Climbing the Walls

by Rick Vuyst

Vines and vineyards have a rich history; from the Middle East to France and beyond, there is evidence of wine production dating back to 4,000 BC and numerous Biblical references celebrating vines–talk about “Da-vine” intervention! While different types of vines vary in functionality, all are versatile and can drastically amp the aesthetic of your landscape.

Whether you have limited space or an abundance of land, the list of vines you could experiment with to create an intriguing landscape is extensive. From Climbing Hydrangeas to Trumpet Vine, Honeysuckle to Wisteria, you may find you have to apply “tough love” and slow their growth to encourage blooming. If you let it, a vine will grow endlessly in lieu of producing blooms. In those cases, some root pruning or stress will remind the vine who is boss and kick-start blooming.

Here are some vines I suggest you try in your landscape to get growing.

Trumpet Vine

Trumpet Vine

This aggressive grower is quick to sprout; some even label it “invasive.” That said, if you have room to let it thrive, this woody vine produces blooms to attract hummingbirds to your yard and provides a visual explosion.


Make sure to have a strong structure for this vine with plenty of room to grow. A Wisteria can swallow a structure or building, but planted in the right place, the blooms and results are stunning.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory Ipomoea

This vine is easy to grow in warm weather and has adorned many mailbox posts and lampposts in its day. The tendrils of this tender annual are fast growing and adept at pirouetting.


The key to Clematis is “cool roots and hot tops.” Mulched at the base with organic matter in the soil, place this plant in a sunny area and revel at its gorgeous flowers.

Climbing Hydrangea

Sporting white lace cap blooms in the summer, aerial rootlets and glossy green foliage, this “clingy” vine is a must in the aerial landscape.

Climbing Roses

These plants are heavy feeders that need sunlight and support. If given these three essential elements, a climbing rose can provide floriferous results for years to come.

Hops (Humulus Lupulus)

This herbaceous perennial has a broad interest due to the booming craft beer industry, and serves as an ornamental aspect to your yard in the summer.

Passion Vine Passiflora

For those looking to introduce exotic blooms into the yard, this may be the vine for you. Though the Passion Vine isn’t hardy in most areas of Michigan, (herbaceous habit surviving in zones six or warmer) don’t let it keep you from trying it out.


This delicate vine has unique unfurling white blooms, perfect for adorning decks where most of the evening entertainment will take place. With Moonflowers as well as Morning Glories, go easy on the nitrogen fertilizer (which grows more foliage), supplementing with some high phosphorus to encourage blooming in lieu of foliar growth.



With sweet yellow, orange or red blossoms, this easy-growing vine will attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds to your landscape. Prune thoroughly during the fall and watch it spring back strong the following year.

Rick Vuyst

Rick Vuyst is CEO of Flowerland, host of the Flowerland Show on NewsRadio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM as well as Mr. Green Thumb on WZZM TV 13.



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