Vines add versatility and height to the landscape, whether they’re flowering or foliage-focused, perennial or annual, grown from seed or purchased as seedlings. Climbing vines can be used to add background to a garden bed, shield an unsightly view, or supply fragrance. In order to successfully use vines and other climbers, you must first understand the best growing condition for each particular type of plant. The Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia provides in-depth growing information on a wide range of vines, such as USDA Hardiness Zone, sun or shade preferences, and moisture limitations.
Black Pepper, Piper nigrum
Grow your own peppercorns with this lovely houseplant. A vine that produces chains of small round fruit, black pepper thrives in full or part sun and indoor temperatures above 65 degrees F. By selecting the time of harvest, all four types of peppercorns — black, white, green, and red — can be harvested from the same plant. Black pepper is a slow-growing vine, and plants take three to four years to start flowering and fruiting.
Black-Eyed Susan Vine, Thunbergia
Black-eyed Susan vine is a top pick for adding easy-growing bright color to the summer garden. The trumpet-shape blooms appear in cheery shades of yellow, orange, and white; many selections have dark purple throats. It’s a polite vine you can count on to stay in bounds and not become overgrown.
Blackberries produce succulent fruit in summer on woody canes. Beware that the vigorous woody canes can become invasive if not pruned regularly. There are two distinct forms of blackberries — trailing and erect. They may be thorny or thornless. Erect blackberries are hardy, stiff-caned plants.
Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus
Boston ivy, unlike most vines, waits until fall to put on a show when its foliage turns a bold, rich red that rivals just about any maple tree. It’s a fast-growing vine that uses small adhesive disks to attach to the side of a wall, fence, or other structure. Note: If you pull the vine down, the adhesive disks remain attached to the structure.