Climbing Plant



I live in Markham and I’d like to cover a brick wall with a flowering climbing plant. The wall is south facing and is in the sun all day!
Ideally, I’d like a plant that won’t lose its leaves in the winter.
I also don’t want it to take over too much where I’d be running into trouble with eavestroughs.
Can you recommend a plant for my space and please let me know if the plant would need to be planted in the ground or in a planter?
Thank you


Hi – Here are four climbing plant suggestions for your consideration. All of these plants should do well in your conditions and meet most of your requirements. I was unable to find any that did not lose their leaves in winter.  The Boston Ivy is self-supporting. All of the others will require some kind of support to climb on. All are good for covering brick walls and should be planted directly in the ground. All will require at least some pruning to control growth – the ivy in particular.   I’ve included a link for more information from the Missouri Botanical Garden on each suggestion. Happy gardening!

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) Grows in full sun and shade to 30-50 ft/9-15 m. A vigorous self-clinging vine with large, overlapping dark green leaves becoming bright red in fall. Inedible, dark blue fruit is attractive to birds.  Adapts to a wide range of soils. Excellent coverage for walls but must be trimmed regularly to keep it’s vigorous growth in check. Be careful to select Boston Ivy and not English Ivy (Hedera helix) which is a highly invasive plant that will grow in sun or shade.

Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia durior) Grows in full sun or shade in average, well-drained soil. Intolerant of dry soil. Vigorous ‘old-fashioned’ twining vine grown for its large heart-shaped, over-lapping leaves that provide excellent screening. Rapidly grows to 20-30 ft/6-9 m.

Variegated Kiwi Vine (Actinidia kolomikta ) A fast-growing, deciduous, woody vine which typically grows 15-20 ft/5-6 m in full sun to part shade. It is a twining vine grown for the beauty of its large leaves which are half green and half pink and white. The variegation is more striking on the male of the species and is best in early summer.

Porcelain Vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ‘Elegans’) A vigorous, woody, deciduous, tendril-climbing vine with 3-lobed dark green leaves about 5 in/13 cm long. Typically grows 15-25 ft/5-8 m in sun or shade. Adapts well to most soils as long as well drained. Trim stems in late winter as needed to maintain desired shape. The ‘Elegans’ cultivar has leaves variegated with white that exhibit a pinkish tinge in the spring.