35 Flowers for Vertical Gardening and Trellises

Kasey Spencer
35 Flowers for Vertical Gardening and Trellises

Vertical gardening isn’t just a trend; it’s a transformative approach to making the most of your garden space, no matter its size. As an avid gardener with over a decade of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how a well-planned vertical garden can elevate both the beauty and functionality of outdoor and even indoor spaces.

Gardening is about connecting with the earth, but it’s also about bringing your vision to life. From annuals that offer quick and vibrant color to perennials that promise returns for years to come, each flower has its unique charm and requirements.

Choosing the right flowers for your vertical garden or trellis can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. The goal here is to simplify that process. In this guide, I’ll walk you through 35 top flower choices for your vertical gardening projects, categorized to help you easily find what suits your garden’s needs and aesthetic.

Vibrant Annuals for Immediate Impact

When you’re looking to bring immediate vibrancy and color to your vertical garden or trellis, annuals are the way to go. These plants complete their life cycle in one season, offering a burst of color and texture from spring to fall. Here’s a closer look at some of the most dynamic annuals that can transform your vertical spaces:

1. Petunias

climbing petunias

Known for their wide range of colors, petunias are a favorite for sunny spots. These hardy flowers bloom profusely, creating a stunning cascade of color that can last the entire growing season. Easy to care for, they’re ideal for hanging baskets and trellises where their vibrant blossoms can spill over edges in a picturesque display.

2. Morning Glories (Ipomoea)

Morning Glories
Image: Envato Elements

With their rapid growth and beautiful, heart-shaped leaves, morning glories are perfect for covering a trellis quickly. The trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl in the morning to greet the day, displaying a variety of colors. They’re especially useful for creating a living screen or adding vertical interest to fences.

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3. Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus)

Sweet Peas Flower

The sweet fragrance of sweet peas is unparalleled. These climbers produce delicate, ruffled blooms in cool seasons, making them an excellent choice for early spring. Their sweet scent can make a stroll through your garden an olfactory delight.

4. Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)

Black-Eyed Susan Vine

This cheerful vine features bright flowers with a dark center, resembling the eyes of their namesake. Fast-growing and fond of the sun, they’re perfect for adding a touch of whimsy and a pop of color to any vertical structure.

5. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtiums
Image: Envato Elements

Not only are nasturtiums known for their bright, edible flowers with a peppery kick, but they’re also a great companion plant, deterring pests. They can be trained up a trellis or allowed to cascade down from containers, adding beauty and function to your garden.

6. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Climbing Moonflower

For those who love to enjoy their garden in the evening, moonflowers are a must. These night-blooming vines offer large, fragrant flowers that open at dusk, creating a magical atmosphere. They’re a perfect complement to day-blooming plants, ensuring your garden has round-the-clock appeal.

7. Climbing Snapdragons (Asarina)

Climbing Snapdragons

With their unique, delicate flowers, climbing Snapdragons bring a touch of elegance to any vertical space. They thrive in cooler temperatures and can add a sophisticated flair to early spring or fall gardens.

Perennials for Long-Term Beauty

Perennial plants are the backbone of any garden, offering structure, reliability, and the joy of seeing favorite blooms return year after year. For vertical gardens and trellises, choosing the right perennials means creating a living artwork that matures and evolves. Here’s a look at some perennial favorites that promise long-term beauty and interest:

8. Clematis

Clematis Julka purple flowers
Image: Envato Elements

Often called the “queen of climbers,” clematis vines boast large, showy blooms in an array of colors. These plants can turn an ordinary trellis into a stunning focal point from late spring through fall. With varieties that flower at different times, you can enjoy their beauty throughout the growing season.

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9. Climbing Roses

Climbing Roses
Image: Envato Elements

No vertical garden would be complete without the classic elegance of climbing roses. Their romantic flair and delightful fragrance add a timeless charm to any space. Proper care and pruning can encourage these beauties to cover fences, walls, and trellises with lush foliage and continuous blooms.

10. Wisteria

Wisteria
Image: Envato Elements

The cascading clusters of wisteria blooms are a sight to behold. Their sweet fragrance and shades of blue, purple, and white can create a breathtaking display in spring and early summer. Wisteria requires strong support, as mature plants can become quite heavy, but the visual payoff is well worth the effort.

11. Jasmine (Jasminum)

Blooming fragrant jasmine
Image: Envato Elements

For a tranquil and sweetly perfumed garden, jasmine is a perfect choice. This versatile climber can adorn your vertical spaces with delicate, star-shaped flowers, filling the air with their distinctive, soothing scent. It’s ideal for creating a serene retreat in your backyard.

12. Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle vines are beloved not just for their tubular, sweetly scented flowers but also for their ability to attract pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. They offer a burst of color and life, contributing to the health of your garden’s ecosystem.

