fast growing vines for patio

fretalFebruary 18, 2011


I installed several planter boxes with attached trellises as "walls" on my patio. I planted kiwi and grape several months ago, with the goal of them growing up the trellis and then further onto the roof structure, to provide shade (and fruits).

The plants look a bit sad, I don't know if they survived the winter or not. I hope they did and will start growing soon. But just to hedge my bets, I'd like to stick in some other vines that grow real fast, so that I can have a covered patio as quickly as possible. If/when the grapes and kiwi grow, I will cut the other stuff back. I'm looking for suggestions for fast-growing vines that would grow well in planter boxes. The patio gets plenty of sun.


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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Where in Georgia are you, Fretal? Here in Atlanta not much is leafing out yet...just late winter things.
My other question would be, how large are your planters?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:24PM
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I'm in Athens. And I don't expect anything to grow right away, I'd just like to know what kind of vines are really fast growing such that they cover the area quickly. My planter boxes are about 1ft wide x 1ft deep x 6ft long. The trellis is about 7ft high. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:36AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Hi Fretal,
Well, you have planted some lovely things for your area, and they would fill out quickly except that 1 foot deep and one foot wide of soil is simply not enough space!! You planted perennial vines that want deep roots, and lots of space to grow. They need at MINIMUM 3' deep of soil and probably at least 3' wide, even then you will eventually find yourself constantly watering. I'm sorry but it may be time to quickly find much larger containers and transfer your plants over to something of a good size so you see nice growth for spring like you want!
Your planter boxes are window boxes are are suitable for annual plants (even then, in our summers annuals can fill a window box so quickly) - things that will be pretty for a season. Is there a Big Lots in Athens? They may have some nice size containers for inexpensive. I also purchased pretty but very large cement pottery from the recycle place across from the J&J flea market, I bought HUGE cement pots that were seconds for $10 each.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 1:59PM
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I planted moonflowers in a container last year & they grew wildly, over a 4' obelisk -- they might be great for your spot. They are very fragrant, white, and open up at night. They attract some neat hummingbird moths.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Hi girlgroupgirl,
Thanks for the additional feedback. Unfortunately, I can't do bigger planter boxes since these boxes form the "walls" of my patio/arbor, and if I made them larger, there would be no patio left. I actually built them myself to get the right dimensions, couldn't find anything suitable at any store or online. And I'll have to constantly water anyway, since the patio has a (transparent plastic) roof, so there will be sun but no natural water. Given these circumstances, are there any vines that might grow in that limited space?

bev87: Never heard of moonflowers, but sounds interesting, I'll check them out.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Moonflowers are annual vines here, but they get big!

Consider cypress vine - a tiny and delicate looking vine that is also an annual vine that puts out a lot of growth in a single year. And the hummingbirds love it.

You are fortunate to live near Brushwood Nursery's Athens location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brushwood Nursery - good source for native vines

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:09PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I don't even know if moonvine can handle only growing in 1' deep of soil. That is a very small space.
You could try planting some seed in there with your other plants to see if they will take over, unfortunately I fear that your fruiting plants will probably only last a short time. They will outgrow the boxes quickly. If you can add another "layer" of wood to make them deeper, add more soil and replant the vines that may help (especially for the moon vines). Asking at Brushwood is an excellent idea. Another great vine that might serve you well in this condition is the passion vine. It grows very quickly!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Carolina jasmine. Smells really good and has a yellow bloom

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:01AM
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