Top 8 Vines


I grew up in the very southeastern part of what this book outlines as the midwest [just below Poplar Bluff, MO],  and I currently live far east of this area [the South New Jersey Shore]; yet, I have found that many of the lists work for where I live now00as well as where I grew up.

Types of Vines

  • “Vines such as ivy, whose leaves form a thick, carpet-like mass of green, cling to even the slickest surfaces with their sticky aerial rootlets.
  • Climbing hydrangeas and trumpet creepers are climbers, too, with twinging stems and ‘sticky feet’ that will privide added supportif you grow them on a trellis or an arbor
  • Clematis and grapevines send out slender tendrils that will curl around a strand of wire, a bamboo pole, a slat in a trellis or a twig.Top 10, p. 142Seeds Vs Plants

“Annual vines–such as morning glory, nasturtium, and hyacinth bean–are easy to grow from seed.  They flower in mid- to late- summer and often selfii-sow.  Some have seedpods as handsome as their flowers. … Perennial vines are typically slow to get established. …start with a potted plant, not seeds–unless you don’t mind waiting 3 or more yars for the vine to flower. ” Top 10, pgs. 142-143.

  1.  Clematis


Clematis Recommended in Top 10


Easily grown in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Clematis generally prefer full sun, but this clematis has better tolerance for part shade than most. Roots should be kept cool (shade with annuals or perennials and/or use a 2″ mulch) and uniformly moist. Intolerant of heavy clay soils. Best to avoid any heavy pruning until plant is well established. Bloom on this clematis is from new (current season’s) growth. Prune back to strong leaf buds 1-2′ from the ground in late winter or early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics: Profuse, 5-7″, open, four-sepaled, violet-purple flowers cover this vine in mid to late summer. An old favorite.  Introduced  in England in the mid-1800s.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Sweet autumn clematis, as the common name suggests, is a fragrant fall-bloomer. It is a vigorous, deciduous, twining vine with an extremely rampant growth habit. If given support, it will climb rapidly with the aid of tendrilous leaf petioles to 20-25′ in length. Without support, it will sprawl along the ground as a dense, tangled ground cover (to 6-12″ tall and 10′ wide) which typically chokes out most weeds. Features aromatic, 1″ diameter, cruciform, pure white flowers (each with 4 narrow petal-like sepals) in terminal panicles from late August to October in a profuse bloom which typically covers the foliage. Flowers give way to attractive, plume-like seed heads. Compound, leathery-textured, shiny green leaves (3-5 oval to elliptic leaflets with cordate bases). Sweet autumn clematis can aggressively self-seed in the landscape, and has escaped cultivation and naturalized in many parts of the U.S., particularly in the East and Midwest.
Clematis Nelly Moser – Early Bloomer

Clematis Niobe – Early Bloomer

Clematis Will Goodwin – Early Bloomer

Clematis In My Garden:

Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea is a beautiful and useful climber, but it can get crazy on you if you let it.

It is deciduous, but considered a 4 season plant mainly because:

  • It has lush dark green leaves.
  • It flowers white in early summer.
  • It has bright yellow fall foliage and cinnamon colored exfoliating bark.

As you can see it’s a great plant, but you need to be aware of its capabilities.

The first year or two it grows slow while it establishes. Then the pace picks up and it becomes quite vigorous.

As a climber I’ve yet to see its limit in height. Planted at the base of a large tree it will cling and climb until it reaches the top. I’m talking 60′ no problem.

3. Honeysuckle


4. Hyacinth Bean Vine

The University of Tennessee calls the Hyacinth Bean Vine September Plant of the Month

“For an inexpensive but showy climbing vine nothing brightens up the fall garden like the purple seed pods of the purple hyacinth bean (Lablab purpurea formerlyDolichos lablab). The University of Tennessee Gardens has used this annual vine for years for vertical interest, and it never fails to draw questions and admiration.”

The Hyacinth Bean is also called the Jefferson Bean

Thomas Jefferson’s favorite nurseryman Bernard McMahon sold hyacinth bean vine plants to Jefferson in 1804. Because of this, the hyacinth bean is also known as Jefferson bean. These fabulous heirloom plants are now featured at Monticello in the Colonial Kitchn Garden.

The raw bean is poisonous.  It must be boiled a long time, before it is eaten.

5. Ivy

6.  Nasturtium

These long-flowering vigorous climbing plants look spectacular when trained over walls, fences and hedges. They lack tendrils, but will scramble happily over trellis work, sheds, fences etc. Flowers summer-autumn. Climber

7.  Trumpet Creeper


8. Wisteria


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