From small gardens to large public parks, vines add visual appeal and enhance use of both horizontal and vertical spaces.
With a variety of beautiful flowers, striking colors, and interesting leaves, vines draw the eye and can serve as the focal point of a garden. But they also provide excellent ground cover and accent other plants to make a garden feel more full. Vines can enhance the beauty of a building, cover unpleasant features, and increase privacy.
While the strength and versatility of vines are what makes them so special, it can also make them difficult to manage if you haven’t chosen the right vine for your location. Know which vines will thrive in your space and which to avoid for your environment. Understanding how to care for your vines gives you the freedom to enjoy their beauty with minimal fuss and maintenance.
Choosing Your Vines
When it comes to vines, there are a number of choices. There are both perennial and annual vines. Perennial vines are chosen based upon their ability to persist and come back year after year depending on their hardiness to a particular hardiness zone. When selecting these vines, make sure you know what the hardiness zone is for your area and then cross-reference it to the hardiness zone number of the vine. The hardiness zone number for the vine should be at least equal to or smaller than the hardiness zone number for the area you are gardening.
There are numerous perennial vines that can add a permanent landscape feature to your garden. When choosing vines listed as perennial, make sure that they are listed as hardy for your planting zone. These vines come back year after year and when properly handled, continue to offer attractive foliage and flowers.
As a group, honeysuckles are extremely easy to grow. Many are vigorous plants capable of covering support structures quickly. They offer attractive and offer very fragrant flowers that are visited by butterflies and hummingbirds. When selecting honeysuckles be sure to consult an invasive species list for your area and choose plants that are recommended as non-invasive.
There are many annual flowering vines to choose from that can offer quick, colorful, temporary cover for garden structures. All of these vines are easy to grow from seed and can be started indoors 4-6 weeks before they are needed for the garden. Because many of them are tender, it is suggested that they be put out after all danger of frost is past and soils are warm. Most annual vines attach themselves by either twinning or with tendrils so chain-link fences, wire, or thin strips of wood make good supports.