When it comes to landscaping small areas or petite gardens, choosing the right climbing plants can be a game-changer. Climbing plants not only add a touch of natural beauty to your outdoor space but also maximize the use of vertical areas, making them ideal for compact landscapes. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 40 types of climbing plants that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also perfect for smaller spaces. Whether you have a balcony, a tiny backyard, or just a limited garden area, these climbing plants will transform your space into a lush and enchanting oasis.
Best 40 Climbing plants
1. Clematis (Clematis spp.)
Clematis vines are known for their stunning, vibrant flowers that come in various colors. These hardy climbers are perfect for adding vertical interest to your garden without taking up much ground space. Clematis can be grown in pots or in the ground, as long as they have a support to climb on. They like a sunny spot with their roots shaded and cool. They need regular pruning to keep them healthy and tidy.
2. Jasmine (Jasminum spp.)
Jasmine plants are famous for their sweet fragrance and delicate white flowers. It has white or yellow flowers that bloom in summer and autumn. Jasmine prefers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It can be prepared on a trellis, fence or wall. They also thrive in small pots or containers. Jasmine grows quickly, covering pergolas, walls and doors but responds well to pruning so you can grow it to the size you like and even have it in a pot. It’s self-sticking so it won’t need any extra support as it grows. Like all evergreen plants, jasmine will provide vital shelter and food for wildlife throughout the year – everyone wins!
3. Ivy (Hedera spp.)
Ivy is a timeless choice for small spaces that offers many benefits to gardeners and landscapers. It is evergreen, adaptable, resilient, and appealing. You can consider Ivy for your small garden or balcony. If you care for and maintain Ivy properly, it can turn your limited outdoor space into a green oasis that delights your senses and connects you with nature.
You can use Ivy to add some greenery to a concrete jungle or to create a cozy corner in your small backyard. Ivy is versatile and charming, and it never goes out of style. Let Ivy weave its magic in your small space and transform it into a haven of natural beauty and tranquility.
4. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.)
Bougainvillea is famous for its spectacular, paper-thin colorful bracts that can produce clusters of pink, purple, red or orange flowers. The plants are aptly named as their delicate petals feel like soft paper.
Bougainvillea can be grown in pots or in the ground, but it needs a warm and sunny location to thrive. It also requires strong support to climb, such as a pergola or arch. It likes well-drained soil and moderate watering. These climbers are perfect for adding a tropical touch to your small garden or balcony. You can order these online on sites like Amazon.
5. Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted by the sweet-smelling and attractive tubular flowers of honeysuckle. You can grow honeysuckle in pots or in the ground. It will flower year after year once it is established. Honeysuckle can be invasive in some areas, so make sure you have enough space for it to grow and expand. It needs a trellis, fence, or wall to climb on. It likes moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade.
6. Climbing Roses (Rosa spp.)
Climbing roses have a timeless and captivating allure for horticulture and vertical gardening. They offer a kaleidoscope of colors and fill small garden spaces with an undeniable aura of romance and elegance.
when you step into the rose section of your local garden center. You will see a vast tapestry of rose varieties, each more enchanting than the last. Among this floral symphony, the climbing rose is a paragon of grace and versatility. It embodies natural elegance, as it adorns fences, trellises, or arbors with its delicate tendrils. It transforms your garden into a fragrant haven of beauty and charm.
7. Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Known for its trumpet-shaped, vibrant orange flowers, trumpet vine is a fast-growing climber that can quickly cover trellises and pergolas.
8. Passionflower (Passiflora spp.)
Unique and intricate flowers make passionflowers exotic and visually striking climbers. They bloom in the summer and have a delightful smell. They also produce egg-shaped fruits called maypops, which you can eat right off the vine or make into jelly. Passionflower can add a touch of the tropics to your small garden.
Butterflies and bees are attracted to the purple, blue, or white flowers of passionflower. You can grow it in pots or in the ground, but it needs a sturdy support to climb on. It likes moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade.
