Choose the
Right Vine

Vine-covered arbors are beautiful, but large, woody ones, like wisteria, can crush a small arbor in a few years. Meet clematis and three other vines perfect for most arbors.

Clematis
Clematis spp. and hybrids

Clematis likes its “head in the sun, feet in the shade,” as the old saying goes. So plant it in full sun, and place a 2-in.-thick layer of mulch over the roots to keep them cool.

Type Perennial

Blooms Flowers in white, yellow, pink, red, blue or purple in spring, summer or fall

Light Full sun to part shade

Size 1 to 30 ft. tall

Cold-hardy USDA zones 3 to 9

Heat-tolerant AHS zones 9 to 1

Hyacinth bean
Lablab purpureus

This vine stretches up so quickly you can almost see it growing! Sow one or two seeds on each side of your arbor and watch it go.

Type Tender perennial

Blooms Purple or white flowers in mid- to late summer; magenta stems and pods

Light Full sun

Size 10 to 20 ft. tall

Cold-hardy USDA zones 10 to 11

Heat-tolerant AHS zones 10 to 1

Moonflower
Ipomoea alba

On cloudy mornings you might get a few extra hours from flowers before they droop, but normally moonflower blooms last just one night.

Type Tender perennial

Blooms Fragrant white flowers open at night from midsummer to frost

Light Full sun to part shade

Size 10 to 15 ft. tall

Cold-hardy USDA zones 10 to 12

Heat-tolerant AHS zones 12 to 1

Morning glory Ipomoea spp.

Plant these seeds after danger of frost is past directly in the garden. Morning glories reseed readily — pull unwanted seedlings before they start to twine around other plants.

Type Tender perennial

Blooms White, pink, red, blue or purple flowers from midsummer to frost

Light Full sun

Size 6 to 10 ft. tall

Cold-hardy USDA zones 10 to 12

Heat-tolerant AHS zones 12 to 1