By Ann Wilson
Vines aren’t for everyone. They need proper support, they can require a little more maintenance and many can quickly get aggressive. But with a little research and planning, you can choose perennial backyard vines that look charming throughout the growing season, staging a grand finale just as summer wanes. Check the invasive species list in your area before planting, and then enjoy the top picks that will work well in your backyard.
Accommodate Wild Visitors
Native vines provide shelter, food and nectar to resident and visiting wildlife precisely when they need it. Here’s a look at a few North American native vines that deserve a spot in your wildlife garden.
- Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans, Zones 4-9): A prolific vine bearing late-season orange or scarlet trumpet flowers that attract bevies of hummingbirds.
- Wild passion flower (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5-9): A larval host plant for an array of butterflies, this vine features striking fringed flowers that supply nectar to butterflies from July through September. Edible fruits called maypops mature in fall to feed the birds.
- Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana, Zones 4-9): Densely growing plant that flowers from July through September and supplies birds with shelter, nesting sites, nest-building materials and seeds that persist into winter.
Grow these backyard vines to brighten your autumn landscapes with blazing foliage, colorful berries and fetching flowers.