9. Wisteria (Wisteria spp.)
Breathtaking, cascading blooms in shades of purple, blue, and white make wisteria known. Climbing hydrangea can be hard to establish, but once it gets going, it really goes. It can grow up to 50 feet with showy white blooms that are good for cuttings, hummingbirds, and butterflies. It needs a strong support system to climb high, and it doesn’t do well in really hot climates. Climbing hydrangea is an excellent choice for creating a romantic garden escape.
10. Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)
11. Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Color, texture, and wildlife value make Virginia Creeper a good choice for small areas or small gardens. It creates a lush green backdrop in summer and a stunning red display in fall. It also shades, covers, and protects your garden structures. Small greenish-white flowers hide under the foliage and produce blue-black berries in late summer or early fall. Birds and other animals can eat the berries, but they are toxic for humans. The leaves and stems can irritate and blister some people’s skin. You need to control its growth carefully, as it can damage the surfaces it climbs on or smother other plants.
12. Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)
Bright, cheerful flowers resembling black-eyed Susans adorn this charming vine. It is native to Eastern Africa, but it can grow as an ornamental plant in other parts of the world. It suits small areas or small gardens well, as it adds color and texture to your space. You can grow it in pots, hanging baskets, or in the ground, and it can climb on trellises, fences, or walls. It likes well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. It attracts butterflies and bees with its blooms from spring to fall. However, you should control its growth carefully, as it can be invasive in some areas. You should also avoid touching or eating any part of the plant, as it can harm your health.
13. Climbing Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
You can eat the flowers and foliage of climbing nasturtiums, which adds a unique twist to your small garden.
They suit small areas or small gardens well, as they add color and texture to your space. You can grow them in pots, hanging baskets, or in the ground, and they can climb on trellises, fences, or walls. They like well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. They attract butterflies and bees with their blooms from spring to fall.
The flowers of climbing nasturtiums have a sweet, peppery taste similar to watercress. The leaves and unripe seed pods have a citrusy and peppery flavor. You can use the flower buds for seasoning, as they contain mustard oil. You can also garnish salads, platters, and savory dishes with the flowers.
14. Climbing Fern (Lygodium spp.)
A thin, flexible, and long stem that can twine around supports makes climbing ferns the only ferns with a vine-like frond. The fronds can vary from 3 to 12 meters long, depending on the species.
Greenery, texture, and wildlife value make climbing ferns good choices for small areas or small gardens. You can grow them in pots or in the ground, and they can climb on trellises, fences, or walls. They like moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. They produce spores for reproduction with their small flowers. You can use some species for food or medicine, as they have edible parts.
However, you should be aware of some drawbacks of climbing ferns. Some species are invasive weeds that can spread fast and smother other plants. Some species are also toxic or irritating to humans and animals. You should avoid touching or eating any part of the plant without proper knowledge. You should also check with your local garden center before planting climbing ferns in your area.
15. Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp.)
Vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers open in the morning and make morning glories beloved. They are perfect for trellises and archways. This cheerful and fast-growing climber produces trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink, or white. It can grow up to 10 feet from seed and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Morning glory can be aggressive or invasive in some areas, so check with your local garden center before planting it. It likes moist, fertile soil and full sun.
16. Climbing Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Fragrant, pastel-colored blooms make climbing sweet peas charming. They add a touch of charm to your small areas or small gardens well, as they add color and texture to your space. You can grow them in pots, hanging baskets, or in the ground, and they can climb on trellises, fences, or walls. They like well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. They attract butterflies and bees with their blooms from spring to fall.
17. Climbing Snapdragon (Asarina spp.)
Delicate, snapdragon-like flowers grow on climbing snapdragons. They add a touch of whimsy to your vertical garden. The fronds can vary from 3 to 12 meters long, depending on the species.
Snapdragon vines usually bloom well on their own, but you might need to monitor some factors if they don’t bloom properly throughout the season (typically May through September).
