Gardens

Best evergreen climbers – 10 perennial climbing plants to train

These evergreen climbers will ensure your back yard looks good every season

Evergreen climber - chilean potato vine
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Whether you are redesigning your backyard from scratch or simply want to introduce some screening for privacy or shade, it's vital to include evergreen climbers.

Perfect for scrambling up and covering walls, fences and trellises – visually extending your garden's boundaries year-round, evergreen climbers can add much-needed color, texture and shelter for wildlife if trained over pergolas and arches, too.

Best evergreen climbers

These are the perennial climbers are amongst the best climbing plants you can plant.

1. Best evergreen climber for shade

Evergreen climbers - ivy

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Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’ AGM – Paddy’s Pride is an excellent Persian ivy with large heart-shaped green leaves splashed with lime and gold. It can be used either to clad walls or create ground cover and is perfect if you are looking for garden shade ideas as it will clad any trellis densely. 

Mature plants allowed to climb will produce globes of fall flowers that feed bees, followed by black berries that feed birds

This self-clinging climber is best in well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in semi-shade. 

Height: 20ft (6m); USDA 6-9 (UK H5). 

2. Best evergreen climber for pots

Evergreen climbers - Sollya heterophylla

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Sollya heterophylla – the bluebell creeper is an Australian climber that has clusters of beautiful azure bells in summer. 

In warm regions, it can be grown outside in well-drained, moist, fertile soil in sheltered sun. But in cold areas, it’s best in a conservatory; alternatively, young plants can be grown as container gardening ideas, which are overwintered in a heated greenhouse. 

Height: 6ft (1.8m). USDA 10-11 (UK H3). 

3. Best evergreen climber for scent

Jasmine - best evergreen climber

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Trachelospermum jasminoides AGM is a superb evergreen with glossy green leaves that take on crimson hues in winter and jasmine-like ivory summer flowers that have a strong tea scent. 

Its common names are star jasmine or confederate jasmine (which refers to the Greater Malayan Confederation because the plant hails from Southeast Asia). 

Grow jasmine on a sheltered south or west-facing wall. 

Height: 20ft (6m); USDA 8-10 (UK H4). 

4. Best evergreen climber for trellis

Clematis armandii - best evergreen climbers

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Clematis armandi (syn. C. armandii) – you will smell the marzipan-scented blooms of this clematis before you see them. The white starry flowers open in spring above long, dark-green leaves. 

Give this twining climber something to cling to, such as trellis, in fertile, well-drained soil. The upper plant needs sheltered sun, but the roots require shade provided by plants in front of them. Prune clematis twice a year to keep in shape. Be aware that the plant is toxic to dogs. 

Height: 23ft (7m). USDA 6-9 (UK H4). 

5. Best evergreen climber for flowers and fruit

Holboellia latifolia - best evergreen climbers

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Holboellia latifolia (syn. Stauntonia latifolia) – the name 'broad-leaved sausage vine' doesn’t make you sprint to buy, but this is one of the best evergreen climbers. 

As well as large, dense, glossy leaves, it produces purple or creamy-green spring flowers that smell of melon and jasmine, and edible sausage-shaped purple autumn fruit. 

Grow in well-drained soil in sheltered sun or semi-shade. 

Height: 20ft (6m). USDA 8-11 (UK H4). 

6. Best evergreen climber for summer and fall color

Lapageria rosea - evergreen climbers

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Lapageria rosea AGM – the Chilean bellflower is hung with enchanting, big, waxy pink-red blooms during late summer and fall. 

In cold regions, this tender plant can be grown in a conservatory, as long as it’s shielded from bright sun. 

Provide it with something to twine around, such as trellis, in moist, well-drained acid to neutral soil, in sheltered semi-shade or shade. 

Height: 16ft (5m). USDA 9-11 (UK H3). 

7. Best evergreen climber for walls

Ivy as best evergreen climber

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Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’ AGM – this yellow English ivy injects the garden with golden warmth, even in the depths of winter. Being slow-growing and compact, it can be used to illumine the base of a tree trunk or a statue. 

The small lobed leaves are rich yellow in sun, but lime green in shade. This self-clinging climber dislikes competition from other plants and thrives in well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. 

Height: 7ft (2m). USDA 4-9 (UK H5). 

8. Best evergreen climber for pollinators

Pileostegia viburnoides - evergreen climber

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Pileostegia viburnoides is a leafy self-clinging hydrangeas for shade. The tiny ivory flowers open in fleecy clumps in August and fall, above long, glossy green leaves. 

It can take a few years to bloom, but it’s worth the wait. Possessing the nectar power to attract every insect in the area, it is best planted a good distance from seating areas. 

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in sheltered semi-shade or shade and give nitrogen-rich food. 

Height: 20ft (6m). USDA 8-10 (UK H5). 

9. Best evergreen climber for winter color

Evergreen climber - clematis

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Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ AGM – from November to February, this evergreen clematis is hung with primrose-yellow bells that are heavily speckled maroon and provide food for bees. It is named after clematis breeder Raymond Evison’s daughter Rebecca, who had lots of freckles when she was little. 

Being more tender than most other clematis, it requires a sheltered south or west-facing wall, in moist, well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. 

Height: 13ft (4m). USDA 7-9 (UK H4). 

10. Best evergreen climber for privacy

Chilean potato vine

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Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ AGM – this Chilean potato tree is a climbing shrub that produces fragrant blue-purple flowers in summer and early fall, followed by inedible yellow fruit. 

Although it is in the potato family, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Grow in moist, well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in sun and tie in to a wire framework or trellis. Evergreen in warm regions. 

Height: 13ft (4m). USDA 9-11 (UK H4). 

What is a fast-growing evergreen climber?

Clematis armandii is a fast-growing evergreen climber that will happily scramble over trellis, pergolas and arches. It does need to be tied in and pruned a couple of times a year to keep it shapely, but it retains its glossy green leaves throughout the year, and rewards you with star-shaped, scented flowers in spring. Plant the roots in shade and prepare for the stem to get woody over time, so neat training from the start is a must.

What climbing vine stays green all year round?

Our favorite evergreen climbing vine is Trachelospermum jasminoides – which is a superb evergreen for patios and decks. Denser and more sturdy looking that classic jasmine, it has glossy green leaves that take on crimson hues in winter, and jasmine-like ivory summer flowers that have a strong tea scent.