The Best Vines Or Climbing Plants For Shade

One thing to bear in mind when selecting plants for a shady spot is that you should try to make the space seem as warm and as abundant as possible. Planting in a series of layers with ground cover, beneath herbaceous plants, beneath shrubs, beneath trees is a good way to make the most of the space. One way to draw the eye up through the layers beneath a tree, or to draw the eye up a shady north or east facing wall is to plant vines to grow upwards through the foliage, up a tree or a wall.

Climbing hydrangea
Hydrangea anomala (Climbing hydrangea)

This climbing shrub is perfect for adding drama to a shady spot. It can climb up to a height of 15m and is self-supporting. It has heart shaped leaves and pretty white flowers in the summer.

Virginia Creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper)

One of the well known plants for shade, be it an east or north facing wall or an area beneath mature trees, this self-supporting climber can also climb to a height of around 15m and provides stunning bright red foliage in the autumn.

Common honeysuckle
Lonicera periclumenum (Common Honeysuckle)

This twining plant is commonly found twining over hedgerows. You may be surprised to hear that this is a plant that can cope with shade but that is indeed the case. The fragrant creamy flowers on common honeysuckle turn more yellow as they age and are borne over a long period. Honeysuckles can twine to a height of around 7m. They will require support though not necessarily tying in.

Clematis (Many different varieties)

A range of different clematis will also do well in the shade. These offer a wide variety of foliage and flowers. If you choose the right varieties you could grow a range of different clematis varieties in your shady garden and have blooms from late spring to early autumn.

Euonymus Fortunei
Euonymus fortunei

Several attractive options such as 'Silver Queen' or 'Emerald n' Gold' will look great in a shady spot. These are self clinging climbers and will not require any extra support. They can climb to a height of 5m or 2.5m (respectively) and will provide visual interest throughout the year.

There are plenty of other options to brighten up a north or east facing wall or fence, or to rise between the layers under a shade tree or in a forest garden. The key is to pick options suited to your particular garden.