Climbing vines can play such beneficial roles in your landscape. We share seven special vines that can work for shade to full sun, fruit, flowers, fragrance and wildlife.

Take this list to your neighborhood garden center to purchase these climbing vines for your garden.


Honeysuckle – Lonicera sempervirens ‘Alabama Crimson’

If you love the look of honeysuckle but want to avoid the invasive nature of Lonicera japonica, plant this. The waxy, blue-green leaves are a fantastic backdrop for the cascades of fiery coral tubular flowers. Hummingbirds absolutely love these blooms, which start off with a big bang in early spring and keep going through summer. Shiny orange-red berries follow the blooms. These vines are vigorous growers that have a twining habit, so some support is needed to initially guide their growth. Plant in full sun.

Rose – Rosa banksiae ‘Lady Banks’

A popular selection across the south, Lady Banks is a robust bloomer of small, pale yellow blooms on (mostly) thornless stems. Select from single- or double-flowering varieties with ranges of color from yellow to white. Flowers are fragrant and bloom in early spring on old wood. These long, arching stems beg for ‘Lady Banks’ to be in landscape spots perfect for climbing vines, though it will need light pruning and support (it does not twine or attach).

Muscadine – Vitus rotundifolia

You know these as scuppernong or muscadine, with blackish-purple or speckled green-bronze fruit. Thick skins give way to soft inner flesh that tastes like summer in the south! Pick a traditional easy-to-harvest trellis design and run vines along a 20’ stretch, or add these grapes to your elegant garden arbor. It’s the easiest grape for us to grow in Alabama.

Climbing Hydrangea – Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

If you love the flower of a lacecap hydrangea and want a lush vine that thrives in the shade, this is a special selection that checks a lot of boxes. It shows off with 8-10” creamy white blooms in late spring. It is a little slow to get established, but has vigorous foliage growth after a few seasons. It adds a special touch when planted at the base of trees and encouraged up the trunk, or vining up a tall structure. It is self-clinging, though may need extra support to guide growth and carry the weight as it matures. It can reach over 50 feet, or create a short, mounding shrub that spills out as a lush groundcover.

Jasmine – Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Madison’

More cold-tolerant and just as lovely, ‘Madison’ jasmine is a vine for our times. It’s a selection that is slightly hardier in winter temperatures that we see in north and central Alabama. The evergreen foliage makes it very popular for places you prefer an all-season screen, and the fragrant white flowers are the same intoxicating fragrance you expect from jasmine. Plant on an arbor or archway where you can enjoy the flowers and fragrance up close.

Creeping Fig or Climbing Fig – Ficus pumila

You may know it as a delicate houseplant, but it’s a divine outdoor vine. Plant in a shady or semi-shady spot where it can ramble up a wall or fence, covering the surface with a flat mat of small green leaves. The woody vine attaches with fine, fibrous roots and looks quite attractive on stucco or brick. Keep the soil moist for ideal conditions.

Evergreen Clematis – Clematis armandii’

If you are searching for an elegant vine with evergreen foliage, vigorous growth and fragrant, delicate flowers, Clematis armandii is an excellent choice. Plant in full sun and mulch the roots well to ensure a cool, humus-rich root area. This is a designer’s dream for those showcase spots at a front door arbor or twining over parking porticos. Tendrils support the vine’s growth. Showy star-shaped flowers are abundant and very fragrant. Prune right after blooming, if necessary.

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