Vines are useful in the landscape for covering trellises, hiding unsightly views or climbing over a bare wall. You can also allowed them to grow freely through a flowerbed. Some vines need special care and may take several years to become established, but the fastest-growing climbers and vines are easy to find in most nurseries and garden centers. Although some vines, such as wild grape and kudzu are very fast-growing, they are not suitable for landscape use.
Morning Glory – Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) is a fast-growing annual vine, and grows easily from seed during the frost-free time of the year. The flowers of blue, maroon or white, depending on the variety, bloom in the morning before noon, but close in the afternoon heat. Morning glory looks best if planted where it receives morning sun and is shaded in the afternoon. The leaves often wilt severely if exposed to harsh afternoon sunlight, but rebound by morning if given adequate moisture levels.
Coral Vine – Coral vine (Antigonon leptopus) is a perennial that returns from the ground after freezing in the winter. It has a dramatic fast-growing growth pattern, growing 6 inches a day in the right conditions. It produces numerous pink blooms along the stems. Coral vine is best used on an arbor, porch or very large trellis rather than used as a cover or barrier, because it does not grow thickly.
Virginia Creeper – Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a fast-growing native vine, good for planting in shady locations. Although it does not bloom, the foliage provides beautiful red and orange foliage in the fall. A perennial, it returns in the spring. Virginia Creeper is an attractive vine that is at home growing up the sides of an oak or pine tree. It does not grow thick enough to damage or shade a tree’s foliage.
Passionflower – The attractive bloom of a Passionflower vine. Passionflower or Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) is a perennial vine that covers anything it gets near very quickly during the warmer months. It is native to the southern United States. Some non-native varieties are available that are not as cold tolerant as the native variety so check for cold hardiness when choosing a Passionflower vine for your garden. The Passionflower’s purple or blue flowers are 1 to 3 inches across and very beautiful. Passionflower vines are an important plant for attracting butterflies.
Trumpet Creeper – Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is a perennial vine, native to the United States. The large tubular orange or yellow flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. A fast-growing vine, it can outgrow its boundaries within a few years. However, it is a good choice for covering fences or unsightly areas. Trumpet creeper is relatively maintenance-free once established.
Hyacinth Bean – Hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab) has spikes of purple or white flowers depending on the variety. It is an annual vine in most parts of the United States. Its broad leaves and fast-growing habit make it a good choice for covering just about anything you would like to cover with a vine. Late in the season, very attractive seedpods follow the flowers.