What species of Ivy?

(Question)

Hi there,

I have 2 sides of chain fencing that I want to cover and would love some recommendations as to which species of Ivy or other plants to cover them with. Preferably as fast as possible which is why I am considering ivies. 1 fence is over 6″ high and received full sunlight pretty much all day and another fence is 4″ high and is in the shade most of the day. I reside in a Zone 6 climate. Any input would be amazing.

Thanks!

(Answer)

Climbing vines can add great vertical dimension to your garden or to provide a cover for a fence.. There are a number of fast growing vines that will thrive in your full sun location as well as in the shade location.

Oriental Kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta ) (6 m) Zone 4 grows in full sun and 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.

Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata) (9 m) Zone 5 will grow in full sun or part shade. A twining vine with five-lobed leaves, that can climb to a considerable height.  The flowers are little noticed but have a spicy fragrance. In mildest areas or in sheltered locations may remain evergreen.  Edible fruit.

DUTCHMAN’S PIPE  (Aristolochia durior) (10 M) Zone 5, grows in full sun or shade.Vigorous ‘old-fashioned’ twining vine with excellent screening value. The common name refers to the shape of the flowers but these are usually well-hidden beneath the very large leaves. Thrives in any soil as long as it is moist and well drained. Good on a pergola to provide shade or as a cover on a north wall.This vine is a host for a variety of swallowtail butterflys. If you see caterpillars munching on the leaves don’t be alarmed. They’ll soon be beautiful butterflies.

TRUMPET VINE (Hummingbird Vine) (Campsis radicans ) (10 m) Zone 5 grows in full sun. It is a vigorous fast growing vine with some self-clinging properties but better with support. Needs full sun to freely produce large, orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers which attract hummingbirds.

ENGLISH (BALTIC) (Hedera helix ‘Baltica’ ) (5 m) Zone 6 grows in full sun as well as shade. It is valued for winter persistent foliage and ability to thrive in deep shade. Also excellent as an evergreen groundcover. As a vine it is self-clinging but needs a year to two to establish a good root system before it starts to climb.

JAPANESE HYDRANGEA VINE (Schizophragma hydrangeoides )(8-10 m) Zone 6, grows in full sun or full shade.A self-clinging vine that stays flat and does not develop a protruding woody framework.  Showy large fragrant, white lace-cap flowers in summer.  ‘Moonlight’ has very attractive mottled blue-green leaves.  Best in moist well grained soil.

VIRGINIA CREEPER  (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) (18 m) Zone 2, grows in full sun as well as shade. It is very vigorous self-clinging native vine that is tough, versatile and adapts to almost any soil condition. Deep green foliage becoming brilliant red in fall when planted in full sun. Inedible, dark blue fruit is attractive to birds.Excellent low maintenance vine for wall, fence, trellis, arbour, screening or ground cover. ‘Englemanii’ is very similar but with slightly smaller leaves and better clinging ability.  ‘Star Showers’ is a variegated form with green leaves splashed with white and becoming tinged pink in cooler weather.

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata ‘Veitchii’ )(8 m ) Zone 5, grows in full sun and shade. A vigorous self-clinging vine with large, overlapping dark green leaves becoming bright red in fall. Inedible, dark blue fruit is attractive to birds.  Adaptable to soil type as long as it is reasonably moist. Excellent for wall, fence, trellis, arbour, screening or ground cover.

SILVER LACE VINE  (Polygonum aubertii ) (5 m) Zone 5, grows in full sun. A hardy twining woody vine that is vigorous and fast growing. Needs the support of a fence, trellis or arbor.  Long drooping clusters of fragrant white flowers in summer.

RIVERBANK GRAPE  (Vitis riparia) (10 m) Zone 3 will grow in full sun as well as shade. A Native grapevine, also called Frost Grape for its late-ripening fruit. Fragrant yellow-green flowers in June followed by edible but sour-tasting fruit. Good dense green foliage in summer is suitable for screening.

CLIMBING HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera varieties) (4 – 5 m) , grows in full sun and part shade.Vigorous twining vines with trumpet-shaped flowers in summer and dark blue-green foliage. Some varieities are Native to North America. Others such as Hall’s are not and may become invasive in some areas. Check with local restrictions before planting.

Happy Planting!