34 Best Pergola Plants | Climbing Plants for Pergolas, Arbors, Arches & Trellises

There are many climbing plants that can be trained to climb over to get a welcoming shade in warm weather and colors, you can also use them to improve privacy and remove dullness from any outdoor space.

Best Pergola Plants

1. Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa

Roses are the favorite plants of most gardeners as they give out a feeling of warmth, tranquility, nostalgia, romance, and happiness. Climbing varieties are perfect for covering a pergola and arches.

2. Clematis


Botanical Name: Clematis

Surely, one of the best pergola plants, Clematis is a spectacular vine as it blooms abundantly, flowering usually starts in spring. You can grow it easily and combine it with other plants. Here are its best varieties!

3. Honeysuckle


Botanical Name: Lonicera periclymenum

The fragrance of honeysuckle flowers is nostalgic and multiplies when dusk sets. It has more than 180 different species, and almost all are creepers. It is a huge vine that grows rapidly. A single honeysuckle plant can easily cover up a big sturdy pergola.

4. Passion Flower

Botanical Name: Passiflora

The passion flower is a fast-growing, hardy perennial in moderate and warm climates. The heady fragrance, colorful flowers, and edible fruits make it one of the most desirable climbing plants you can have in your garden.

5. Jasmine

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Botanical Name: Jasminum

The intense fragrance of the flower can be smelt from far far away! In warm and humid climates, jasmine blooms all year-round. In cooler zones, grow it as an annual or transfer it indoors in winter.

6. Grape Vine

grape vine of pergola

Botanical Name: Vitis

Truly one of the best climbing plants for pergolas, the grapevine will not only give shade and a bucolic sitting place but juicy grapes too.

7. Wisteria

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Botanical Name: Wisteria sinensis

Wisteria is an aggressive grower, but it takes time to establish and it has a long life. If you have a large, sturdy pergola, it’ll look amazing on it. You’ll need to prune regularly to control its growth.

8. Trumpet Vine

Botanical Name: Campsis radicans

Each trumpet vine flower can appear in different colors (orange, yellow, or red). The blooms attract bees and hummingbirds. This plant looks great on the arches, pergolas, and trellises, but in favorable conditions, it can be invasive as well.

9. Bignonia

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Botanical Name: Bignonia

Another beautiful climber, its delicate bell-shaped flowers look great on pergolas. It is a fairly vigorous plant and tolerates mild to moderate frost.

10. Ivy

boston ivy on pergola

Botanical Name: Hedera helix

For the arbors, pergolas, and gazebos situated in the shade, Ivy is best, but it can be invasive as well. It is low maintenance, tolerates weather exploits, and provides a lush green color. To control it, you can grow it in large containers.

11. Bougainvillea

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Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

The climbing varieties of bougainvillea are suitable for the pergolas, garden gates, and arches in USDA Zones 9-12. This plant loves a sunny position and heat and does not like wet feet. It comes in pink, red, yellow, and purple, along with many other shades.

12. Morning Glory


Botanical Name: Ipomoea

Morning glory vine is relatively easy to grow, and it perks up quickly—an excellent plant to cover up a pergola in a sunny position.

13. Kiwi

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Botanical Name: Actinidia arguta

A kiwi vine takes a lot of space to grow. That is why it is one of the best pergola plants on our list. To get fruits from the kiwi plant, you’ll need to have both male and female plants for pollination.

14. Sweet Pea

Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus

Don’t grow bush-type varieties if you are growing them over the pergola. Plant sweet peas in the sun and provide well-drained soil.

15. Rangoon Creeper

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Botanical Name: Combretum indicum

The sweet-scented flowers of this vine come in bright orange color that matches well with its bright green foliage. It climbs easily and does best in part or full sun. It also attracts pollinators!

16. Bleeding Heart Vine


Botanical Name: Clerodendrum thomsoniae

The tropical bleeding heart vine is native to Western Africa. What makes it perfect for pergolas is its contrasting combination of dark green foliage and exotic white-red flowers! It is one of the best pergola plants you can grow.