13. Passion Flower (Passiflora)

Passion Flower
Image: Envato Elements

The exotic appearance of passion flower blooms is truly captivating. With their intricate designs and vibrant colors, these vines are a talking point in any garden. Beyond their beauty, they also produce fruit and provide habitat for butterflies, adding to their appeal.

14. Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

Trumpet Vine

Named for its large, trumpet-shaped flowers, this vigorous vine attracts hummingbirds and brings a dynamic burst of color to vertical spaces. While beautiful, trumpet vine can be aggressive, so it’s important to plant it where it can be managed and appreciated.

Shade-Loving Climbers

Shade-loving climbers are essential for bringing life and color to these spaces, transforming bare walls, fences, and trellises into vibrant backdrops. Here are some climbers that thrive in the shade, adding texture, color, and interest to your garden:

15. Hydrangea Vine (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

Hydrangea Vine

This climber is a show-stopper with its large, white flower clusters that bloom in early summer. It’s perfect for dressing up shady walls or tree trunks, creating a dramatic and elegant effect. The hydrangea vine is not only beautiful but also hardy and low maintenance, making it a favorite among gardeners looking to add a touch of sophistication to shaded areas.

16. Climbing Hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides)

Climbing Hydrangea

Often confused with its cousin, the hydrangea vine, climbing hydrangea offers a similar appeal with its heart-shaped foliage and lace-cap flowers. It’s an excellent choice for creating a lush, green facade in shaded spots, clinging to surfaces with aerial roots. This plant is ideal for gardeners who appreciate the hydrangea’s beauty but are looking for something a little different.

17. Ivy (Hedera)

Ivy (Hedera)
Image: Envato Elements

Ivy is the quintessential shade-loving climber, known for its ability to thrive in low-light conditions. Its evergreen foliage provides year-round interest, making it a versatile choice for covering ground, walls, or trellises. With its vigorous growth habit, ivy can quickly transform a shaded area into a green sanctuary, but it does require monitoring to keep it under control.

18. Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia durior)

Dutchman’s Pipe

For those looking to add a unique touch to their garden, Dutchman’s pipe is an intriguing option. Its distinctive, pipe-shaped flowers spark curiosity and conversation, while its large, heart-shaped leaves offer lush foliage. This vine prefers partial to full shade, making it an excellent choice for adding interest and coverage to less sunny spots.

Succulents and Cacti for Vertical Drama

In the world of vertical gardening, succulents and cacti hold a special place for their ease of care, unique textures, and unexpected blooms. These plants are perfect for adding a touch of drama and intrigue to your vertical displays, whether you’re working with a wall-mounted planter, a trellis, or hanging baskets. Here’s a closer look at some succulents and cacti that can bring vertical drama to your garden:

19. Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Queen of the Night
Image: Envato Elements

This stunning cactus is known for its large, fragrant flowers that bloom for just one night. The rarity and beauty of its blooms make it a fascinating addition to any vertical garden. It’s a reminder of the fleeting beauty of nature and a spectacular event when the flowers open at dusk, filling the air with their sweet fragrance.

20. Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus)

Dragon Fruit Flower

For a touch of the exotic, the dragon fruit plant offers strikingly beautiful blooms and the bonus of delicious fruit. The flowers are large and enchanting, blooming at night and wilting by morning. This climbing cactus needs support to grow, making it a perfect candidate for vertical gardening structures. Not only will you enjoy its breathtaking flowers, but you’ll also have the joy of harvesting your dragon fruit.

21. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls
Image: Envato Elements

This succulent is adored for its unique, bead-like foliage that cascades beautifully, making it an ideal choice for hanging baskets or as a trailing plant in vertical wall planters. Its round leaves are not only visually interesting but also an efficient way the plant stores water, making it drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. The string of pearls can add a whimsical and airy feel to your vertical garden, creating a stunning visual contrast when paired with plants of different textures.

Edible Flowers and Herbs for a Kitchen Garden

Edible flowers and herbs are particularly suited for vertical gardening, as they often thrive in containers and can add both beauty and utility to your space. Here are some top picks for adding edible variety to your vertical garden:

22. Scarlet Runner Beans (Phaseolus coccineus)

Scarlet Runner Beans
Image: Envato Elements

These vigorous climbers are a dual-purpose delight, offering both stunning, bright red flowers and delicious beans. Perfect for trellises or arches, scarlet runner beans can transform a sunny spot into a lush, vertical edible garden. The flowers are not just eye-catching; they’re also edible, adding a splash of color and a hint of bean flavor to salads and dishes.

23. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives
Image: Envato Elements

With their delicate purple flowers and onion-flavored foliage, chives are a must-have in any edible garden. They’re easy to grow in containers, making them ideal for vertical gardening setups. The flowers add a mild onion flavor to dishes and are a beautiful garnish, while the leaves can be snipped as needed for cooking, offering fresh flavor year-round.

24. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme

This perennial herb with a creeping habit is perfect for vertical gardens, spilling gracefully over the edges of containers. Thyme produces fragrant leaves that are essential in culinary uses, along with pretty, small flowers that bees love. It’s ideal for adding depth to dishes and infusing oils or vinegars, making it a practical and attractive choice for any vertical herb garden.

25. Mint (Mentha)

Mint flower

Known for its vigorous growth and aromatic leaves, mint is a fantastic addition to vertical gardens. It can be contained in pots to prevent it from taking over garden spaces, making it well-suited for vertical growing. The leaves can be used in a wide array of dishes, from refreshing drinks to desserts, while the flowers add a decorative and edible touch to salads.

Exotic and Tropical Climbers for a Lush Retreat

Exotic and tropical climbers can add an air of mystery and lushness to your garden, making it feel like a secluded retreat. These plants are perfect for trellises, arbors, and other vertical structures, providing a vibrant backdrop or an accent of tropical splendor. Here are some exotic climbers to consider:

26. Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Image: Envato Elements

This hardy climber is renowned for its vibrant, papery flowers that come in a range of colors from bright pinks to deep purples. Bougainvillea thrives in warm climates and can be trained to cover walls or trellises, creating a stunning explosion of color. While the flowers are small and white, it’s the colorful bracts that give this plant its visual appeal.

27. Mandevilla

Mandevilla
Image: Envato Elements

Known for its glossy leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers, Mandevilla adds a touch of elegance to any vertical garden. The flowers, which come in shades of pink, red, and white, bloom continuously throughout the warmer months, providing a long-lasting display of tropical beauty. Mandevilla prefers warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight, making it a perfect choice for sunny walls or patios.

28. Passion Fruit Vine (Passiflora edulis)

Passion Fruit Vine

Beyond its delicious fruit, the passion fruit vine offers stunningly intricate flowers that are a work of art in themselves. The vine grows rapidly and requires sturdy support, making it ideal for covering a trellis or pergola. The fragrant flowers are followed by the edible passion fruit, adding a functional element to its ornamental value.

29. Golden Trumpet (Allamanda cathartic)

Golden Trumpet

This tropical climber is celebrated for its large, golden-yellow flowers that can brighten any garden space. Golden trumpet vines are vigorous growers and can quickly cover a trellis or fence, offering a sunny splash of color. The plant loves heat and full sun, making it a perfect choice for warm climates or a sunny spot in the garden.

Fragrant Flowers for Aromatic Vertical Gardens

The right selection of scented blooms can enchant the senses, drawing visitors into your garden and making your vertical structures not only visually appealing but also a delight to the olfactory system. Here are six fragrant flowers perfect for adding to trellises, arbors, and other vertical garden elements:

30. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritime)

Sweet Alyssum

This low-growing annual is known for its delicate, honey-scented flowers. While it may seem an unlikely choice for vertical gardening, sweet alyssum works beautifully in hanging baskets or as a spillover plant on higher shelves, where its fragrance can drift through the air.

31. Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavandula angustifolia
Image: Envato Elements

Lavender’s unmistakable scent is cherished worldwide. This perennial herb not only provides aromatic foliage and spikes of purple flowers but also thrives in containers, making it an excellent choice for vertical wall planters. Its calming fragrance is a bonus, transforming your garden into a tranquil retreat.

32. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

Gardenia

With its glossy green leaves and intensely fragrant white flowers, gardenia is a luxurious addition to any garden. Although it requires a bit of extra care, including well-draining soil and protection from cold, gardenias can be grown in large containers on trellises or garden walls, where they’ll offer their exquisite scent.

33. Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Star Jasmine

This evergreen vine produces clusters of star-shaped, sweet-smelling flowers that can blanket a fence or trellis in fragrance. Star jasmine is relatively easy to care for, making it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a fragrant dimension to their vertical spaces.

34. Spanish Flag (Firecracker Vine)

Spanish Flag (Firecracker Vine)

Spanish Flag, also known as Firecracker Vine or Exotic Love Vine, is a spectacular climbing flower that hasn’t been mentioned in our list yet. This fast-growing annual vine is celebrated for its stunning display of fiery-colored flowers. The blooms transition from deep red to orange to creamy yellow, all on the same spike, resembling a vibrant, waving flag.

35. Freesia

freesia flower

Known for its intensely aromatic flowers, freesia can be a surprising but delightful choice for vertical gardening when supported properly in containers. Its zesty fragrance can vary from flower to flower, offering notes of honey, mint, and strawberry. Freesia requires a bit of extra care, including staking and protection from harsh weather, but the reward is a stunning display of fragrant blooms.

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