Shade loving vines

pixie_louJune 3, 2011

I spent the day today building my daughter a flowering teepee. Mainly I built a wooden teepee structure out of old branches. The goal was to plant morning glories and vining nasturtiums at thee base of each post and to create a flowering teepee.

However, I now realize that the location I picked doesn't get a lot of sun. The back side of the teepee will get no direct sun; the front side will get morning sun.

I'm thinking of getting some English Ivy to plant on the back part of the teepee - the side with no direct sun. I also like the fact that English Ivy is perennial, meaning I won't have to plant it every year.

I'm looking for suggestions for the front half. I'm not sure how well the morning glories will do with such limited sun. I know some clematis do fine with limited sun - but which varieties I'm not sure. I've also heard that Hydrangea will do well with part shade, but isn't it a slow grower? I'd really like the front part to flower. I'm open to ideas of both perennial and annual plants, or a combination.

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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

hydrangea vine gets GINORMOS. in addition to clematis, lots of great lonicera w/ shade tolerance. lazy s's catalogue offers the biggest variety i have seen but they are v. small. where are you?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:05PM
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I'd hesitate to use ivy since due to its evergreen leaves, bugs may want to overwinter in it. And as Mindy says, hydrangea vine is way too huge for this (can get to 40 feet!)

Apios americana AKA Indian potato or groundnut will grow in full shade to full sun and is a native perennial. It will spread, either by tubers (though these are edible, so you can dig and eat if too many) or by seed (so deadhead after bloom.) Really unusual flowers. If you are close to me (central NH) I can give you some tubers, but you can also get it from Brushwood nursery ( which is a very reliable company in my experience, and the best value for money combination.

There are a bunch of clematis that will grow in part shade. In the search below, if you put in shade under the aspect drop-down menu you will get a huge list. If it doesn't have a + (indicates a photo) then it probably isn't commonly available so you can ignore it. If it has a + you can click on the name to see photos and info about the plants. (Check that the group isn't Integrifolia as those don't climb.) Type 3, hard pruning, are easiest to grow in general. Brushwood Nursery has a search box and you can type in the names to see if they have them. Some of the ones you may be most likely to find have another name beside them that starts EVIPO followed by a number like 034, but there are others that will be available commonly such as Bees Jubilee, Betty Corning, Ernest Markham, Hagley Hybrid, John, Paul II, Perle d'Azur, Tie Dye, Ville de Lyon. Of these I have Ville de Lyon in half shade and it blooms and grows well. Venosa Violaceae also grew and bloomed well in more than half shade for me (until the voles ate it, curse them!) You can also just ask on the clematis forum for those that grow well in shade for the more northern folks.

Here is a link that might be useful: clematis on the web search

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:40AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Pixie lou, I doubt there are many shade-loving vines, but more shade-tolerant. Anyway, I am kind of in the same boat. A friend and I just built a large wooden trellis that will only receive about 3-4 hours of sun a day. Not much choice, there is little full sun in this yard, and also the location of the trellis w/vines will hopefully provide some privacy screen from the neighbors. I'm planning to grow Morning glories as well as Cardinal climber. We'll see how well they grow.

I wouldn't grow English Ivy - what a pest this vine is, and it's very difficult to remove once established. How about trying Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)? Shade-tolerant, native, makes berries the birds love, also some specimens have great fall color. Some people say it's very aggressive, but that's not been my experience.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Thanks for the input on the English Ivy. We'll nix that plan. Don't want bugs. I've heard mixed reviews of Virginia Creeper - though I've noticed that it has popped up in our neighbors woods - I could probably dig up a couple vines!

I had thought of vinca, but it really doesn't climb.

Mindy - thanks for the hydrangea input and the lonicera suggestion. I thought honeysuckles got enormous as well? I don't want anything that would get too heavy - this is really some branches tied together with twine.

I'll look into the clematis options.

nhbabs - I'll investigate the apios americana - a quick google search showed some really cool looking flowers. I'm at the pike and 128, but if I decide I want it and can't find it locally, I'd happily drive to NH to get some tubers from you. Thank you for the offer.

For right now, I went and bought a bunch of annual vine seeds. Morning Glory, Moon Flower, Glory Vine, Cypress Vine and Climbing Spinach. We'll see how these do.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:01AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Don't overlook the flowering beans like Hyacinth bean and Scarlet runner bean.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Though the vine forum is a bit quiet, I did run a shade search there and came up with a few options to try. I also checked out some of the recommendations on the clematis forum.

Based on those recommendations, on Friday I transplanted my hops vine - who was not thriving in it's previous location. And today I bought a Jackmanii Clematis.

I have 8 verticals on this teepee, so I have plenty of room to try a few other vines. In the meantime, we will see how these 2 do. I'm still waiting for the annual seeds I bought to sprout.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 1:59PM
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scpearson(5 NE CT)

I am growing hyacinth bean vine this year from seed from a GW member. It looks good so far and is in part shade.
I have Nellie Moser Clematis that loves the shade. This year the flowers are profuse. They are large and beautiful, in mostly shade.
Also, I have had English Ivy all over for many years, and haven't had bugs, so I guess it just depends on your garden and good luck.
One more, Japanese Morning Glory is supposed to do well in the shade. I had never heard of it, but have some planted with the hyacinth vine this year -
looks good so far. Its only a couple inches high right now.
I love the idea of a teepee. I may try that out!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:23PM
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