Climbing Plants for Courtyards

The walls which surround a courtyard act as supports for climbing plants. Several distinct plants use tendrils to climb up walls, although other plants grow upwards when trained on a trellis. Showy varieties of these plants add a decorative element to your courtyard. One of the best guides when choosing climbing plants is to pick one that matches the lighting conditions. Observe the sun pattern in the area where you want to place the climbing plant.

Flowers for Full Sun

Sunny sites deliver small cooling shade and must tolerate heat buildup. Blue passion flowers (Passiflora caerulea) grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9 with 3- to 4-inch-wide flowers throughout the summer on high-speed 10- to 15-foot-long stems. The blossoms comprise of white outer petals and narrow blue inner petals with rings of white and purple across the middle. The blossoms are followed by oval orange-yellow edible fruit. American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), a North American native, creates clusters of pale lilac blooms throughout the summer in USDA zones 6 through 9. The fast-growing woody stems reach more than 30 feet along with the plant works well for south-facing walls.

Partial Sun Vines

Partially sunny sites still get about six hours of direct sunlight with a couple hours of cooling shade. “Ramona” clematis (Clematis x “Ramona”) grow large purple summer blooms covering woody vines with deciduous leathery green leaves. This fast-growing vine reaches 10 to 20 feet long in USDA zones 4 through 9. “Theta” narrowleaf Asiatic jessamine (Trachelospermum asiaticum “Theta”), which grows in USDA zones 8 through 10, creates dark green, needle-like leaves using silvery-green markings in the center. This 20-foot-long evergreen vine grows fragrant white blooms all summer.

Partial Shade Vines

Plants that grow in partially shady conditions require protection from hot afternoon sun that could hurt the plants. “Ritak” sausage vines (Holboellia latifolia “Ritak”) form clusters of purple spring flowers using a cinnamon odor and big lavender fruits follow the flowers. Dark evergreen leaves cover the 15-foot-long stems in USDA zones 6 through 10. This vine demands support to climb erect. “Tangerine Beauty” cross vine (Bignonia capreolata “Tangerine Beauty”) grows in USDA zones 6 through 9 using peach-pink, trumpet-shaped flowers with orange throats growing on 30- to 50-foot-long woody stems. This vine attracts hummingbirds into the courtyard.

Full Shade Plants

Shade-loving plants burn and wither when subjected to a lot of direct sunlight. These plants need the coolness of colour to survive and grow well on north-facing courtyard walls. Red Wall Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia “Troki”) grows best in USDA zones 3 through 8 using tendrils to climb up the wall and reaching 30 feet tall. This deciduous vine produces dark green leaves, which turn fire-engine red in the fall, along with small clusters of blue berries. “Taiping Shan” evergreen climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea integrifolia “Taiping Shan”) creates glossy evergreen leaves along a 30- to 40-foot-long stem with early summertime white lacecaps made up of tiny blooms in USDA zones 7 through 10. This hydrangea blooms well in the colour.

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