growing vines on walls in shady places

keddiebMarch 30, 2009


I just joined and hoping to find some friendly advice...I'm planning on planting vines to cover up a bland metal wall, but am willing to build an 8' high fence for climbers if necessary. The base of the wall will be shaded most of the day, but the top (at 12') will recieve southern exposure for part of the day. Any suggestions for perennials that will tolerate these conditions?

I'm in southern new jersey by the way...

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Virginia creeper is shade tolerant and will cling.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:45PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

My Akebia vine was started in the shade and has now found it's way into the Sun. Quite beautiful, until January and February but already budding up to bloom. Considered a thug, by many, as it is excessively invasive and vigorous. Mine has yet to be a pest. Most vines, if they are started in the shade, will find their way up into the Sun and some benefit from a cooler root run. My Clematis grandiflora and other Clematis were started on the North side of fences. So were Lonicera sempervirens and periclymenum, and 'Mandarin'. Same with my double flowered form of Gelsemium sempervirens.
Another monster that did too well was Amylopsis.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:07PM
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I like the suggestion of Virginia Creeper. After seeing the invasive Butterfly Bush (one of my favorites) invading the dunes of Cape May, I am on a crusade for native plants. My next door neighbor hired a "gardener" who ripped out my Virginia Creeper and told me it was poison oak! LOL

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Climbing hydrangea is what we planted in almost complete shade in our garden. We planted it 3 years ago and it's 1/2 way up and over the trellis we're training it on.

"Relatively few hardy flowering vines tolerate shade. Climbing hydrangea plants are one of them. In fact, in hot climates, climbing hydrangeas prefer a location with at least partial shade. Elsewhere, they'll do just as well in more sunny areas. Climbing hydrangeas that do get more sun tend to bloom more profusely. The soil should be moist but well-drained and contain plenty of humus."

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:27PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

I failed to mention the vine called the Hydrangea vine, Schizophragma hydrangeodes, one form of which has pink flowers. I did not mention it because I am unaquainted with it, except for my form called 'Moonlight', that is making an amazingly slow start. Photos look beautiful but mine has not really caught on yet. It is a vine for shady places.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Decumaria barbara is the native climbing hydrangea and it also tolerates shade and prefers moist to somewhat wet soil. I can dig up rooted runners if anyone wants them at the plant swap. I also have variegated VA. creeper.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:12AM
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Virginia Creeper looks a lot like poison ivy, probably not poison oak. I have found it to be very agressive, even taking over English Ivy. I haven't been able to totally eradicate it in almost 30 years here. I would not suggest planting it any place unless you are prepared to let it take over.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 8:51PM
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I have heard that Dutchman's pipe is a good vine for shade but I have no experience with it - doesn anyone else have experience with it?

Also a question about virgina creeper - I love the way it looks particularly when it turns bright red in fall...If I planted it in a pot as an "annual", would it take over? In other words, is the problem runners or seeds?

-Sarah (Morris County)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:53AM
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FYI, check out Brushwood Nursery

They specialize in vines and climbers and are based in PA, so they probably have an idea what would work in NJ. I've never bought from them but they have good reviews on Dave's Garden and they answered my questions pretty quickly.

-Sarah zone 6 (Morris County)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:02PM
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Dutchman's pipe needs a few hours of sun and will sucker in good soil. I find Va creeper is controllable; just don't let it grow everywhere. Train it up a wall or tree and it will be fine.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:27PM
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