Annual Shade Vine Suggestion-- with location pic :)

chloeashaJanuary 1, 2013

Hi all! I've searched and read all the previous posts on this, but I wanted to include a pic of the actual location so you all could see my light situation.

I have a north-facing and recessed balcony, so it sees very little sun. As you look at the pic, the right corner gets morning sun for about an hour, and the left wall gets sun for about an hour toward sunset. I currently have a jasmine on the left wall and am planting a sweet autumn clematis on the right wall.

Now to the question. I am thinking to mix in an annual vine for color with each one. The jasmine stops blooming in July and then is simply green. The sweet autumn may not even bloom this year since it's the first season I'll have it. Any ideas for vines that would succeed in this area and offer some blooms? I do not care about size. Monster vine sounds fun. I'll just train it across the walls and ceiling. Small vine is also OK. :)

My shade is pretty bright since it's caused by the building. I have decent luck growing things like oriental lilies. Below is a pic of my shade (before I put in the plants, do not judge lol).

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh! I should mention my growing season and a few conditions. it gets ridiculously hot and humid here in the summer... several weeks over 100 or hovering around there. months in the 90s. Also I last frost is generally middle of March or toward the beginning of March. First frost is in middle of November, although sometimes into December because of the building protection.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How many hours sun does the location get?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry I didn't read your initial message closely. You might get Ipomoea purpurea to make flowers with 1 hour sun exposure.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, Julianna. I am from OKC, so pretty much directly West of you a few hundred miles, lol!

I grow a lot of vines in bright shade on my property. My growing area is North facing, but I do get sun in parts of the yard, part shade and bright shade in others.

I've grown lots and lots of morning glories, many of them Japanese Morning Glories, in these locations, and while they may not be just covered in bloom, they bloom quite a lot and are beautiful. They can be grown in containers, but I would use at least a 3-gallon pot at a minimum. These are annuals for us, but it is easy to collect seed, after the bloom drops off, the pod turns brown, just collect the seed and store until next season. I highly recommend a lady from Texas, EmmaGrace, for your seeds. She sells on eBay under the name jmglover, and also has a website at:

Anyone know how to hyperlink this?

I am going to also attach a link to her eBay store because in it, she offers many Japanese Morning Glory seeds, other Convolvulaceae family seeds, and a lot of other interesting seeds as well. Some seeds are priced higher than others, depending on their rarity and probably other factors, too. But Emma probably offers THE best prices on Japanese Morning Glories than a ton of others I've encountered, where they are up in the $7 to higher range. Her seeds have great viability, and as I said, I highly recommend her. She always sends some free seeds as a gift, too.

That said, I have also grown other vines, such as Ipomoea alba, or Moonflower. You might want to grow this in a pot on your balcony because it is very fragrant and blooms as night. You probably would get some night-flying sphinx moth activity. They are fun to watch and are commonly referred to as "hummingbird moths" because of the rapid movement of their wings, and their ability to "hover" around the flowers like hummers do.

A vine that does well in pots, altho I would shade the roots in the pot by covering it with something like cloth or furniture on your balcony, is Clematis. Almost any of these beauties would do well in a pot. It may take a year or so to become established well enough to bloom, depending on the size you purchase. These are perennial vines, so you could expect them to return each year.

Black-Eyed Susan vine may do okay in bright light, too. They only get about 5-6' tall, but their sunny little faces would indeed brighten up your balcony. They are annuals, too.

Twining Snapdragon vines will take bright light, too. Botanical name is Asarina, of which there are many species, but A. scandens is the most common. They can get about 7' tall, and can be grown from seed, too. Not too much nitrogen, though, for this one, or all you'll get is foliage and few.

Mandevilla is a shorter vine, around 5-6', that is very pretty and can tolerate a lot of heat. It will be annual for you, unless you can take inside and winter over. Very nice blooms and foliage.

You may be able to grow Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab), with purple flowers followed by decorative purple beans. It also comes in white flowerins/green beans. It is an extremely vigorous annual, so I'd use a larger pot and I'm not sure how much weight your balcony can tolerate.

I threw in a couple or so of perennial vines that may or may not survive in a pot overwinter, and that may be drug indoors for overwintering. But, there's a few suggestions.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi guys! I was out of state for a week and didn't respond when you posted. I wasn't ignoring this!

I had a heavenly blue morning glory this year and it was spindly and made a few flowers... but it did flower some. Maybe if it were to be on the side which gets more sun it would do better.

Susan-- did you have good luck with asarina? I was thinking about it and cobea. I saw lots of good reviews for cobea in bright shade, but then every catalog seems to think it wants full sun. I do have seeds for purple hyacinth beans, moonflowers, and a few morning glories... as well as the Spanish eyes version of thunbergia. I had decent luck with cardiospermum this year, but the mg and thunbergia sort of fell flat. Then again, I had them in the more shady part of the balcony.

Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey, Julianna, do you like chartreuse sweet potato vine? That grows well in minimal sun. I use it like an accent to break up all of the other "regular" green, doesn't flower, so no waiting for that. I may have already said that to you in balcony forum.

Susan, to make a link, you just need a tiny bit of pasting/typing. (You probably need to see this on forum page, not just in email message.) Using as an example because it's short enough to see well:


You can see the web address between the " "'s, and the description between > If you remove the 4 spaces next to , it will work. I included the spaces so it would show the code. With spaces removed:


The link you asked about, Emma's.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey! Well I was thinking about a vine that could climb the length of my trellises and go for about 10-20ft. So I think that nixes the sweet potato vine?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was thinking about solanum wendlandii.
Fast grower and blooms early,
It loves the heat and will cover your railing in a heart beat.

The question would be if it will survive your winters.
Easy - take cuttings in the fall - they root fast and easy..........cheryl

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks! I will look into it. On the railing I actually have 2 passiflora now :) I even got 3 fruits last year.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:19PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Indoors Grown Morning Glories
Here are some recently grown MGs, enjoy!
Getting hops and honeysuckles to climb tall smooth posts?
I've got some vigorous hops vine, and so far less big...
Cascading Vine for Window Planter?
I recently moved out of a house with ample yard space...
Best Evergreen Vine
I am looking for a fast growing vine that will retain...
Bittersweet Vines
How do you tell if you have female or male bittersweet...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™