Fast Growing Vines for Urban Garden Privacy

planting for privacy

Fast growing vines can provide a foundation for privacy in the urban garden and house. Climbing vines, are useful plants, to hide undesirable features, or bare walls, neighbors and fences. Plant a fast grower in early spring and it could reach 12, 20 or even 30 feet by fall.

Most vines will grow toward sunlight by elongating their stems and attaching themselves to support where available.

Here are 5 fast-climbers for you to consider for urban garden privacy.

1. Coral honeysuckle, lonicera sempervirens, zone 4-9. This vine blooms from mid-June through September with trumpet-shaped coral blossoms, which will perfume the entire garden. Coral honeysuckle will wind around anything even a 10 to 15-foot trellis in a single season. Makes a good attractor for hummingbirds, too.

2. Sweet autumn clematis, clematis terniflora, zone 4-9. Clematis, a vigorous vine, just grows tall, up to 30 feet in a few months, and wide. It offers tiny white flowers, which bloom in late summer and early fall. The vine tolerates most soil and sun conditions.

3. Hops, humulus lupulus, zone 4-8. Famous as a beer ingredient, its large leaves are joined by chartreuse cones borne only on female plants. The cones deliver as much drama as any flower from mid to late summer. And, this vine can climb 12 inches per day, topping out at around 25 feet.

4. Moonflower, ipomoea alba, zone 5-7. A night-blooming species of morning glory, with fragrant white flowers that open from sundown to sunup, midsummer to early autumn. Watch them unfurl at dusk. While the vine reaches heights of more than 15 feet, you’ll want to sow several to achieve a lush effect.

5. Hyacinth bean, dolichos lablab, zone 9-11. Considered an edible bean in parts of Africa and Asia, American gardeners tend to prize it for purely ornamental properties. Dark leaves, midsummer blossoms, and bean pods come during the fall, the annual offers three to four months’ worth of interest, during which it can shoot up 10 to 15 feet.

Vines are usually valued for the summer shade they provide when trained over an arbor or patio roof. Other varieties add interest when trained against the sunny wall of a building or planted to frame a doorway. Vertical vines can be used to provide a needed accent to relieve the monotony of a large expanse of fencing or even hide a chain-link fence with green foliage. Vine varieties such as ivy, memorial rose, and winter-creeper euonymus can be useful on steep banks. Perhaps the greatest benefit of vines, for the gardener, is the small amount of ground space they require for growth. Many are happy to remain planted in containers throughout the garden.

When selecting vines always consider temperature hardiness and light requirements. The amount of sunlight can be critical to their survival, or it may reduce flowering and fruiting. Check with a qualified nursery to determine which are appropriate for your climate zone. Most vines are quite tolerant of a wide range of soil types.

Different types of vines

Vines are usually described as woody or semi-woody climbing or trailing plants, however some vines are annuals and have herbaceous stems. Each species and cultivar of vine has distinctive characteristics making it suitable for a specific location.

Annual Vines 

Balloon vine • Black-eyed Susan • Cup and saucer • Firecracker  (mina lobata) • Hyacinth bean • Moonflower • Morning glory

Perennial Vines 

American bittersweet • Fiveleaf Akebia • Boston ivy • Clemantis • Dutchman’s pipe • English ivy • Gloryvine •Hydrangea • Oriental bittersweet • Passionflower • Silver fleecevine • Trumpet vine • Wintercreeper euonyus • Wisteria

Edible vines

Bean (pole) • Bitter melon • Blackberry • Cantaloupe (vining types) • Chayote • Kiwi • Nasturtium (vining types) • Scarlet runner bean • Sweet pea • Sweet potato, ornamental

Plant fast-growing vines for quick shade

Growth rate and sun exposure requirements should be considered when selecting vines. Some vines, such as oak leaf hydrangea, grow slowly and are appropriate when only a small area needs covering. Virginia creeper and Boston ivy are astonishingly fast growers and should not be selected for small areas. But these are good choices when a lot of shade is needed in just several growing seasons.

Plant flowering vines for garden color

Vines that provide color in the garden come in an amazing range of flowering color choices. The passionflower vines are available in pink, purple, and blue. Moonflowers come in white and purple. The morning glories are available in lavender, pale yellow, pearl, strawberry cream swirl, blue, red, and a wide variety of variegated faced colors.

Flowering vines 

Blue butterfly pea • Blue crown passionflower • Bush potato vine • Cardinal climber • Flying saucer morning glory • Lil red trumpet creeper • Lil violet trumpet • Maypop passionflower • Messina creeper morning glory • Orange Noah trumpet creeper • Purple passionflower • Purple moonflower • Spanish flag • White night-blooming moonflower

Understanding climbing vines

Vines are generally divided into groups based on their method of climbing. Some plants climb by attaching small appendages as a means of support. Boston ivy has modified tendrils with small, circular discs at the tips; English ivy and winter-creeper form small rootlets along the stem. These types of vines should not be allowed to grow on wood houses or wooden parts of brick houses such as window frames, and eaves with wooden rafters.

Vines, such as clematis and grape, climb by winding tendrils or leaf-like appendages which act as tendrils around the object on which they are growing. Most vines climb by twining stems. As the growing tips elongate, the stem coils around the nearest vertical support. Avoid planting twining vines near small trees and shrubs because they may become difficult to control. Vines such as bittersweet and wisteria climb by twining.

Climbing vines 

Akebia • Black-eyed Susan • Bougainvillea • Cardinal climber • Cypresss vine • Climbing hydrangea • English ivy • Gloxinia • Mandevilla • Winter-creeper

When planted in the correct location and properly trained, vines can provide a high degree of colorful visual interest, fragrance, and enjoyment in your garden. They can be used in a number of imaginative ways, such as hanging baskets, window boxes, and plant containers with trellises. Vines also make a good solution for blank and boring walls around the yard. Plus, you are not limited to the sunny side of buildings. The Boston ivy, climbing hydrangea, and other vines can be successfully grown in partial shade.

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