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7 Climbing Plants for Fences


Adding climbing plants to a fence can transform a boring, plain structure into a beautiful vertical garden. Not only do climbing plants add visual appeal, they can also provide privacy, shade, food, pollinator habitat and more. When choosing climbing plants for fences, it’s important to consider your climate, the fence material, sun exposure, and how much maintenance you’re willing to handle.

Best Climbing Plants for your Fence

To help get your search started, here are 7 fantastic climbing plant options for adorning fences.


A classic choice appreciated for its brightly colored, fragrant flowers is honeysuckle. Over 180 species of this popular vine exist, offering a spectrum of flower colors like crimson, orange, yellow, and white. Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) are two common varieties grown. The colorful, tubular flowers will attract welcome visitors like hummingbirds and butterflies to your yard all summer long.

Honeysuckle is also one of the easier climbing vines to cultivate. It adapts readily to various soil types and conditions. The vines thrive in full sun exposures. Just be sure to give honeysuckle adequate room to wander, as lengths can reach 10 to 20 feet horizontally across fences. Trimming it back will help control unwanted spread. Overall, it’s a great way to infuse free-spirited floral charm onto boundaries.

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Another incredible flowering vine for fences is Clematis. Over 300 varieties exist, displaying diverse flower shapes, sizes and colors. The enormous 4 to 6 inch blooms add major visual impact in shades of purple, red, pink, white and blue. Clematis flowers also give off a lovely, light fragrance that carries on the breeze. Unlike other vines content to meander horizontally, clematis vigorously climbs structures high and low. Expect heights between 8 to 12 feet depending on the variety.

While clematis requires more care and pruning than other climbing plants, many gardeners agree it’s well worth the effort. Make sure to situate it in a sunny area with fertile, well-draining soil for best growth and flower production. The jaw-dropping blossoms will embellish fences brilliantly in exchange for meeting its particular cultivation needs.

Climbing Roses

What could be more timeless than roses for garden décor? Fortunately, climbing roses make incorporating these classic beauties onto fences easy. Varieties include prolific large-flowered climbers, modern climbers, and ramblers. Flowers come in all sizes and nearly every color from vibrant red to dusky pink to sunny yellow. As a bonus, many are softly fragrant and make beautiful cut flowers. Expect a long season of color too with repeated flushes of bloom from spring to fall.

However, climbing roses do require patience over other vines. Most varieties bloom on old wood. Therefore heavy pruning and shaping needs to happen right after flowering concludes. Feed roses regularly too for optimal growth and flowering. Despite higher maintenance, climbing roses promise fences brimming with elegance all season when properly cared for.

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Grape Vines

Along with aesthetics, consider climbing plants that offer edibility as well. Grape vines check both boxes, providing shade and fruits perfect for snacking, preserves, juice, jellies, and wine making. Numerous grape varieties with different flavors, colors and ripening times exist. Choosing one suitable for your growing zone is key though. Popular picks like Concord, Niagara and Delaware grape are a few common backyard vineyard selections.

Grape vines need full sun exposures and enough space for extensive wandering. Left alone, lengths can easily traverse over 30 feet horizontally. Train vines carefully onto wire supports attached to fences in desired directions for control. Then reap delicious rewards come late summer and fall once they establish and start fruiting heavily. It’s a fun way to incorporate food production with decorative landscaping.

Trumpet Vine

Also called trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans offers stunning tropical flair on fences. The flowers flaunt unique, upward facing orange and red tubular petals resembling trumpets or cages. From mid to late summer, colorful clusters open and create quite an eye-catching display. And hummingbirds absolutely love them! Trumpet vines grow rapidly as well, easily scaling 30 feet heights and widths each year. Their vigor does necessitate monitoring though to prevent unwanted spread.

For the best experience growing trumpet vine, situate it in full sun with well-drained soil. Water regularly for lush foliage production. Then stand back and watch it ascend fences brilliantly thanks to naturally twining stems and aerial rootlets that grip easily. Pruning trumpet vine immediately after flowering concludes also helps direct growth moremethodically if desired. Use this vigorous climber where you have space to spare for its tropical, hummingbird-enticing charms.

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Morning Glory

The fastest way to cover drab fences with flowers is by planting some morning glory. This beloved annual vine boasts abundant blooms all season long in a range of brilliant colors like royal purple, shocking pink, crimson red, powder blue and more. The unique, trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl in the morning (as the name suggests) and create quite the cheery spectacle. Hummingbirds also frequent the nectar-rich blooms regularly.

Easy to grow from seed, morning glory thrives in full sun exposures and reaches lengths between 6 to 10 feet annually. Provide fences or trellises for the vines to scramble up for best floral presentation. The fine stems can also be trained to weave directly through chain link. Be advised that self-seeding happens readily with morning glory. So keep an eye out for seedlings popping up uninvited nearby. But for fast, temporary color from spring frosts to fall’s first chill, few can compare to quick-growing morning glories.


And finally, for something unique, consider growing Aristolochia durior, commonly called pipevine or Dutchman’s pipe. Unlike other typical vines, pipevine showcases fascinating flowers that really capture attention. The blossoms emerge a soft green, then morph into a brownish-purple shade resembling curved pipes, hence the name. Glossy, heart-shaped leaves unfurl afterward for lush greenery.

As a bonus, pipevine serves as the exclusive larval food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly. So incorporating this plant attracts that wonderful pollinator. It also supports bees, ants and other beneficial insects too. For optimal growth, situate pipevine in partly shady areas with ample moisture. Left alone, mature lengths can traverse over 20 feet laterally. Prune it back after flowering if wanting to control spread. Allow pipevine to intertwine freely through fences for unparalleled exotic allure all season.

So there you have it – 7 phenomenal climbing plant options for adorning vertical spaces with colorful flowers, landscaping allure, edibles, butterfly habitats and more! Consider visually striking honeysuckle, clematis, roses, grapes, trumpet vine, fast morning glories and unique pipevine to embellish fences in the garden. Choose varieties suiting your regional growing conditions for best success. Then stand back and admire the living works of art they create on fences!

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