Evergreen vines are vines that keep their leaves all year round. They are often used on trellises and fences to create a year-round screen. Birds love them because they provide shelter and resting locations in the winter months. Evergreen vines that are considered the best are multipurpose, hardy and easy to grow.
The crossvine or trumpet flower (Bignonia capreolata) has large orange-red flowers that appear in the spring and attract hummingbirds. It is tough and easy to grow to the point that it will become invasive if not managed. It grows rapidly until it reaches 30 to 50 feet. It prefers full sun but will grow in shade. Soil should be acidic, moist and well-draining. Cross vines are prefect for walls or chain link fences and hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9.
The trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a twining vine native to the Eastern U.S. Its 2-inch long orange or red flowers appear in March and attract hummingbirds. It later produces a red fruit that native songbirds love to eat. It can be grown on arbors, trellises, fences and walls. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in a moist, fertile soil. It grows up to 20 feet long in zones 6 through 8. The Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) grows under the same conditions as trumpet honeysuckle. Its fragrant white flowers bloom in mid-June. It grows about 30 feet long.
Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) attracts hummingbirds with its yellow flowers. It is a native variety that is wind and drought tolerant. It is fast growing and should be planted in sun to partial shade. It will grow about 10 to 20 feet long in USDA zones 7 through 9. Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a twining vine with white flowers that grows about 30 feet long in zones 8 through 10. Japanese star jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) has yellowish-white flowers and is more cold hardy than Confederate jasmine. It grows about 15 feet long in zones 7 through 8. Both Confederate and Japanese star jasmine prefer partial shade and moist well-drained soil.
English, Algerian and Persian ivy are all rapidly growing vines that can reach lengths of 30 to 50 feet. They have thick luscious foliage and prefer a partial-shade to shady location. English ivy (Hedera helix) produces a small black berry late in the winter that is an important food source for birds. It is very hardy and excellent for walls and fences. Algerian ivy (H. canariensis) has distinctive red stems and is hardy to zone 6. Persian ivy (H. colchica) very large, oval- to heart-shaped leaves and is more cold hardy than Algerian ivy. It is hardy in zones 5 through 9.
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- University of Georgia; Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines; Gary Wade, et al.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension; Vines; Karen Russ, et al.; June 2009
- Clemson Cooperative Extension; Jasmine; Marjan Kluepfel, et al.
- North Carolina State University: Perennial Vines for North Carolina
- Clemson Cooperative Extension; Ivy; Marjan Kluepfel, et al.
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service; Annual and Perennial Vines; B. Rosie Lerner et. al