Flowering vines for shade can transform dull, dark spaces into stunning natural works of art. Whether you have a shady backyard, porch, patio, or deck, vines bursting with blooms at different times of the year can provide color, movement, and visual interest.
We’ll discuss their care requirements, growing conditions, when and how often they bloom, and more. So if you want to create privacy, natural shade, and gorgeous gardens, read on for our picks of amazing flowering vines that will thrive in your shadiest spots!
JUMP TO TOPIC
- Flowering Vines for Shaded Areas in Gorgeous Gardens
- 1. Trumpet Vine
- 2. Boston Ivy
- 3. Morning Glory
- 4. Star Jasmine
- 5. Clematis
- 6. Wisteria
- 7. Passion Flower
- 8. Chinese Wisteria
- 9. Climbing Hydrangea
- 10. Sweet Autumn Clematis
- 11. Sweet Pea
- 12. Virginia Creeper
- 13. Potato Vine
- 14. Japanese Knotweed
- 15. Bougainvillea
- 16. Honeysuckle
- 17. Climbing Rose
- 18. Bignonia
- 19. Climbing Fuchsia
- 20. Mandevilla
- 21. Climbing Akebia
Flowering Vines for Shaded Areas in Gorgeous Gardens
1. Trumpet Vine
The trumpet is a fast-growing vine that produces showy orange, red, or yellow trumpet-shaped flowers in spring and summer. It covers fences and walls in weeks with its dense growing habit. The leaves emerge lobed and palmate, then become unlobed as they mature.
Water the vine regularly during establishment to help it adjust. Frequent watering is needed for the first few months after planting until the roots have spread and grown. Once established, infrequent deep watering is required to keep the plant healthy. Providing around an inch of water weekly will suffice for most of the growing season.
Overwatering should be avoided, especially during winter when the plant is semi-dormant. Wait until spring shoots emerge again before resuming normal watering. Proper watering and drainage are important to promote lush growth and prevent disease issues with trumpet vine.
2. Boston Ivy
The lustrous green leaves turn brilliant red in autumn, showing colorful foliage. The vines cling tightly to brick, stone, or rough wooden surfaces using tiny pad-like rootlets. It is a good choice for covering walls, fences or concealing unsightly areas. The vines produce a dense cover that helps insulate the structure underneath.
Keep the soil around Boston ivy evenly moist during establishment to help the vines take hold and begin climbing. Frequent shallow watering is needed for the first year or two after planting. Once the vines have attached themselves and are climbing well, infrequent deep watering once or twice weekly is sufficient to keep them healthy.
Overwatering should be avoided, especially during winter when the plant is dormant. Resume the normal watering schedule in spring when new growth appears. With proper care, Boston ivy can thrive for many years, offering decorative foliage and covering large surfaces.
3. Morning Glory
The funnel-shaped, fragrant flowers appear in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white. They open in the morning and fade by afternoon, hence the name Morning Glory. These vines thrive in full sun and require little care other than vertical support for the climbing stems. Provide sturdy strings, trellises, or cages for the vines to twine around and ascend.
Prune regularly to maintain a manageable size and shape. Cut back unwieldy vines to contain their spread. Pruning also promotes additional blooming later in the season. Water morning glories deeply but infrequently once established. The vines can withstand periods of dryness in between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot issues.
With ample sun and support for climbing, morning glories produce an abundance of showy blooms throughout summer and into early fall. The vibrant flowers and low maintenance needs make them popular for gardens.
4. Star Jasmine
Star jasmine is an evergreen flowering vine that produces fragrant white funnel-shaped flowers in winter and spring. The flowers emerge along the vines and have a sweet, night-blooming fragrance. They open in the evening and remain open until morning.
Star jasmine thrives in part shade and needs well-drained soil — plant in a location that receives morning sun and filtered afternoon shade. Prune the vines after flowering to encourage new growth and additional blooming the following season. Cut back any overcrowded or misplaced stems.
Water star jasmine regularly during hot weather, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Applying a two to three-inch layer of mulch around the base helps conserve moisture, stabilizes the soil, and suppresses weeds.
With part shade, good drainage, and regular watering during bloom time, star jasmine produces abundant fragrant flowers in winter and spring. The vines can cover large areas, providing a blanket of white blossoms for enjoying their sweet fragrance.
Clematis vines produce showy flowers in various colors throughout spring and summer. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from with different sizes, colors, blooming periods, and growth habits. Most clematis prefers full sun for maximum bloom production, but some varieties, especially those with paler blooms, do well in part shade.
Prune out any dead or damaged stems on clematis vines in early spring before new growth emerges. This promotes air circulation and helps prevent disease issues.
Water clematis regularly during establishment, especially during hot weather, until the vines have filled their allotted space. Clematis can be drought-sensitive once established, so water deeply but infrequently during bloom time to avoid wilting flowers.
With the right conditions and proper pruning and watering, clematis vines will reward you with abundant colorful blooms over many seasons. Their versatility in size, flower form, and spreading to climbing growth habits make clematis vines desirable for gardens.
Wisteria is a fast-growing, deciduous flowering vine that produces clusters of fragrant blue, white, or purple pea-like flowers in spring. The blossoms hang in long drooping racemes, sometimes over 12 inches long. Wisteria requires full sun and well-drained soil high in organic matter to thrive and produce abundant flowers.
Prune wisteria vines immediately after they finish flowering to control their vigorous growth. Cut back long shoots to maintain a manageable size and shape. Provide support from an early age as the thick woody stems are difficult to train once they mature. Attach the vines to trellises, pergolas, or arbors to keep them upright.
Water wisteria deeply and infrequently once the vines are established. Drought conditions can cause early leaf drop during long periods of hot, dry weather, so water every 7 to 10 days. With appropriate pruning, staking, and deep watering during drought, wisteria vines will reward you with a magnificent display of fragrant spring blossoms that cascade down their towering branches.
7. Passion Flower
Passion flowers are elegant climbing vines that produce unique and showy blooms. The unusual flowers feature colorful bracts, filaments, and petals in purple, blue, and white shades. They resemble a crown of thorns and get their name from the similarity of some parts to the crucifixion scene.
Passion flowers thrive in full sun, but some varieties can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates. Provide a sturdy support structure made of wire or wooden lattice for the vines to climb. Prune passion flower vines lightly immediately after they finish flowering to maintain a desirable shape. Cut back long or overcrowded stems but avoid pruning more than 30 percent of the total growth.
Water passion flowers deeply and infrequently once established. Water every seven to 10 days during hot weather if rainfall is insufficient. Drought conditions can cause stunted growth and flower production. With enough sun, vertical support, and proper pruning and watering, passion flowers reward you with an abundance of unique and colorful blooms throughout summer and into fall.
8. Chinese Wisteria
Chinese wisteria is a fast-growing deciduous vine valued for its pendant clusters of fragrant lavender and purple pea-like spring flowers. The compound leaves are pinnately arranged with 11 to 17 leaflets. This variety of wisteria tends to bloom later and for longer than Japanese wisteria, often up to six weeks.
It prefers full sun and well-drained soil high in organic matter. Prune Chinese wisteria immediately after flowering to control its size and vigor. Cut back long shoots to maintain a manageable shape.
Provide sturdy support from an early age as the thick woody stems become difficult to train once they mature. Attach the vines to trellises, pergolas, or arbors to keep them upright and contained.
Water Chinese wisteria deeply and infrequently once established. Water every 7 to 10 days if rainfall is insufficient during hot, dry weather. Correct watering will help produce abundant blooms year after year.
With appropriate pruning, staking, and watering, Chinese wisteria vines reward gardeners with a magnificent display of fragrant lavender flowers that cascade down their branches for up to six weeks in spring.
9. Climbing Hydrangea
Climbing hydrangeas are woody vines valued for their showy mophead flower clusters, colorful foliage, and superb fall color. Depending on the soil pH, the flowers emerge in white, pink, or blue shades. The leaves typically turn brilliant shades of orange, red, and purple in autumn, showing colorful foliage.
They thrive in part sun to partial shade and require consistently moist, well-drained soil, so plant them in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Prune climbing hydrangeas lightly immediately after they finish flowering to maintain a desirable shape. Cut back long or overcrowded stems but only remove one-third of the total growth.
Provide adequate support for the vines from fences, lattices, stakes, trellises, or arbors. The climbing hydrangeas will attach themselves using tiny aerial rootlets.
With part shade, consistently moist soil, and adequate support for climbing, hydrangea vines reward gardeners with an abundance of showy flowers in spring or summer, followed by a showstopper display of colorful autumn foliage.
10. Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet autumn clematis is prized for its abundance of fluffy white flowers from late summer through fall. The fragrant flowers completely cover this fast-growing vine as they open en masse. The foliage emerges palmate and compound but later transitions to unlobed as leaves mature.
This clematis variety tolerates partial shade better than most but prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for maximum bloom production. Provide a sturdy support structure made of wire, lattice, or wood for the tough woody stems to climb. Prune sweet autumn clematis immediately after it finishes flowering to control its size and encourage additional blooming the following season. Cut back overcrowded or misplaced stems.
Water sweet autumn clematis regularly during establishment, especially during hot weather. Once the vines have filled their allotted space, water deeply but infrequently to discourage excessive vegetative growth.
With enough sun, vertical support, and proper pruning and watering, sweet autumn clematis vines reward gardeners with an incredible display of fluffy white flowers that cover the stems from late summer through early fall.
11. Sweet Pea
Sweet pea vines bear lightly fragrant flowers in various colors, including pink, purple, white, and red. The beautiful pea-like flowers are typically produced over a long season, from spring through fall. Sweet peas prefer full sun and cool temperatures, but some varieties have been bred to tolerate partial shade.
Provide a strong cage, trellis, or stakes for support as the climbing vines grow up to 6 feet tall. The vines will twine themselves around the structure. Water sweet peas deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Overhead watering should be avoided, especially during flowering, to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Fertilize lightly once flower buds form to boost bloom production. Continue removing faded flowers to encourage additional blooming. With enough sun, support for climbing, and proper watering and care, sweet pea vines reward gardeners with an abundance of lightly fragrant flowers in various colors from spring through fall. Their long blooming season and ease of culture make them a desirable choice for gardens.
12. Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper is a versatile, deciduous vine valued for its showy fall color, attractive foliage, and ability to thrive in the shade. Clusters of small greenish-white flowers appear in summer, followed by bluish-black berry-like fruits. The leaves emerge lobed but become unlobed as they mature and expand.
Virginia creeper thrives in full to partial shade with consistently moist, well-drained soil and some shelter from harsh winds. It grows best in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Prune out dead or diseased stems on Virginia creeper vines regularly to promote air circulation and reduce potential issues. Cut back overgrown stems to maintain a manageable size.
Water Virginia creeper during dry periods, especially during establishment. Once the vines are mature, they are fairly drought tolerant but may drop leaves prematurely without moisture. With enough shade, consistent moisture, and proper pruning and care, Virginia creeper vines reward gardeners with attractive foliage throughout the season, turning brilliant red in fall while requiring minimal effort year-round.
13. Potato Vine
Potato vine, also called bindweed, is a fast-growing vine valued for its abundant white or pink funnel-shaped flowers.
The delicately lobed palmate leaves provide an attractive backdrop to the blooms, which appear throughout summer into early fall. However, this vine can be invasive and difficult to control due to its spreading rhizomes underground. Even small root fragments can generate new plants.
Potato vine thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates. Provide sturdy support from fences, arbors, or trellises for the climbing stems. Water potato vine regularly during establishment, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Once established, the vines are fairly drought-tolerant.
While potato vine can provide a burst of color from its abundant blooms, its invasive tendencies require diligence to contain it to the desired area without allowing it to spread to other parts of the garden.
14. Japanese Knotweed
Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub or vine valued for tolerating difficult conditions. Masses of creamy white flowers appear in terminal spikes in late summer, followed by reddish-tinged foliage in fall. The hollow stems take on a reddish hue in winter.
Japanese knotweed thrives in full sun or light shade and can even grow in average to poor, dry soils with limited moisture. It is adapted to urban conditions. Provide support for the canes to keep the plants intact, such as staking or wiring to a fence. However, avoid planting Japanese knotweed near waterways as this species can spread aggressively by underground rhizomes.
Cut back stems to the ground in early spring before new growth emerges to keep Japanese knotweed contained. Pull up any young sprouts that appear beyond the intended area. While valued for its resilience and ornamental qualities, Japanese knotweed requires vigilance to prevent it from becoming invasive, especially near creeks, streams, or drainage ditches.
Bougainvillea is an evergreen woody vine valued for its brilliant, showy bracts rather than small, inconspicuous flowers. The colorful bracts appear in shades of pink, purple, red, and white, completely covering the vines.
With full sun, good drainage, vertical support for climbing, and proper pruning and care, bougainvillea vines reward gardeners with a spectacular display of colorful bracts for most of the year, particularly during summer and fall.
Honeysuckle vines produce clusters of tubular fragrant flowers in spring and summer that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. There are deciduous and evergreen varieties with flower colors that include white, yellow, orange, and red.
Honeysuckle vines thrive in full sun, but some varieties adapt well to partial shade, especially in hot climates. The branching stems require support from structures like trellises, arbors, or fences. The vines will attach themselves using tiny aerial rootlets.
With enough sun, vertical support for climbing, and proper pruning and care, honeysuckle vines reward gardeners with an abundance of fragrant tubular blossoms that attract wildlife while requiring minimal effort year-round.
17. Climbing Rose
Climbing roses are stunning flowering vines valued for their abundance of blossoms and adaptation to many conditions. There are several climbing roses, including ramblers, hybrid teas, and minis, with flowers that appear in various colors.
The climbing roses thrive with full sun exposure, regular pruning, and training to maintain a climbing form on their support. Provide sturdy support from structures like arbors, fences, trellises, or lattices for the climbing stems. The thorns on many varieties help the vines attach themselves.
With enough sun, proper pruning, training, and vertical support, climbing roses reward gardeners with an abundance of showy blossoms from spring through fall while adding architectural beauty to the landscape.
Bignonia is a genus of spectacular flowering vines featuring showy tubular or trumpet-shaped hanging blooms.
Depending on the species, the flowers appear in shades of red, orange, and yellow, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Most bignonias prefer full sun and well-drained soil for maximum bloom production, but some tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates.
With enough sun, vertical support, and proper pruning and care, bignonia vines reward gardeners with an abundance of brilliant bell-shaped or tubular blooms in shades of red, orange, and yellow throughout summer.
19. Climbing Fuchsia
Climbing fuchsias are woody vines valued for their pendulous tubular flowers, colorful foliage, and ease of care. The flowers dangle from the vines in shades of red, purple, pink, and white, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
The oval leaves typically have a pointed tip and brighten the garden with their color. Climbing fuchsias thrive in partial shade with consistently moist, well-drained soil and some shelter from harsh winds, so plant them in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
Mandevillas thrive in full sun exposure and require support for their climbing stems from structures like trellises or lattices. The plants will attach themselves using tiny aerial rootlets.
The plants benefit from generous watering, especially during hot weather. Water deeply but infrequently once established. Prune mandevilla immediately after flowering to maintain a compact shape. Cut back overcrowded or leggy growth.
Provide well-draining potting soil or soil with organic matter to promote healthy growth. Amend existing soil with compost if needed.
21. Climbing Akebia
Climbing akebia is an ornamental woody vine valued for its attractive foliage, flowers, and juicy fruit pods. The palmately lobed leaves emerge bronze in spring but mature to a deep green. The purple or white flowers are followed by gooseberry-like fruit pods that are edible when ripe.
Climbing akebia requires full sun exposure and well-drained soil to thrive and produce flowers and fruit. Provide a sturdy support structure made of wire, lattice, or wood for the climbing stems to attach using tiny aerial rootlets. The stems become woody as the vine matures.
Once established, water akebia deeply but infrequently, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Overhead watering should be avoided.
There are many beautiful flowering vine options for covering shady areas. Here’s a quick summary:
- Climbing akebia is an ornamental woody vine valued for its attractive foliage, flowers, and juicy fruit pods.
- Bignonia is a genus of spectacular flowering vines featuring showy tubular or trumpet-shaped hanging blooms.
- Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub or vine valued for tolerating difficult conditions.
With the right vine selections for your conditions, shady gardens can become hidden oases of beauty and serenity. So transform those dark spots into lush foliage adorned with twining vines of colorful blooms!