17. Butterfly Pea

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Botanical Name: Clitoria ternatea

Butterfly pea flowers are the best food source for butterflies. The most attractive thing about this vine is its bright deep blue flowers!

18. Golden Hops

Humulus lupulus

Botanical Name: Humulus lupulus

A fast-growing vine that quickly covers up the trellises, pergolas, and arches. Golden hops can grow up to 15-20 feet long without any difficulty.

19. Climbing Hydrangea

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Botanical Name: Hydrangea petiolaris

Growing climbing hydrangea vine is rewarding due to its glossy heart-shaped foliage and fragrant white flowers that appear in clusters from spring to summer. It is a slow grower and requires training and pruning.

20. Bower Vine


Botanical Name: Pandorea jasminoides

Native to Australia, this evergreen intertwining vine creates a dense mat of pink-white blooms and green foliage. It does well in full sun or partial shade in alkaline soil.

21. Dutchman’s Pipe

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Botanical Name: Aristolochia Elegans

This vine produces one of the most exotic-looking flowers that look like Sherlock Holmes’ Pipe, the reason behind its bizarre name. You can also grow it in pots, it does best in partial sunlight.

22. Nasturtiums


Botanical Name: Tropaeolum majus

This climber grows up to 8-10 feet tall, and during summer and fall, it produces yellow, cream, orange, or a blend of apricot, salmon, peach, and scarlet blooms. Another interesting fact is both the leaves and flowers are edible!

23. Golden Trumpet

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Botanical Name: Allamanda cathartica

If you like yellow flowers, then this is the vine to grow! It looks best on arbors and garden gates. For best growth, do make sure it gets bright sunlight.

24. Crimson Glory Vine

Botanical Name: Vitis coignetiae

The beautiful maroon-red foliage of the vine is a head turner! For the best color of the leaves, grow it in an area that gets sunlight all day long.

25. Flaming Glorybower

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Botanical Name: Clerodendrum splendens

The red flowers of the vine match really well with its dark green foliage. Avoid keeping it in the harsh afternoon sun for long and choose a spot where it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight. It grows best in warm climates!

26. Tecoma Vine


Botanical Name: Tecoma

The fiery orange-red or yellow flowers of this vine can add a lot of drama to the space while bringing a tropical touch! Thanks to the vining nature, you can train it easily on the arbor for a wonderful display.

27. Black-Eyed Susan

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Botanical Name: Thunbergia alata

While talking about aggressive vines, you just can’t ignore this one! The plant looks stunning with its yellow flowers on bright green foliage! It is quite easy to maintain, too.

28. Blue Skyflower


Botanical Name: Thunbergia grandiflora

The paper blue flowers of this vine look elegant with the light green foliage. To grow it well, make sure you provide it with the right support and plenty of sunlight.

29. Purple Hyacinth Bean


Botanical Name: Lablab purpureus

This vining annual is admired for its blooms, the purple hue embellishes the stems, foliage, flowers, and seed pods. It grows up to 10-15 feet tall and a 3-6 feet wide.

30. Scarlet Clock Vine

Botanical Name: Thunbergia coccinea

This beautiful vine looks amazing on pergolas with dark-green toothed leaves and bright red flowers hanging in clusters. The intense hue of blooms depends on the temperature.

31. Yellow Jessamine


Botanical Name: Gelsemium sempervirens

Yellow Jessamine is loved for sweet-scented canary-yellow blooms that appear from February to May. It has a moderate growth till established completely.

32. Queen’s Wreath

Botanical Name: Petrea volubilis

This charming climber has dangling long cones of purple-violet star-like flowers. The true purple flowers last for a couple of days and blue bracts stay for long gradually turning gray.

33. Mandevilla

Botanical Name: Mandevilla spp.

Also known as rock trumpet, this flowering vine shows off fragrant five-petal blooms, it grows up to 3-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide making it one of the best pergola plants.

34. Cape Honeysuckle

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