trellisTrellises offer charm even as they stand alone but, most people can’t wait to plant a climbing plant to enhance the trellis with natural beauty. Consider adding a trellis to your front or back yard, side yard, courtyard or walkway. You can add a traditional look with ivy or toss in color with flowers, berries…even fruits or vegetables.

Perennial flowering vines like the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is one of the best trellis plants because it grows in a clinging way as much as 30 feet each year.  It also thrives in most climates and has huge, showy, reddish-orange flowers.  It flourishes best with full sun exposure and drier, poorer soils.

Clematis vines are also great for growing on trellises.  This variety sticks to and climbs the trellis with small tendrils at a rate of up to 12 feet per year.  The Clematis species also have a wide selection of flower colors to select from and they grow best in full sun to part shade.   Consider the Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle (Lonicera x brownie “Dropmore Scarlet”), which blooms with red flowers and doesn’t die in winter.

Annual Flowering vines bring some of the best annual trellis plants including the Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab), which has charming purple flowers and grows up to 15 feet long.  A well known and easy to find option is the Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor).  Morning glories have rich blue, purple or pink flowers and may grow up to 10 feet.  The Cardinal Climber vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), the Black Eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata) and the Moonflower vine (Ipomoea alba) are also fantastic trellis climbers that you can consider. Your landscaping/gardening professional at our center can help you make the best choice!

Climbing roses offer delicious fragrances and are hardy, re-blooming varieties.  They usually grow up to 8-10 feet, which means you may need a few of them to cover a trellis.  Please make a special note about climbing roses: Climbing roses don’t have tendrils to stick onto the trellis supports.  Thus, you need to tie the canes of the plant to the trellis to keep them upright.  Some beautiful climbing roses include cultivars like Seven Sisters, William Baffin, Henry Kelsey and John Davis.

Climbers of the fruit and berry varieties include hardy kiwi and grapes.  They grow very well on trellis support.  The hop vine (Humulus lupulus) is also a great choice and happens to yield the flowers used to make beer.  Hardy kiwis and hops do well with partial shade while grapes do best in full sunlight.

There is a great selection of vegetables that grow wonderfully on trellises.  Their cover lasts for up to two seasons a year.  The key is to select a non-bush plant such as tomatoes, peas, cucumbers or pole bean gourds.  You may also choose to use a non-bush vegetable plant that generates fruit smaller than a soccer ball can be grown on a trellis as well.  Those options include some melons, squash and small pumpkins.  You may look for the Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus cocineus), which produces edible pods.

So you can have a beautiful ivy-covered or flowered trellis for looks, or a veggie trellis for function!