Climbing Plants for Full Sun

Updated November 21, 2016

Whether you prefer annuals or perennials, deciduous or evergreen, you will find a climbing vine that suits your needs and reflects your personal preferences. Climbing vines wind their way around fence posts or sprawl across garden walls adding colourful flowers and bright foliage to their supporting structures. Adapted to grow under a wide range of conditions, many vines thrive when planted in full sun. Reaching far above the ground through the hottest days of summer, these vines grace the garden adding splendour and shade to their surroundings.

Trumpet Vine

The trumpet vine or trumpet creeper is named for its flowers. Bright orange, red or yellow in colour, the bell shaped "trumpets" bloom early in the summer and keep on blooming until the weather turns cool. Producing an abundance of blossoms, the flowers attract both hummingbirds and butterflies to the yard. A fast grower, under ideal conditions the trumpet vine can reach up to 40 feet in length in a single year. When growing in the wild, trumpet vines can be found winding their way around nearby tree trunks; at home they will require a support system to climb.


The bougainvillea is a popular choice for adding a bright splash of colour to the garden. Grown as a perennial in warmer climates and as an annual where the winter weather drops below freezing, the bougainvillea blossoms in late spring and stays in bloom as long as the weather is warm. The showy flowers are available in red, pink, orange or yellow varieties. Originally found in the tropics, the bougainvillea vine is commonly used as a ground cover, trained up trellises or placed in hanging baskets where the stunning foliage is allowed to cascade over the sides.


Hardier than most sun loving vines, the decorative clematis can be found growing in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. A deciduous plant, clematis vines thrive in full sun, growing up to 12 feet in length in a single season. The twining tendrils burst into bloom in late spring and flower continuously until the first frost. Available in purple, white, pink, red or bicolored varieties, the clematis produces large, lightly fragrant flowers that add an elegant touch wherever they climb.

Boston Ivy

A long living perennial, the Boston ivy is known for its rapid growth rate and eye-catching foliage. The glossy green leaves of spring turn a deep shade of burgundy as the weather begins to cool. Additionally, the light green blossoms of early summer turn into bunches of colourful blue berries, adding both texture and interest as the other plants in the garden begin to fade. Growing an average of 10 feet per year, a mature Boston ivy vine can reach up to 50 feet in length making it a good choice for growing against the side of a house or lengthy masonry wall.

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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.