Vines for chain link fence


Hi You answered my first vine question. Now no 2. For chain link fence. Are the only vine plants that don’t require any trimming the ivies ie persian, english etc. I really don’t want to expend a lot of energy managing the vines. Ideally, I’d like a really vigorous vine that has colourful flowers, leaves that stay green all year and doesn’t require any maintenace. Great gardener eh!


You sound like a gardener with specific requirements for certain plants, which is terrific – so I agree, great gardener!

You did not provide information about whether the vine would be growing in shade, part shade or full sun, or the type of soil in your garden (e.g., clay versus sand), so the best we can do is provide a list of options for you for various growing conditions.  As well, consider that vines will take at least a little work to maintain a tidy appearance.  I don’t know of any vines that keep their green leaves all year, while looking attractive.  For example, ivies will die back to some degree, and although they may retain many of their leaves, it won’t be a pretty sight.  And they don’t have the spectacular flowers you’d like to see.

As well, when choosing plants, we recommend that you avoid invasive plants (like English ivy, Hedera helix), which can spread quickly and dominate gardens.  Persian ivy (Hedera colchicum) is not an invasive plant, but is quite aggressive and unless it’s pruned to keep its growth in check, it could out-compete native plants in your garden.  For beautiful, sustainable options to invasive plants, see the Ontario Invasive Plant Council’s “Grow Me Instead – Beautiful Non-Invasive Plants for your Garden”.

Here are some links that should help you in your search for the perfect vine:

For additional information, it’s easy to search our website for questions similar to your own.  For example, go to  Ask a Master Gardener  and enter the word “vine” in the search box under “Find it Here” in the right column on the page — you’ll see that several great posts come up, for your reading pleasure.

I’ve selected a few vines that I think will be of particular interest to you.  A few are native plants:

  • Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana) is a native vine that is easy to grow and blooms for a couple of months each year, with small, scented flowers.
  • Jackman clematis (Clematis x ‘jackmanii’) has lovely purple flowers when it blooms in the late summer to early fall. Other cultivars have different coloured flowers (red, white, pink, lavender).
  • Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolocia macrophylla) blooms in late spring/early summer, with fragrant pipe-shaped yellowish-green flowers.

A couple of other non-native vines to consider: The trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is easy to grow, loves full sun and blooms over most of the summer. The trumpet vine (Capsus radicans) is tough, with lovely flowers – note that it spreads quickly so would need frequent pruning to keep it in check.

All the best in your search for the perfect vine for your fence!




January 26, 2022