Invest in Vines

Edited by Moe Godat 


Whether climbing a trellis or cascading down a waterfall, many varieties of vining plants bring garden spaces to the next level. Here are some of our local landscapers’ favorite vining plants!

Coral Honeysuckle, also known as Lonicera sempervirens

Water + Soil: Average moisture content and tolerates even clay soil

Bloom time: May and June

Light + Location: Full sun

Pruning tips: Late fall, if needed

Native to Missouri, Coral Honeysuckle grows well in the varying St. Louis weather conditions, blooming in summer with scarlet-orange, trumpet-shaped flowers. Loved by hummingbirds and deer resistant, the honeysuckle’s foliage stays semi-evergreen in winter. It grows from 8-15 feet up a trellis or arbor. With no fertilizer needed and a tolerance to the common Missouri clay soil, it’s sure to bloom well in your garden. Information provided by Sue Leahy at Greenscape Gardens Nursery.

A clematis like no other, Blue Jeanne brings striking sky blue blossoms from late spring nonstop into September. Its blue color, rare in the plant world, creates a soothing feeling in the garden. Ideal for trellises and arbors, Blue Jeanne climbs to 6 feet tall. It also grows well in patio pots and looks gorgeous growing on decorative obelisks. Ann Lapides, Sugar Creek Gardens.

Bauer Falls uses Clematis Villa De Leon in their luxury waterfalls, water gardens and koi ponds because of its stunning coloration that changes over time. A French variety cultivated in the 19th century, this crimson ambre brings a vibrant late-season burst of color that signals the summer heat has gone and a new season has arrived. Caleb Bauer, Bauer Falls.

A Missouri native, aristolochia tomentosa “Dutchman’s Pipe” is readily found along local streams. A twining vine that can grow over 20 feet, it can easily be trained on outdoor structures; plant in part shade to full sun. It’s also a great addition for butterfly lovers! It is the food source for the Pipevine Swallowtail larva. Dan Billman, Kirkwood Gardens.

Sweet Autumn Clematis is a handsome climbing vine that displays billowy masses of fragrant flowers against leathery dark green leaves. It grows rapidly in warm temperatures with twining stems that quickly cover fences, arbors and sheds. Flowers emerge late summer to fall, followed by silvery seed heads. Excellent for a fall accent and cut flowers, and it is deciduous. David Sherwood, Sherwood’s Forest Nursery.

Hydrangea anomala, a.k.a. the climbing hydrangea, is a true climbing vine with a woody structure, heart-shaped foliage and large white flower clusters in early summer. It can tolerate morning sun but needs afternoon shade; it works well in a northern exposure. It's an attractive covering for walls, fences or large trees and can also be used as a ground cover on steep embankments. It’s peeling bark provides winter interest. This vine can be slow to get started, but once it does, it grows and may need periodic pruning to keep in shape. Timberwinds Nursery.