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How to Grow Vines on a Privacy Fence

By Katie Jensen ; Updated September 21, 2017

Every yard could use a little more privacy and a privacy fence might be the ideal solution. Most fences are rather uninteresting to look at or even ugly as in the case of chain link. Growing plants in front of the fence and vines up the fence breaks the monotony of the blank wall and provides even more privacy because the leaves cover the empty spaces in an openwork fence such as rod iron, lattice or chain link.

Determine the type of fencing already in place. Different plants have different requirements as to how they latch onto the fence to grow. A chain-link fence has openings that vines can twine around. The metal provides a sturdy support for vines that must be tied to the fence. A block wall needs plants that attach themselves to the wall or wires attached to the wall to provide something for the vines to hold onto.

Measure the height of the fence. Some vines grow to 30 feet high and others to only 4 or 5 feet high. If you plant a shorter growing vine in front of a tall fence there will be quite a bit of empty space not covered by the plant near the top. Plants that grow much taller than the fence need to be pruned. Another alternative is to add supports at the top of the fence, or allow the vine to grow over the fence.

Select the appropriate vine. Vines attach themselves by twining around a support like honeysuckle, using tendrils--think sweet peas, using air rootlets like ivy, or require a support like climbing roses. Some vines are deciduous, losing their leaves for a period of time. Some vine varieties grow to their full height during the season then die back to the ground in winter. Others take several years to reach their full height. Choose the vine that best suits your fence.

Dig a hole for the vine that is twice as deep and wide as the plant's container. Add compost and fertilizer according to package directions to the removed soil, mixing in well. Backfill the hole about halfway and water to settle the soil.

Remove the plant from the container and place in the hole. Adjust the soil level if necessary so the plant is at the same level in the hole as it was in the pot. Burying the plant deeper might smother it and planting too shallow leaves roots exposed. Fill in around the plant with the remaining soil and water again.


Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Vines
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer


  • Selecting the right type of vine for the fence avoids frustration. For example, if your heart is set on climbing roses, there must be a way to tie the rose to a support or it will just flop over.


  • Some communities require permits to change the height of a fence even if it's just by adding a foot or so of lattice work at the top.

About the Author


Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.