Shade tolerant climbing plants

red vine image by Grzegorz Kwolek from

Climbing plants can easily be trained to cascade over fences, walls, trellises, statues, arcs and entrances. Even if you have a shaded garden, you can still enjoy the extra charm climbing plants provide to a garden. There are several varieties of climbing plants which grow well in shade.

Boston ivy

Boston ivy is a vine that thrives well in full sun or full shade. This vine is commonly added in landscapes for its vibrant purple, red, and orange autumn colours. Despite being inconspicuous, its flowers attract bees. The vine can climb using adhesive disks, quickly covering walls, arbors, fences and trellises. Because of this, it is recommended that you keep Boston ivy off masonry walls, which can be damaged by the adhesive disks.

Silvervein creeper

Silvervein creeper is known for its silver-lined foliage and attractive lacquer-red autumn colour. This vine grows beautifully in full shade; however, its autumn colours are more vibrant if grown in partial shade.

Climbing hydranga

Climbing hydrangea is a very versatile plant, that is used both as a ground cover and a climbing vine, in full shade to partial sun. The vine has clusters of white flowers and thick green foliage. Its flowers bloom during early spring until late summer. Climbing hydrangea can grow in different types of soil with varying acidic or alkaline levels. This climbing plant thrives in soil that is consistently moist.

Fatshedera lieze

Fatshedera lieze grows well in full shade but grows best in partial shade. It is a hybrid of the English ivy and the Japanese fatsia. This plant boasts five-lobed leaves, similar to ivy. Fatshedera lieze grows up to 1.8 m (6 feet) high, before succumbing to its own weight and tipping over. This climber will need to be tied to lattice or trellises, for it to climb them.

Carolina aster

The Carolina aster plant climbs up to 3.6 m (12 feet) high. It has delicate purple and pink fragrant flowers that bloom in late summer through late autumn. This shade-tolerating climber is excellent at attracting birds, bees and butterflies.

Canary cCreeper

Canary creeper is a delicate vine, that grows well in full sun or partial shade. This climber produces tiny yellow flowers, which resemble flying canaries. This plant only reaches a height of 1.8 m (6 feet), making it ideal for small areas like courtyards and balconies.

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