Vines In The North: Choosing Vines For North Central Regions
By: Mary Ellen Ellis
Perennial vines are popular in gardens for a number of reasons. Most produce lovely flowers, many with blooms that attract pollinators. They are generally low maintenance but provide impact when trained on walls, fences, arbors, gazebos, and other garden structures. They also provide privacy screens. There are many North Central vines you can choose from if you live in this region.
Choosing Vines for North Central States
When growing vines in the north and central states of the U.S., it’s best to choose those that are native or that at least will not become invasive and overgrown if non-native. For example, honeysuckle is a pretty, sweet smelling vine with flowers pollinators love, but be sure not to choose the highly invasive and damaging Japanese honeysuckle. Here are some other native and non-invasive options:
- Sweet pea: This pretty and vigorous vine produces delicate white, pink, and lavender flowers and can grow up to twelve feet (4 m.) high. Sweet pea thrives in full sun and tolerates drought.
- Clematis: One of the most popular of flowering vines, clematis comes in different varieties and colors. ‘Roguchi’ will bloom from June through September. Clematis is fine in partial shade and needs a lot of organic material in the soil.
- Climbing hydrangea: This vine has both beautiful foliage and flowers. Be patient, though, as climbing hydrangea may take a few years to establish and get blooms. This is a root climber that can grow up a wall.
- Wisteria: Wisteria is a stunning vine, especially for an arbor or trellis because of the flowers. They grow in grape-like clusters and look elegant and whimsical when hanging down from overhead.
- Hops: The hops vine is grown for beer making but the unique, cone-like flowers and tall, quick growth also make this a good choice for the home garden. It will create a privacy screen in no time but does need to be cut down to the ground each year before new spring growth starts.
Growing Vines in Northern States
Before choosing North Central vines, be aware of how they climb. Some types climb by sending out roots to grab onto and climb up a wall easily. A twining vine, such as wisteria, needs a structure to grow around like a fence or arbor. Matching vine to structure is essential for success.
All growing conditions like soil type, water needs, and fertilizing will vary depending on the vine, so do some research before selecting vines.
Most vines will benefit from some trimming and pruning to keep them healthy and to maintain a reasonable size and shape. Prune vines in the late winter or early spring.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Will Boston ivy grow in Texas?
Yes. Boston ivy grows well in Texas on walls, fences, and trees.
Does poison ivy grow in Texas?
Yes. Make sure to double-check any vine before touching since poison ivy grows naturally in Texas.
Will honeysuckle grow in Texas?
Yes. Honeysuckle grows naturally in the North and West parts of the state.
Will clematis grow in Texas?
Clematis grows well in wet soil in the East and South part of the state.
Need some more ideas about what vine to grow on which type of fence? Contact us for all your fence-related needs and questions.
Growth and care
Muscadines will do best and fruit most heavily if planted in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Plant new vines in the spring after the danger of hard freezes has passed, spacing plants at least 10 if not 20 feet apart and leaving 4 to 10 feet between rows.
Proper trellising helps contribute to good fruit production, so choose a trellising system that will work in your space. While growing grapes over an arch or pergola can look nice, these structures can make it harder for you to maintain the vines and fruit production may decline. You want to be sure you have easy access to the cordons (arms) of each vine so that you can prune them each year.
For tips on setting up and maintaining your own vineyard, read the UF/IFAS publication "The Muscadine Grape" or contact your local Extension office.