Vines and other woody plants, such as groundcovers, can be fertilized at planting and again in fall. If you miss the fall feeding, fertilize in early spring, before growth begins. Water thoroughly after feeding. Shown here: Clematis 'Ernest Markham'
Moonflower vine is the after-dark cousin to morning glory. This annual vine opens stunning 6-inch-wide white blooms—loaded with fragrance—starting at dusk. On a warm summer’s evening, it’s pure joy to sit on a patio and watch the moonflowers twirl open. Plant moonflower on a trellis with morning glory for a spectacular sunrise to sunset show. Like morning glories, each moonflower blossom lasts a single day (night). This annual vine grows to 20 feet, twining its way around supports. Soak seeds overnight or nick them prior to planting. Why we love it: The sweet fragrance is tough to beat, and the moths that pollinate the flowers are a delight to watch.
A native plant, trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a fast-growing beauty that scales an arch or pergola in a season. It’s famous for trumpet blooms that unfurl in bold orange shades, although you can also find varieties with yellow or red flowers. Blooms are a magnet for hummingbirds and other pollinators. Trumpet vine stems can wander underground, invading planting beds and disrupting patios. It’s best planted not too close to buildings, but makes a perfect choice for training on a yard or garden entry arch or pergola. Prune vines hard in early spring. Plants grow 20 to 30 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9. Use caution planting trumpet vine in Zone 6 or warmer, where mild winters allow rampant (some say invasive) growth.
Hops offers a nice ornamental form that works well in the garden on a pergola or strong, well-anchored arch. The flower, known as a cone, forms in late summer. This is the part you harvest to make beer. ‘Cascade’ hops (Humulus lupulus ‘Cascade’) is a disease-resistant vine that ripens cones used to make American pale ales. Pick cones in late summer, dry them in a warm, dark place, and freeze in airtight bags until you’re ready to brew your own craft ale. Undemanding hops vines are easy to grow. After vines die to the ground with frost, prune to ground level and wait for new growth to appear in spring. Vines can grow to 25 feet high in one season and up to 6 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Vinca is great for ground coverage in areas with undesirable soil conditions. But, it can take over an area in a short time and is very hard to pull. Avoid planting vinca in smaller gardens, and be sure to prune the vine so it doesn’t take over other vegetation.
False hydrangea earns its name because it unfurls flowers that resemble lacecap hydrangea blooms. This variety is sold as Rose Sensation (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Minsens’) because the large petals (actually known as tepals) offer a deep, rose pink. Flowers appear in June and July. False hydrangea vine is a good choice for a part sun to part shade location—it’s often used in a woodland garden setting or north-facing garden. It’s a vigorous vine that’s well suited for trailing across a pergola or blanketing an arch with color. Vines grow 40 to 50 feet high and 6 to 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Indoors, keep an eye on houseplants, especially any you kept outdoors for summer. Pests multiply quickly in the warm environs of a winter home. This vining violet is infested with spider mites, which are very difficult to eradicate on indoor plants. The white speckling on leaf surfaces is a clue mites are feeding. Webbing where the leaf attaches to the stem is another dead giveaway.
Black-eyed susan vine (Thunbergia alata) takes on a new hue with Lemon A-Peel. The flowers on this variety unfurl in a clear lemon yellow hue like living sunshine. Easy-growing black-eyed susan vine covers a trellis with non-stop blooms all summer long. It adapts well to growing in pots on a tepee trellis. Give this vine full sun, except in the Deep South, where afternoon shade is welcome. Butterflies and other pollinator insects visit blooms, adding to the color show. Plants grow 5 to 8 feet tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Annual vine, hardy in Zones 10-11. Why we love it: This vine opens non-stop flowers—and it never needs deadheading.
Hops vine brings beautiful foliage in shades of golden-yellow to the summer garden. Summer Shandy hops (Humulus x ‘Sumner’) is an ornamental variety bred for its good looks (not for making beer). This hops vine isn’t aggressive, as hops tend to be. It’s well-suited to training on a trellis, fence or porch rail in a home garden. Vines grow 5 to 10 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8. Why we love it: This hops variety is undemanding, easy to grow and adds season-long color to any garden.
Keep an eye on trees on your property and make an effort to keep them free of woody vines, which can overrun a tree and ultimately kill it. Depending on where you live, the vining culprits might be grape vine (shown), poison oak, trumpet vine, Chinese wisteria, kudzu or Virginia creeper. Cut vines at ground level, removing a section of vine stem to start the process of killing off the invader. Treat stumps with brush killer.
Arches covered in creeping fig vines lead to the back entry of this elegant home. A neutral stone patio provides timeless flooring without distracting from the beautiful architectural details of the walkway.