vines grow in the climate that is best suited for that particular vine and in a part of the garden that also suits the vine perfectly. Sun or shade, lots of water or little water and regularity fertilizing or minimal fertilizing are all factors that can influence the rate of growth for a particular vine. That said, the Sunset Western Garden Guide lists only four plants in its "Fast-Growing Plants" guide that meet the criteria of fastest growing, with two additional vines that deserve mention as well.
Bittersweet ( Celastrus Scandens)
This deciduous vine will lose its leaves in the winter, so is not a choice for gardeners who need screening year-round. It produces clusters of yellow to orange small fruits that are used in flower arrangements. Bittersweet is grown everywhere, but does best in areas with cold winters. Its watering and fertilizing needs are average.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera hildebrandiana)
This evergreen vine with large, four to six inch leaves, and fragrant, tubular summer flowers, is easily grown in either sun or light shade. Honeysuckle will take any good soil, occasional fertilizing, and plenty of water. It does best in a warm climate but can be grown in most other areas as well.
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus Quinquefolia)
This vine is deciduous and will lose its leaves during the winter, after they provide a spectacular fall display of red and orange. Virginia creeper can be grown running up fences or trellises, but is most frequently grown as a ground cover on slopes. The plant does best with ample water and moderate fertilizing. The tendrils of the Virginia creeper are apt to grow up under shingles and house sidings and are difficult to remove in those areas.
Wisteria is a deciduous vine that is grown for it long, lovely clusters of violet or white flowers. It does require support, such as a fence or stakes. Wisteria grows in all climates but does best in areas where the winters do not get too cold. Some varieties do best in sun, such as Japanese wisteria, while others, such as Chinese wisteria will bloom in shade. Young plants need plenty of fertilizer and water while more established plants flower more profusely with less food and water.
Clematis Armandii and Ivy (Hedera)
Clematis armandii and all forms of ivy are slow to start growing, so they can't be added to the "Fastest" group. But once they are established, they can match the growth rate of any of the other plants listed. All kinds of ivy and clematis armandii are evergreen and will keep their leaves in the winter. Both are easy to grow, with ivy growing in either sun or shade and clematis growing with its roots in the shade and its tops in the sun. Clementis needs fast-draining soil and regular fertilizing. Both plants do best with regular watering.
- "Sunset Western Garden Guide": editors of Sunset Magazine and Sunset Books: 1977