Ornamental Vines

Annuals

Malabar spinach
Vine
 
If you want a vigorous vine that will cover your arbor in one season, then Malabar is the one for you! This fast-growing vine tastes like spinach, yet thrives in our hot, humid summers.

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 2.00 to 6.00 feet
cardinal flower
Vine

Ipomoea × multifida gets its name from the cardinal red, tubular flowers that adorn this plant early summer through frost. It is a vigorous grower, covering your support with very dainty, palm-like leaves. A great choice for any pollinator garden. 

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Medium
Height: 8 to 10 feet

Ipomoea batatas
sweet potato
Herbaceous perennial

Though technically not considered a vine, if given a support structure, the sweet potato vine will climb for you. Chosen because there are hundreds of cultivars available to choose from in a vast array of colors and leaf patterns to match any garden situation. 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet

Ipomoea lobata
firecracker vine
Vine
 
When this vine blooms for you in late summer, you will know why it is called firecracker. The sprays of tubular flowers start crimson at the tip and ombre to a butter yellow at the base.  A favorite among the hummingbird communities.

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 8 to 10 feet
cypress vine
Vine
 
Chosen as a Plant of Merit, this tropical vine has lacy foliage and tubular red flowers that are a favorite among hummingbirds and butterflies. A small caution: this plant will self-seed and can naturalize, so place it somewhere it cannot escape in your garden (i.e., in a small planting strip between your house and paving). 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 6.00 to 15.00 feet
hyacinth bean
Herbaceous perennial
 
Hyacinth bean is an oldie, but a goodie. The purple-tinged leaves and soft pink flowers are a great addition to any garden space. Be sure to use a hefty support structure, because this vine will cover it by the end of the growing season. 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
sweet pea
Annual
 
Sweet peas are a cool-season vine that no cottage garden should be without. Available in a rainbow of colors, the sweet-smelling blooms can adorn vases in your home for up to a week. 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 3.00 to 8.00 feet
Mandevilla x amabilis
mandevilla 
Vine

Mandevilla is an outstanding vine for trellises, arbors, fences, or even to adorn your mailbox. It is not an aggressive grower, so it is easy to maintain the size and shape. The large, colorful blooms are now available in red, white, pink, and even shades of peach. Bring your container indoors for overwintering in the Midwest. 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 3.00 to 10.00 feet

Perennials

birthwort
Herbaceous perennial
 
Not the showiest of vines to make the list, however, this European native is a host for pipevine swallowtail butterflies. Use in a border for an attractive mound of foliage and unique flower with a great pollinator story. 
 
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Aristolochia tomentosa
Dutchman's pipe
Vine
 
Selected as a 2020 Plant of Merit, this species native to Missouri is a great addition to any pollinator garden. The unique flower resembles a Dutch smoking pipe. A culinary favorite of the pipevine swallowtail, don’t be alarmed when they are feasting—the plant will flush back out in no time! 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet

cross-vine
Vine
 
As you can see from the photo, when ‘Atrosanguinea’ is in bloom, it’s the talk of the town. The reddish- purple flowers adorn the plant in late April to early May and will occasionally rebloom in midsummer. This plant can sucker and spread, so site it in an area where that won’t be a problem. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet

cross-vine
Vine
 
An orange cultivar of its buddy from above, ‘Tangerine Beauty’ offers bright, 2” tangerine-colored tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds. This plant can sucker and spread, so site it in an area where that won’t be a problem. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 20.00 to 30.00

clematis
Vine
 
The large, floofy blooms of a clematis are why these vines make every top list. ‘Jackmanii Superba' is an improved version to the long-time garden favorite Clematis 'Jackmanii'. It features larger, more rounded, velvet purple flowers on a profuse blooming plant. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 10.00 to 12.00 feet

clematis
Vine
 
'Ville de Lyon' is a large-flowering, hybrid clematis that features profuse, showy, carmine red flowers with golden stamens. Never sure when to prune a clematis? Feel free to cut this one back in the spring because the bloom on this cultivar comes from the current year's growth, and it covers the vine for most of the summer. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 10.00 to 12.00 feet

clematis
Vine
 
'Nelly Moser' features showy, pale mauve pink flowers that cover this vine in summer. Don’t cut this one back in the spring because the blooms come from the previous year's stems. A second flush later in the summer on the new growth may also occur.  
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet

Carolina yellow jasmine
Vine
 
Carolina jasmine has proven hardy here in the St. Louis region; however, if planted in zone 6, a protected area and a thick winter mulch will be needed. The bright yellow tubular flowers put on a spectacular show in late winter to early spring. 
 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet

common hop
Vine
 
While the name might make you think of your favorite adult beverage, SUMMER SHANDY is a yellow-leaved hop vine that is grown solely for ornamental purposes. The leaves emerge yellowish green in spring, but quickly mature to an attractive golden yellow for the remainder of the growing season. It’s an attractive, slow-growing vine for any arbor or trellis. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet

climbing hydrangea
Vine
 
With larger flowers than the species, this shade-loving climbing hydrangea is a great vine for those north-facing walls and fences. It climbs using its aerial rootlets, so no need to buy a trellis. The exfoliating, reddish brown bark makes this a great year-round plant for your garden.  
 

Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet

trumpet honeysuckle
Vine
 
‘Cedar Lane’ is noted for its long, narrow, tubular-shaped red flowers with yellow throats. Flowers bloom in whorls from May to June, with sporadic additional bloom occurring throughout summer into fall. It’s a great addition to any hummingbird or butterfly garden. 
 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet

trumpet honeysuckle
Vine
 
‘Alabama Crimson’ is noted for its dark blue-green leaves and tubular crimson flowers. It too is a great addition to your garden if you are trying to attract hummingbirds or butterflies. 
 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet

trumpet honeysuckle
Vine
 
‘John Clayton’ is a yellow-flowered trumpet honeysuckle that was found in 1991. It is noted for its compact growth habit and its reblooming yellow flowers.  
 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 6.00 to 12.00 feet

Virginia creeper
Vine
 
STAR SHOWERS is a variegated cultivar of the Missouri native Virginia creeper. Its green leaves are "paint splattered" with creamy white to give a very striking appearance. With the onset of cooler weather, it develops a pink tinge. Though a native, this is an aggressive vine, so site it in an area where you won’t mind it running or being spread by birds. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet

purple passionflower
Vine
 
This tropical-looking vine is actually native to Missouri. Named after its edible fruit, this rapid-growing vine is a great addition to a landscape. It is best suited on a southern wall or in a protected area that is sheltered from the winter winds. 
 

Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet

Japanese hydrangea vine
Vine
 
Japanese hydrangea vine is a great choice for those shady arbors and walls. It’s white lace cap blooms appear in early summer and the reddish brown bark provides nice winter interest. 
 

Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet

American wisteria
Vine
 
A vigorous grower, this native Missouri vine can take those moist areas of your yard. The drooping, lilac purple flowers appear in April to May and will perfume your garden with a wonderful fragrance. Like other wisterias, this one also requires quite a bit of pruning. 
 

Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet