Flowering vines add structural quality, fragrance, color and texture to the garden. They climb, twine, mass or spread to offer coverage, privacy and seasonal interest to fill a specific niche in the landscape. We’ve included below, a few perennial flowering vines we utilize on the hill that establish readily, require minimal maintenance and bloom reliably.

Wisteria floribunda- Japanese Wisteria

General: A stout, aggressive, climbing vine with twining stems that develop large twisted woody trunks, requiring considerable support. Grows 30’ or more if structure allows. Can grow 50’ up large trees.

Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, 10 to 15” long. New growth is often bronze in color, maturing to bright green. Occasionally turns a yellow fall color, though not reliably.

Flower: Drooping clusters (8 to 20” long) of violet to violet blue fragrant flowers which bloom from the base of each cluster to the tip in May.

Fruit: Brown velvety bean like pod 4 to 6” in October.

Attributes:  Excellent flowering vine for large structures, or even to be trained into a tree form.

Hardiness:  Zones 5-9.

Growing Conditions: Prefers acidic, moist, well drained soils in full sun.

MaintenanceCrown gall, leaf spots, stem canker, mildew, mealybug, webworm, root rot, scale. Needs regular pruning as it can be invasive.

Experience at Great Hill- We grow wisteria along metal trellises in front of our Monet building for a beautiful spring affect. While wonderful in flower, these plants can be risky to grow due to invasive tendencies of roots, shoots, and seeds. We prune overgrowth and suckers from our vines aggressively, biannually to keep vines in check.

Lonicera sempervirens- Trumpet Honeysucle

General: A vigorous deciduous, flowering, twining vine growing 10 to 20’ high, depending on supporting structure. Doesn’t tend to be as invasive as Japanese honeysuckle (lonicera japonica).

Leaves: Opposite, simple elliptic or ovate, 1 to 3” long. New growth is reddish purple turning bluish green at maturity. Very early to leaf out.

Flower: Clusters of non fragrant flowers in late spring. Trumpet shaped and reddish orange on the outside, yellow on the inside. Attractive to birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Fruit: An ornamental red rounded berry, ¼”. Late summer to early fall.

Attributes:  A great climbing vine for trellises, fences and arbors. Can also be utilized as a sprawling groundcover.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-9.

Growing Conditions: Organically rich, well drained soils in full sun.

MaintenanceLeaf spot, powdery mildew, aphids. Prune directly after flowering for shape and control to avoid removing any of next years buds.

Experience at Great Hill- We currently feature honeysuckle on a trellis in our fragrance garden (despite this not being a fragrant vine!) It continues to bloom and grow despite receiving more shade than it’d probably prefer. A great native vine for pollinators and birds.

Clematis x jackmanii- Jackman Clematis

General: Clematis is a genus of over 250 species most of which are woody to semi woody deciduous as well as evergreen, climbers, shrubs and herbascous perennials. ‘Jackmanii’ is one of the more popular clematis cultivars. This clematis twines around structures with its stem and uses its leaves to clasp or fold over for support.

Leaves: Opposite, simple to compound leaves 2 to 4” long. Leaf shape ranges from trifoliate, biternate, pinnate to bipinnate. Bright green to blue green in color with no fall coloring to speak of.

Flower: Violet purple, 4 to 7” in June.

Fruit: Fluffy seed heads in early fall.

Attributes:  An excellent climbing vine for trellises, fences, arbors and rock walls. Often also utilized in urns and to provide structure to perennial plantings.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-8.

Growing Conditions: Prefers loamy, moderately moist, well drained soils with afternoon shade. A thick root mulch is helpful to keep roots cool and moist.

MaintenanceSusceptible to leaf spot, stem rot, wilt, mildew, rusts, borer, mites, scale and whiteflies.

Experience at Great Hill- On property, we have a number of clematis cultivars adorning trellises, arbors and fencing. Our jackmanii clematis covers completely, a lamp post at the front of the house providing color from summer to the fall with long lasting violet blooms.

Fallopia baldschuanica- Silver Lace Vine

General: A vigorous, fast growing, twining, deciduous flowering vine. Grows 25 to 35.’

Leaves: Alternate, simple and ovate, 1 ½ to 3 1/2” long. Leaves emerge reddish bronze and develop into a bright green. No fall color.

Flower: Masses of creamy white, small, fragrant, white flowers borne in narrow panicles from July through September.

Fruit: Insignificant three angled fruit following flower.

Attributes:  Prolific flowering vine often used for its adaptability as it will grow where many others will not. Quickly grows over fences, arbors and trellises or provides quick groundcover.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-7.

Growing Conditions: Prefers well drained, sandy loams in full sun to part shade. Tolerates drought and a range of soil conditions.

MaintenanceJapanese beetle. Benefits from aggressive yearly renovation pruning in which plants can be cut back 1 to 3’ from the ground to control size and spread and to encourage flowering.

Experience at Great Hill- We grow silver lace vine along a metal trellis in our fragrance garden. We prune it back every second year as it’s a bit slower growing in this area, getting more shade than sun. Flowers are numerous and attractive, but not overwhelming in scent.

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris- Climbing Hydrangea

General: A vigorous, clinging, climbing woody vine by way of twining rootlets along the stem. Grows horizontally up to 60’ long, but can also mound if unsupported in a 3 to 4’ shrub form.

Leaves: Opposite and simple, oval, 2 to 4” long. Stay a glossy dark green throughout the summer and into the fall until they eventually mature into a yellow fall color.

Flowers:  Fragrant, white, flat topped clusters 10” across. June through July. Dried flower heads are reddish brown.

Bark: Exfoliating reddish brown, attractive in the winter months.

Fruit: Seed capsule ripening in October.

Attributes:  A beautiful climbing vine for a massive effect on brick or stone walls, arbors, fences, trees, or any free structure.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-7.

Growing Conditions: Prefers rich, well drained, moist soil in full sun or full shade.

Maintenance:  Few insect or disease issues. Japanese beetles can lead to foliar decline.

Experience at Great Hill- We feature our climbing hydrangea along the stone wall leading up to the terrace of the main house. It is absolutely spectacular in all four seasons. We have had no issue with Japanese beetles to date. Flowers on our vines persist for weeks and are even ornamental in passing.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia- Virginia Creeper

General: A tough, low maintenance, deciduous and woody vine with tendrils containing adhesive tips. Can grow 30 to 50′.

Leaves: Alternate, compound palmate leaves usually contain 5 saw toothed leaflets growing to 6″. New growth is a bronze reddish color maturing to a lustrous dark green in the summer and finally changing to a purple or crimson red in the fall.

Flowers:  Greenish white cymes June to July are ornamentally insignificant as they’re hidden by leaves.

Bark: Light brown and lenticelled.

Fruit: 1/4″ bluish black berry September- October, but not visible until after the leaves have fallen. Very attractive to birds.

Attributes:  A vigorous climbing vine needing no support structure. Its extremely low maintenance and  adaptable providing erosion control and quick groundcover.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-9

Growing Conditions: Tolerates any soils. Full sun or full shade. Tolerant of exposure, wind and pollution. Hard to kill.

MaintenanceCanker, leaf spot, powdery mildew, aphids, japanese beetles, and scales.

Experience at Great Hill- Virginia creeper grows wild throughout the woods on great hill. Its most obvious during the fall when its red leaves can be seen climbing the tallest of the pines in the woodline. All of our specimen are bird sown. White the consideration has been made to utilize this vine on the side of one of our buildings, once established, creeper can take both paint and siding off of structures and is extremely hard to remove.

Parthenocissus tricuspidata- Boston Ivy

General: Boston Ivy is a rapid growing, vigorous, deciduous vine growing 30 to 50′ or more. Like virginia creeper it is a tendril climber and does not require support to climb.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, 4 to 8″ wide and variable in shape but usually three lobed. Leaves are dark green turning scarlet red to purple in the fall.

Flowers:  Insignificant greenish white flowers in the spring are hidden behind the foliage.

Bark: Brownish in color.

Fruit: 1/3″ blue-black berry visible after leaf drop in the fall.

Attributes:  Useful as a cover for walls, trellises, arbors and fences. Often grows up the walls of university buildings and can also be used as erosion control.

Hardiness:  Zones 4-8

Growing Conditions: Dry to medium well drained soils in full sun to part shade. High tolerance to pollution and highly adaptable to soil.

MaintenanceCanker, leaf spot, powdery mildew, aphids, japanese beetles, and scales.

Experience at Great Hill- Boston ivy was planted by the birds into the woods here on Great Hill. Like virginia creeper its an aggressive vine thats hard to kill while being incredibly ornamental. Its a nice cover for unsightly areas and a great option for a tough site.