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
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.