Shade-Loving Climbing Vines

Written by josienita borlongan
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Shade-Loving Climbing Vines
Chinese wisteria is an invasive shade-loving vine. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Climbing vines add beauty and a touch of tranquillity to any home or garden. They provide insulation against the heat of the sun and some even help in hiding structural imperfections that houses tend to acquire as years goes by. A trellis filled with flowering climbing vines adds a refreshing appeal and a relaxing ambience to a shaded garden.

Growth Habits

Shade-loving climbing vines thrive and climb in three ways: by tendrils, by twining and by clinging. Tendrils are the vines' anchors, which grow out of and reach out from the vine. These tendrils wrap themselves to any support they can reach. Twining vines, on the other hand, wind their stems around any structure for support. Clinging vines climb using tendrils that attach themselves to the surface or by attaching aerial rootlets from their stems into crevices.

Most Preferred Climbing Vines

The fast-growing trumpet vine, also known as the hummingbird vine, bears bright orange or red flowers, which are attractive to hummingbirds. These vines reach up to 40 feet and bloom for most of the summer. They are highly recommended as wall and trellis climbers, especially for ageing structures such as fences and weathered walls. The perennial clematis vines, may live over 20 years, given the right environmental elements. These vines prefer partial shade but can also endure direct sun if placed in a northern location. The climbing hydrangea vine can grow well with direct sunlight and in partial and full shade. It adapts very well to varying temperature since its U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone is 4 to 10. It can get very tall and may overpower your terrain.


Most shade-loving vines are aggressive and invasive. They have the ability to grow vigorously and uncontrollably. Give them enough space and room to cling and climb to minimise pruning. Place clematis vines on a trellis or a wire system to provide more space for the tendrils to support the vines as the plant grows. However, some creeping vines require very little support. Simply place adhesive pads and they will cling with very little effort onto the walls. These vines can become invasive and require a little more space as compared to trellis vines. The shade-loving ivy and climbing hydrangea are free-climbers and are highly recommended for beginners.


Choose the right shade-loving climbing vines that will not be potential property invaders. For example, the Russian vine, Chinese wisteria and grape vines are useful if you need shade on a larger scale. Place them away from the house, as they will definitely take over the property. According to The Telegraph, Russian vine is a rapidly growing vine, which is ideal if you need a privacy screen; however, it can also be very invasive. The Japanese wisteria is a remarkable sight since it blooms profusely, but it also calls for regular tying and pruning, which can be very taxing. The right choice of shade-loving climbing vines will still depend on what you need to achieve in terms of height, blossoms and their capacity to give and sustain shade.

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