Sunlight is the most important factor for snapdragon vines. They need a full day of sunlight (or at least partial shade). If they don’t bloom as much as you expect, they might not get enough sunlight. Temperature is another factor that can affect blooming. Snapdragon vines can stop blooming if it is too hot, but don’t worry—they will resume blooming when it cools down. Just keep watering them regularly.
18. Climbing Lily (Gloriosa superba)
Growing a climbing lily plant in the garden is easy, and you can enjoy the beauty of a Gloriosa lily (Gloriosa superba).
Gloriosa climbing lilies, also called flame lilies and glory lilies, need fertile, well-drained soil and full to partial sun. They are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, and you can overwinter them in zone 9 with winter mulch. You can also grow them in cooler areas during the summer and lift and store them for the winter.
These lilies have exotic-looking yellow and red flowers with curled-back petals that look like brilliant flames. They can grow up to 8 feet (2 m.) high and need a trellis or wall to climb. Climbing lilies do not have tendrils, but their specialized leaves cling to the trellis or other plants and pull the vine up. You can create a wall of brilliant color that lasts all summer by learning how to grow Gloriosa lilies.
19. Clematis ‘Montana’ (Clematis montana)
The Clematis Montana is a great species to consider. It grows vigorously and produces a cascade of beautiful flowers. Sweet fragrance fills the garden with cheerful pink or white blooms in spring. Clematis montana grows fast. It can grow up to 40 feet long and 15 feet wide. The growing conditions affect how many feet it grows per year. Himalayan Clematis needs bright sunlight or partial shade to grow well. It also needs a good place to climb and spread, like trellises, walls, or fences. Its abundance of small, fragrant flowers makes it a standout choice for small gardens.
20. Climbing Petunia (Petunia spp.)
A unique flowering plant, climbing petunias will climb trellises or other support systems. Petunias are very popular because they have many colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. You can find white, pink, and lavender climbing petunias.
They grow fast and can reach over 6 feet long. They have soft aromatic flowers that bloom from early summer to early fall. They are also weather-resistant and last long.
Petunias brighten up your garden with little maintenance. They can grow as annuals or perennials, depending on their zone.
21. Climbing Bleeding Heart (Dicentra scandens)
If you love Dicentra, you should add this climber to your collection. Dicentra scandens has pretty lemon-colored heart-shaped flowers that hang among its ferny foliage. It grows well with other shade lovers like Ferns, Hostas and Hellebores. It adds charm and beauty to a woodland or shady area of the garden. It also creates a wow factor when it is fully grown.
Dicentra scandens flowers more in cooler climates. It goes dormant in the summer naturally. It needs humus-rich, moist soil, but not too wet. It does not like drought or disturbance. It flowers in spring and likes shade, which trees can provide.
You should cut the plant down to around 15 cm after flowering. This will encourage new growth and maybe some more flowers in late summer or autumn.
They’re perfect for adding a touch of romance to your garden.
22. Climbing Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)
Climbing zinnias are a delightful addition to small gardens, with their daisy-like flowers in various colors.
A cheery annual plant, creeping zinnia has a spreading nature and low, 6-inch stature. It is ideal as groundcover or for planting in containers as trailers. The small yellow blooms look like miniature sunflowers and steal the show. The fine green foliage is also unique. Creeping zinnia is a true annual that dies at the end of the season, but it is worth re-planting every year because of its abundant blooms and carefree nature.
You can plant creeping zinnia from potted nursery starts in the spring after the frost is gone. You can also grow it easily from seed. It is a fast-growing plant that flowers in its first season, about 10 weeks after planting the seeds. Therefore, they are easy to grow and maintain.
