Climbing Vines That Are Great For A Pergola

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

A pergola is a wonderful and show-stopping outdoor structure that provide sshade and opulence. It also gives you additional usable space in your backyard. Most pergolas look lovely on their own, but a lot of these structures can benefit from a bit of plant life. While some people opt to garden along the borders of a pergola, to truly bring some charm and whimsy to your pergola, you should introduce a vine or creeping plant.

Wisteria, jasmine, bougainvillea, clematis, and grape vines are some of the most popular and stunning vines you can use to climb up your pergola. You can also opt for passion fruit, jade, and jasmine as long as you live in a climate warm enough to support these plants. Trumpet plants, climbing roses, climbing hydrangeas, and ivy are great if you want a classic English garden vibe.

While there are endless varieties of creeping vines you can grow up the posts of your pergola, there are a few that are exceptionally beautiful. Keep reading to see the top 14 picks for which vines and creeping plants to grow on your pergola. Whether you want a classic English garden aesthetic, something tropical, or even edible fruit, this list has something for everyone.

1. Bougainvillea

One of the most popular, beautiful, and hearty plants to grow up the sides and on the roof of a pergola is bougainvillea. This plant might be hard to pronounce, but once it is rooted and happy, it is easy to keep alive. It grows into a hearty tree-like vine and can stay alive for decades. The most common colors are purple, white, and pink, and it can be fun to purchase a variety of colors to have a stunning multicolored vine design for your pergola.

2. Grapes

Perhaps the most classic vine to plant on a pergola, or any outdoor wooden structure is a grape wine. There are all sorts of grape species to choose from. Make sure you choose a varietal that can climb the height of your pergola. Also, ensure the varietal grows easily in your region, as some grape species are very fickle about temperature and climate. But if you get a thriving type of grape vine, grapes hanging from your pergola are a charming and delicious sight.

3. Wisteria

Perhaps the most show-stopping vine to grow up a pergola is wisteria. This is a hearty vine that can also live for generations. Every spring it grows large clusters of beautiful flowers. Purple is the most common varietal, but there are also white and yellow types of wisteria. Once the flowers finish blooming, the vine stays lush with green leaves until the late autumn.

4. Passion Fruit

Another delicious and beautiful vine you can consider growing up a pergola is passion fruit. Passion fruit vines spread wildly, and can be directed up your pergola. Several times a year, these vines produce tart and delicious fruit. Best of all, before the plant creates fruit, it produces beautiful and exotic flowers. These plants grow best in warmer regions, so make sure your climate can support these vines.

5. Jade Vine

Another absolutely beautiful flowering vine is that of the exotic jade vine. These flowers grow in bunches similar to wisteria, but the color is very distinct. Jade often appears blue and aquamarine and is so vibrant it almost looks fake.

These spiky greenish-blue blossoms require specific temperatures and do not like the cold. They are native to regions like the Philippines and other tropical wet climates but can grow in places like Florida, Hawaii, and other warm regions.

6. Jasmine

If a captivating fragrance is what you are looking for in a vine to climb up your pergola, look no further than a jasmine. There are several species of jasmine, so choose one that works well with your conditions. The good news is almost all species of jasmine have a lovely fragrance that can permeate throughout the yard when it is in bloom.

7. Trumpet Vine

Trumpet vines are another beautiful flowering vine that work well for standard-sized pergolas. These plants are named after their beautiful trumpet-like flowers. They come in many colors as well, with the most popular being red, orange, and yellow hues. These flowers also attract pollinators like hummingbirds, which makes them even more desirable.

8. Rambling Roses

There are several species of roses, and some roses even crawl up structures like a vine. Climbing roses are roses that grow outward and vertically and can be trained to go up a pergola. There are several species of roses that climb, but try to find a rambling rose species. These plants have bendable branches, which makes it easy to it to climb up your pergola.

9. Ivy

If you are looking for greenery, shade, and a classic look, consider your friend ivy. Ivy is known for its ability to creep upwards and provide a splash of green to an otherwise banal surface. There are several types of ivy to choose from. This is an excellent choice for those looking for a classic and clean English garden look.

10. Climbing Hydrangea

Roses are not the only classic flower that have a climbing variation. This plant has various color options, from different pastel shades, to white and even blue colored flowers. Believe it or not, there are climbing hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are stunning flowering plants, and they have a certain British and New England feel to them, as many varieties thrive in cooler environments. One important thing to remember about climbing hydrangeas is that they are slow to grow, so you need patience with this flower. But for those who wait, there are elements and stunning blossoms ahead.

11. Clematis

Clematis are another beautiful blossoming plant that looks great growing up a pergola. Clematis are known for lots of colorful blooms. They usually blossom in the springtime, ushering in this colorful season. They are also easy to grow and maintain, making them a good option for those looking for a lower-maintenance vine to grow on a pergola.

12. Carolina Jessamine

Carolina Jessamine is another low-maintenance and easy-to-grow vine for a pergola. They grow fast and abundantly. They are a great option for those looking for a vine that can cover a good portion of the pergola structure. They also bloom lovely yellow flowers, making them great to look at as well.

13. Morning Glories

Morning glories are not just great for ground cover, they can also be trained to climb up a pergola. They can grow upwards of 10 feet in a season, so while they aren’t the fastest-growing plant, they can cover a pergola with lovely blossoms. They are also drought tolerant and rather easy to train and guide up the poles of your structure.

14. Moon Flower

One last classic flowering vine that looks elegant growing up a pergola is the moon flower. It is called a moon flower plant because its lovely fragrant white flowers bloom in the evening. This plant is romantic in the sense that it only blooms and gives off its fragrance when the sun goes down. It is also relatively low maintenance and easy to train up a pergola.

Wrapping Up Climbing Vines That Are Great For Pergolas

If you have recently installed or are thinking about buying a pergola, you might also want to consider a beautiful climbing vine for the structure. Flowering climbing vines like bougainvillea, wisteria, jasmine, hanging jade, and climbing roses are all beautiful species to adorn your pergola. If you want an edible plant, consider grape vines, or if you live in a warmer climate, then try passion fruit. Ivy, clematis, and trumpet vines are some classic choices as well.

Related Guides:

Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

More by Tom Gaffey