Climbing vines in shade

jakkig(CT Z5/6)November 16, 2008

Much to my dh's horror I have constructed a "door" in my wooded area - a la entrance to Narnia, well that's the idea!

I'd like to grow a climbing thing around the uprights and across the top to soften the edges and to make is appear more hidden.

Do you have any ideas for me? I only know about honeysuckle and I am not sure if it will thrive in shade. It is not deep, deep shade, but it doesn't get any direct sun at all, not even in patches. I've never had luck with ivy in pots, but is that something I could use.

Any ideas would be welcome. I live in CT, my zone is 6A, but to be on the safe side, I always like my plants to be Z5 hardy. The last couple of years we have had very little snow cover.

Thanks for your help.


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I think you might get some good ideas on the Vines forum. There are certainly lots of Clematis to choose from and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a native vine to consider (very nice fall color too).

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinues forum

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 2:53PM
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Have you considered ivy. Grows fast, looks good and will climb really high.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:37PM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

Slow growing at first and may not bloom terribly well without any direct sun, but climbing hydrangea will grow very well in shade. It requires a sturdy structure because it will become heavy over time.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 5:27AM
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English ivy can be terribly invasive and I would not recommend it, especially adjacent to a wooded area where it can get out of control.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 4:01PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

I've got a side of a porch and wall in partial shade I'd like to cover. I'm going to try ivy. It is fast growing, and would be a temporary solution. Not much color, like with showy annual flower vines...but a good cover up. I hope mine works out. Honeysuckle needs more light. Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:56PM
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daffodilgirl(6 EastTN)

I am new to posting and have only been gardening for about 5 years now. So here goes- my experience with ivy and vinca is not very good. I bought some when we first moved to our place to put on a shady embankment. I loved it at first but after a couple of years it started popping up in areas I didn't want it. I have tried my best to keep it on the embankment but I had been failing miserably. So then I had the daunting task of trying to remove it completely. I should say that I have been for the past 3 years now. Every year more and more pop up.

The ivy did not spread as bad as the vinca but I consider both to be invasive and would not recommend either of them.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:09AM
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ImaHockeyMom(SW Mich--Zone 5)

Virginia Creeper is HORRIBLY invasive, in my experience. We have some along the back of our lot, and I've been trying to kill it for four or five years now.

Morning glories will grow quickly. They flower a bit less in low light, but they still grow like the dickens. And they're cheap as all get out -- buy a pack of seeds and you're done.

Climbing hydrangea is a VERY slow grower -- it's beautiful, but it's likely to take you 5-10 years to get the kind of coverage you're looking for.

Some versions of clematis would be another option, but do your research before picking a cultivar -- some bloom on old wood, some on new wood, and some on both. If you're going to be pruning, you want to know what can/can't be chopped off without interfering with your blooms.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:30PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

What about natasha ivy? it's slow growing, taking off in my morning sun garden. Is it invasive? did i make a huge mistake? It was sold as a ground cover, not a climbing ivy.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:55PM
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I took a vine that grows wild in the woods around me and have it climbing my buck board wheels and now my topiary's. I believe it is some sort of maple. It is invasive which is why it transplanted easily and is a fast grower. I love it for my purposes. There are two, one turns red in the fall.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:52AM
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kbcherokee(Z6b Pa.)

I agree with daffidolgirl. I am still trying to eliminate vinca from my yard and have seen ivy growing in many places where it has escaped from a garden.Virginia creeper is a native and has not been invasive in my garden.

Arcy, are you sure the vine that turns red in the fall is not posion ivy?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:48PM
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I've avoided Vinca due to the lawn invasiveness, but my parents had Boston Ivy growing up the side of their house, and it got barely any sun at all. It was aggressive and damaged the house so they take it down, but it looked beautiful - it turned a cool shade of red in the fall. They never had an issue with it spreading into the lawn, but it ran up (and into) the chimney and siding like you wouldn't believe.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 2:10PM
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erutuon(4b/5a Mpls)

Virginia creeper turns red in the fall just like poison ivy. I decided I should keep it very restrained in my yard after I discovered that the plants near a tennis court fence have many underground runners like thick whips.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Maybe this link will help. I simply love clematis and will be purchasing some next week.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flowering vines for partial shade

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 2:21PM
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