No matter how hard we try, there’s always that patch in our yard that just isn’t as nice as the rest of the area. It’s too hard to move that ugly shed or renovate an old wall; instead, the easier thing to do is hide it with a climbing vine. These are some of the best, fastest-growing vines that will bring life back to an ugly area.
Best climbing vines to hide ugly spaces: There are many climbing vines that grow quickly, including wisteria, bougainvillea, and ivy. Other options include climbing hydrangeas and climbing roses. If you want to attract butterflies and hummingbirds with your climbing vine, try plants with trumpet-sized blooms, such as honeysuckle and snapdragon vines.
15 Best Climbing Vines for Privacy
One of the most vibrant options to add color and privacy to your yard is the bougainvillea. This tropical plant is native to Central and South America, so it does better in southern United States climates.
Bougainvillea comes in a wide variety of colors including pink, yellow, purple, orange, and white. It grows quickly but you can find shorter shrub-like varieties or go big with towering vines that climb up to 100 feet tall.
Those that want a classic, old-world feel to their home will appreciate the look of ivy. The plant prefers shade and will quickly climb any wall or structure, so you don’t need to worry about providing support.
Ivy does need some maintenance to prevent it from taking over completely. Ensure you plan for regular pruning and pulling down so it doesn’t get too out of hand.
A perennial favorite that is easy to grow, clematis can survive most climates and every year will produce a new vine that will snake its way over a trellis. While it is not as large as other climbing vines on our list, it will grow to be 10 to 18 feet tall.
Clematis prefers soil that is moist but well-draining and you may need to tie it up to help it along. You can find varieties that have deep purple, vibrant white, or subtle pink blooms.
4. Morning glory
This is an annual plant so you will need to plant it again each year. However, even in just one summer, you can expect 10 or more feet of growth.
Morning glory comes in different colors and includes deep blue and bright white. It does need support to grow, so be sure to place a trellis or other climbing plants near it, and always plant in full sun.
5. Climbing hydrangea
For most gardeners, hydrangea is a shrub but you can actually find a climbing variety, although you may need to special order it. This vine produces deep green foliage and large clusters of flowers with a creamy shade to them.
Climbing hydrangea is ideal for large walls as it can spread out up to 60 feet. It doesn’t need much of a support structure as the plant has aerial rootlets that will cling to any textured structure.
6. Climbing roses
While this plant won’t cover an unsightly wall, it will provide some cover for smaller areas such as a shed or a drainage pipe. Climbing roses are a type of shrub but you can train them to grow upwards if you use a trellis and ties.
Climbing roses do best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They are hardy enough for more northern temperatures as long as the soil has plenty of nutrients and drains well.
There are invasive species of honeysuckle that should be avoided, but there are still plenty that won’t take over all of your gardens. Look for honeysuckle that doesn’t have Japanese origins for the best results.
Honeysuckle loves the full sun and the color red, orange, and yellow blooms will attract hummingbirds. This is a plant full of personality and will bring a bit of tropical celebration to your yard.
8. Star Jasmine
With fragrant blooms, this climbing plant is perfect if you love sitting outside on a hot summer evening and experiencing all of your senses. If you have more temperate conditions, you can grow the plant as a perennial but if this is too much work, you can always start fresh and treat it as an annual.
Star jasmine prefers full sun and has large green leaves and smaller white blooms that look like stars, hence the name.
Looking for a touch of the English countryside? Wisteria has a classic purple blush to it, which contrasts nicely with the light green leaves.
There are many exotic species that can be quite invasive, so it’s better to look for American wisteria as it won’t take over your garden. You can even find a few varieties that are cold hardy and do well in northern parts of the United States.
10. Trumpet Vine
Named after its distinct, trumpet-like petals, this is a real showstopper. As a bonus, butterflies and hummingbirds will flock to a trumpet vine, making your yard burst with activity.
Trumpet vines grow quite aggressively, especially in warm, humid areas, so you will need to plan for annual pruning. You can expect this vine to grow up to 40 feet and will take over any wall or surface.
11. Black-eyed Susan vine
If you are looking for a more unique climbing vine, the black-eyed Susan vine is a real showstopper. It has large blooms in a range of colors, including orange, pink, yellow, and white. Then, in the middle is a large black area that provides amazing contrast.
Black-eyed Susan vines only grow to about 10 feet in length, so they are more manageable than other options. You can even try growing them in containers or mix things up and grow them in a hanging basket.
12. Bleeding Heart Vine
This evergreen vine will stay alive throughout the year, so you can enjoy vibrant greenery in the winter and vivid red blooms in the summer. It grows to about 15 feet in length, which is a nice, medium-sized option.
Bleeding heart vine only grows in warmer areas, so is not meant for northern regions. The soil must be kept moist as it is used in humid conditions.
13. Sweet potato vine
Even though this plant is in the same family as sweet potatoes, it is an ornamental variety, so you won’t be getting any product out of it. The long vines can be trained upwards but need a trellis and plenty of ties for support.
If you have low structures you want to hide along the base of your house, this is a great climbing vine to consider. It prefers warmer locations and full sun.
14. Snapdragon Vine
This plant is a bit of a misnomer because even though it looks similar to a regular snapdragon plant, the two are not related at all. However, trumpet-like blooms are a favorite among hummingbirds and come in deep purple, blue, or pink colors.
Snapdragon vines are another plant that does better in warmer climates. They also like full sun or partial shade conditions and the soil should be nice and rich.
15. Virginia Creeper
People either love or loathe Virginia creeper, but if you need a no-nonsense vine that will cover everything, this is the plant to choose. It grows incredibly fast and even if you cut it back each year, which we recommend, it will quickly cover your space again.
Virginia creeper has green leaves that have a tinge of red to them in the fall and small berries that can attract birds. Just note that it can be hard to remove this plant once it starts growing.
Quick tips for growing climbing vines
Some vines will naturally spread out against a wall if they have tiny tendrils but others will need support structures. If you want your plant to go in a particular direction, place a trellis in that area and train your plant by gently tying it to the structure.
Many climbing vines need regular pruning, usually at least once per year. Don’t be afraid to cut vines back as they are fast-growing and will come back in just a matter of weeks.
Even though you may be in love with a particular climbing vine, it might not do well in your local climate. Many of the more colorful plants are native to tropical countries and even the slightest hint of frost will kill them.
What is the fastest-growing vine for privacy?
Wisteria is one of the best vines for privacy as it will grow 10 to 15 feet each year. You can also get it to go where you want and is fairly dense.
Whether you want some privacy, want to muffle road noise, or want to cover an unsightly wall, a climbing vine can solve these problems. Match the size of the growth with the area you want to cover and be prepared for annual maintenance to stop the vine from taking over your whole garden.