Do you have an area in your garden that could use a little pick-me-up? Vining perennials could be what you have been looking for. Climbing plants can create a new dimension to your landscapes. Get out your arbors, obelisks and trellises, its time to plant some vines!
Some common vining plants are:
Climbing Honeysuckle- This perennial woody vine is a vigorous grower that climbs over arbors and trellises within a few growing seasons. The flowers persist all summer long with vibrant colors to keep you intrigued. Varieties that are cold hardy to our area are ‘Mandarin’, ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ and ‘Dropmore Scarlet’
Clematis- This perennial woody vine may look very delicate, but the flowers pack a punch. The star-like blossoms bloom from early summer until fall. There are a variety of colors and sizes available, but they all need some sort of trellis or structure to climb. Common cold-hardy varieties are ‘Jackmanii’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Josephine’, ‘Nellie Moser’, ‘Henryi’, and ‘Diamantia’.
Boston Ivy- If you want an ivy to climb up any surface, Boston Ivy is perfect. This ivy does not need a structure to climb over, it attaches itself to surface with sticky adventitious roots on the vine. The glossy green foliage is stunning throughout the summer and turns orange-red in fall. Boston Ivy is a perennial woody vine that grows vigorously from year to year.
Woodbine (Virginia Creeper)- This native woody vine can be found in the woods of Wisconsin or used as an ornamental vine. Woodbine can be used as a ground cover or trained up a trellis by attaching itself with adhesive tendrils. It has beautiful palmate green leaves that turn red in early fall. They have small flowers that produce small blueberries that accent the red leaves in fall but do not be tempted to eat these because they are toxic to humans.
Wisteria- Wisteria is a woody vine covered in pinnate, lace-like leaves that grows vigorously once established. It is known for its grape-like clusters of fragrant flowers that dangle from the vine. The flowers then turn into bean-looking pods that hang from the vine. This vine requires a strong support trellis or arbor to climb because they grow so large. There are only a few varieties that are hardy to our region, and they are ‘Summer Cascade’ and ‘Aunt Dee’.
American Bittersweet- This vine is native to the United States and has been bred to become an ornamental landscape plant. The glossy green leaves and twining vines accent any structure. American Bittersweet is known for its orange berries produced in fall. The berries persist through the winter as winter interest and a food source for birds. The foliage turns yellow in the fall. The common variety found in retail is the ‘Autumn Revolution’ because it has both male and female flowers to produce fruit. You won’t need a male and female, just one plant is needed.
Grapes- Grapevines can be planted for dual use as an ornamental and to produce fruit. Grapes require a strong structure to climb on and wrap its tendrils around. If you are looking to produce a plethora of fruit, you will want to keep the vines pruned. During the spring and summer, the unique foliage covers the vines, and towards fall, the grapes start to appear. Some cold-hardy edible varieties are ‘Bluebell’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘Swenson Red’, and ‘Frontenac’.