Best Vines For Deep Shade

(Question)

Best vine for Deep shade , moist soil and frozen in winter. Unlikely to freeze and thaw. Is red wall Virginia creeper a possibility?
I have a large fence to cover. Can anything survive? If you come up with anything please let me know where I can get it.

Thank you for thinking about this.

 

(Answer)

Vines maximize a garden’s space and will increase its visual impact. Vines grow upward by attaching themselves to some form of support such as your fence. Their ability to climb and cling will transform that big fence.  Perennial vines will come back yearly. Your biggest problem is that the area is in deep shade and that will limit your choice. The best candidates for your situation are listed below. A word of caution though. Once these vines take off they can be rather invasive.

Virginia Creeper (parthenocissus quinquefoliais), which is a very aggressive vine. However, it is native, fast-growing, reliably insect- and disease-free and if you prune it regularly you can train it to go where you want. It’s hardy to zone 4. This vine is really attractive in the Fall, when its foliage changes to deep red.

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is extremely vigorous and can grow 10ft a year. It will definitely cover your fence in no time. It will cling to the rough wood without extra support. In addition its foliage also turns brilliant shades of scarlet in the Fall.

English Ivy  (Hedera), which can grow  10-30ft in the right conditions. It does well in shady areas.

Mark Cullen suggests Climbing Hydrangea (hydrangea anomala) for a shady area. It’s “not to be confused with the flowering shrub with the same name. Climbing hydrangea is one of my favourite permanent vines. It is slow to establish itself but after a couple of years in a well-prepared hole it will take off and produce an abundance of the most gorgeous broad clusters of creamy white flowers. This is a vine that prefers the north or east side of the house, out of the blazing sun. It will mature to about the height of a two-storey building in seven to nine years. It is self-clinging and no trellis or support is needed, just a sturdy wall (or fence in your case). Hardy to zone 5.”

 

The attached link to landscape Ontario will provide you with some other options and gives details on site requirements for several vines.  See http://www.landscapeontario.com/climbing-vines

Below are links to questions previously answered by Toronto Master Gardeners on growing vines, which should be of interest to you.

What species of Ivy?

 

Vines on a north facing fence