23. Climbing Aster (Aster spp.)
Climbing aster (Symphyotrichum carolinianum) sprawls like a vine. It flowers in late fall and winter, extending the options for nectar and pollen for pollinators. It is one of the few wildflowers that can bloom in December. A myriad of native bees, including polyester, sweat, cuckoo, leafcutter, mining, bumble and chimney bees, visit the flowers. Butterflies and moths also love them: Monarchs, Pearl crescents, skippers, fritillaries, Common buckeyes, Gray hairstreaks, swallowtails and sulphurs have been known to frequent the flowers for nectar.
The flowers have dense centers of yellow-orange disk florets surrounded by many ray florets that vary in color from lavender to purplish-pink to violet. They are 1 to 2 inches in diameter and have a very sweet fragrance. Grayish-green and elliptic to ovate leaves with entire margins grow alternately on branches. The seed is an achene with a fluffy pappus. In this way they are ideal for adding a touch of autumnal charm to small spaces.
24. Climbing Sunflower (Helianthus spp.)
Climbing sunflowers bring a touch of sunshine to small gardens with their cheerful, yellow blooms. They’re great for attracting pollinators.
25. Climbing Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
Climbing chrysanthemums offer a burst of fall color with their intricate blooms. They’re perfect for adding a touch of elegance to small garden walls.
26. Climbing Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
Climbing marigolds are known for their vibrant orange and yellow blooms. They’re perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in small spaces.
27. Climbing Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)
Climbing daffodils add a touch of early spring charm with their iconic yellow flowers. They’re ideal for trellises and garden structures.
28. Climbing Orchid (Orchidaceae)
Climbing orchids are exotic and visually striking climbers with stunning and intricate flowers. They add a touch of luxury to small gardens.
29. Climbing Aconitum (Aconitum spp.)
Climbing aconitums offer a touch of wild beauty with their spiky blooms. They’re perfect for adding a touch of mystery to small garden spaces.
30. Climbing Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
Climbing fuchsias are known for their pendulous, tubular flowers in shades of pink and purple. They’re excellent for hanging baskets and containers.
31. Climbing Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)
Climbing geraniums offer a cascade of colorful flowers and vibrant foliage. They’re perfect for adding a touch of charm to your vertical garden.
32. Climbing Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
Climbing foxgloves produce elegant, tubular flowers on tall spikes. They’re great for creating a dramatic vertical display in small spaces.
33. Climbing Camellia (Camellia spp.)
Climbing camellias are known for their exquisite, rose-like flowers. They’re perfect for adding a touch of elegance to small garden walls.
34. Climbing Begonia (Begonia spp.)
Climbing begonias offer unique, colorful foliage and dainty flowers. They’re great for adding a touch of whimsy to your vertical garden.
35. Climbing Hoya (Hoya spp.)
Climbing hoyas are beloved for their waxy, star-shaped flowers and thick, succulent leaves. They add a touch of tropical charm to small spaces.
36. Climbing Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
Climbing azaleas produce clusters of vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers. They’re perfect for adding a touch of springtime beauty to your garden.
37. Climbing Lilac (Syringa spp.)
Climbing lilacs offer fragrant, lavender-colored blooms. They’re ideal for creating a romantic garden escape in small spaces.
38. Climbing Cactus (Cactaceae)
Climbing cacti are unique and drought-tolerant climbers with striking, prickly stems. They add a touch of desert beauty to small gardens.
39. Climbing Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
Climbing coleus offers a cascade of colorful foliage that brightens up vertical spaces. They’re perfect for adding a touch of vibrancy to your garden.
40. Climbing Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
A botanical wonder, the climbing lavender resembles a majestic rose with its resplendent and fragrant lavender hues. It suits petite garden spaces well, as it can climb trellises, hug fences, or decorate walls, creating a colorful and aromatic tapestry in your sanctuary. Climbing lavender is also easy to nurture and blooms abundantly throughout the season.
The climbing lavender’s beauty and fragrance are not its only attractions. It also creates a tranquil oasis in your compact garden, filling the air with serenity and calm. Its flowers and foliage are aromatic and soothing, making it a dear companion for those who seek solace in their small outdoor haven.