Annual Climbing Plants

Written by lisa parris
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Annual Climbing Plants
The Morning Glory is a popular annual climbing plant. (Nathan Blaney/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Unlike perennials that come back year after year, annuals must be planted every spring. Among the many annuals a gardener may choose are a number of climbing plants. Winding their way around trellises and sprawling along walls, climbing annuals are available in a wide variety of colours and textures. They tend to grow rapidly in the spring, bloom into brilliant, showy flowers in the summer and then die off in the fall when they can be easily removed. This allows gardeners to experiment with vines, changing colours to suit design schemes and testing new locations before committing to a more permanent plant.

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Sweet Pea

The sweet pea is a popular climber that is known for its sweet smelling flowers that bloom from late spring into early summer. There are hundreds of varieties of sweet pea to choose from as they have been adapted to grow in a multitude of climates. When planted in full sun, a sweet pea vine will grow to approximately 6 feet in length in a single season and will produce numerous clusters of red, pink, white or lavender blossoms.


The low-maintenance nasturtium vine is considered a good choice for gardeners who don't have a lot of time to invest in plant care. It will grow in either shade or sun, can be planted in any type of soil and is drought tolerant, so it needs little water once established. Even when neglected, the vine will rapidly grow, spreading over arbors, trellises or along fences. In addition to being easy to grow, the nasturtium brightens the garden with fragrant, attractive flowers that bloom all summer long.

Morning Glory

Named for its flowers that open each morning, the morning glory vine grows swiftly and makes a good choice for decorating garden walls and fences. Producing an abundance of funnel-shaped white, red, purple, blue or yellow flowers, the blossoms of the morning glory vine live for one day only, but are rapidly replaced by new growth. Found in gardens all across the country, the morning glory thrives in full sun but can tolerate some shade with many types of the vine reaching up to 15 feet in length by the end of the growing season.

Dutchman's Pipe

The Dutchman's pipe is a high-climbing vine that exhibits a twining growth pattern, wrapping itself around any nearby tree, post, trellis or fence. A rapid grower, the average Dutchman's pipe vine reaches 15 feet in height and 20 feet in width in a single growing season. Indigenous to the eastern United States, the Dutchman's pipe can be easily grown in U.S.D.A. hardiness zones 4 through 8. Unlike most annual vines, the Dutchman's pipe is not notable for its flowers, which are small; it is better known for its deep, green foliage and large, overlapping leaves, which add a pleasant background colour to the garden.

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