Many home owners are building structures in their yards to use as gathering places in summer and beautiful additions to their deck and patio. Pergolas, trellises and arbors are structures that not only add beauty to your home, but allow you to grow vines up and over the structure providing shade, flowers and maybe even fruits.
It's important to build a sturdy pergola, trellis or arbor to hold these aggressive and heavy vines. Then you'll have to choose the type of vine to grow. First, choose a vine that's hardy in your area and one that will grow aggressively enough to provide shade. Then decide if you want flowers or fruits on the vine. Some homeowners love the idea of hanging wisteria flowers under their pergola, while others see the dead flowers as a messy nuisance. Some of these vines will climb by themselves, while others need help. Use VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties to attach the vines to vertical poles or posts to help them reach the top. Once there, they will continue to grow well on their own.
Here are some of the common vines to grow on a vertical structure.
Wisteria: This fragrant, spring bloomer grows quickly and some consider it invasive. It's hardy in zone 5 to 9 and may take a few years to start flowering in colder climate.
Hardy Kiwi: This unusual vine not only grows fast, it produces small, kiwi fruits in abundance. You'll need male and female vines to get fruit. Grow just male vines if you don't want fruit. Hardy kiwi can grow in zone 4.
Passion Vine: This tropical vine loves to climb. It produces unusually shaped, colorful flowers and some of species will result in tasty passion fruit. While passion vines are hardy to zone 6 and 7, if you want fruit you'll have to live in a zone 9 and warmer area.
Grapes: This is the classic edible vine for a pergola or trellis. While the idea of eating grapes on your deck might sound alluring, they can be a messy vine, especially in late summer, and attract bees and animals who also like the fruit. Grapes grow in most climates in the United States.