What Are the Best Non-Invasive Climbing Plants for a UK Garden Trellis?

March 31, 2024

Every garden benefits from the added depth and perspective that climbing plants bring. With their ability to scale walls, fences, and trellises, they can transform a flat, boring plot into a lush, layered paradise. But not all climbers are created equal. This article will guide you to the best non-invasive climbing plants that not only beautify your space but also respect its boundaries.

Clematis – A Versatile Climber

Clematis is undeniably one of the most loved climbing plants in the UK. Revered for its broad range of flower colours and forms, this plant can bring life to any garden trellis.

A découvrir également : What Are the Best Child-Safe Window Treatments for a Nursery?

The beauty of clematis lies in its versatility. No matter if your garden receives full sun or is located in partial shade, there is a clematis variety that will thrive well. Additionally, clematis plants demand minimal care – an occasional pruning and feeding will keep them happy and blooming.

The ‘Nelly Moser’ variety is a great choice for gardens with partial shade. Its large pink flowers with striking dark pink stripes add an eye-catching view to the garden. For gardens with full sun, the ‘Jackmanii’ variety is a good pick. Sporting deep purple flowers, this variety will give a dramatic touch to your trellis.

Cela peut vous intéresser : What’s the Best Approach to Installing a Pocket Door for a Space-Saving Bathroom Entrance?

Remember to provide a good support structure for your clematis to grow on, and be patient as it may take a year or two for the plant to fully establish itself.

Honeysuckle – A Fragrant Addition

Honeysuckle is another popular choice among UK gardeners. These plants offer not only vibrant flowers but also a delightful sweet fragrance that can perfume your whole garden.

A honeysuckle vine can handle a variety of conditions, from full sun to partial shade. However, it performs best in a well-draining soil. To ensure the health of your honeysuckle, make sure to water it regularly, more so during dry periods.

At the height of their growing season, honeysuckle plants burst into a colourful display of tubular flowers that range from white, yellow, pink, to red. You can choose the variety that best matches your garden’s colour scheme. One of the most popular varieties is the ‘Graham Thomas’, known for its golden-yellow flowers and robust growth.

Honeysuckle is also a fantastic choice if you’re looking to attract wildlife into your garden. Its flowers are a favourite among bees and hummingbirds, while its berries provide food for birds in the autumn.

Evergreen Climbers – For Year-Round Interest

If you wish to maintain some greenery in your garden throughout the year, evergreen climbers are an excellent choice. They retain their leaves all year round, providing a constant backdrop of green against your garden trellis.

One of the best evergreen climbers is the ‘Jasminum Nudiflorum’, or Winter Jasmine. Despite its name, it is not a true jasmine but rather a member of the olive family. This vigorous climber can grow in either full sun or partial shade and provides a stunning display of bright yellow flowers in the winter.

Another noteworthy evergreen climber is the ‘Trachelospermum Jasminoides’, or Star Jasmine. This plant is evergreen in milder climates and offers glossy foliage and white, jasmine-like flowers that fill the air with a sweet scent during the summer months.

Flowering Vines – For a Burst of Colour

Flowering vines can turn a simple garden trellis into a vibrant, living piece of art. One such flowering vine that thrives in the UK climate is the ‘Wisteria Sinensis’, or Chinese Wisteria.

Renowned for its beautiful cascades of purple-blue flowers, the Chinese Wisteria is a sight to behold when in full bloom. It prefers a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Although it can take some years to start flowering, the wait is well worth it.

The ‘Passiflora Caerulea’, or Blue Passion Flower, is another stunning flowering vine. It is known for its unique, intricate flowers that feature white petals backed by a blue or lavender corona. This vine is not as hardy as the aforementioned plants, so it may require some winter protection in colder regions.

Climbing Roses – A Classic Choice

Last but not least, no discussion about climbing plants would be complete without mentioning roses. Climbing roses can provide a traditional, romantic feel to any garden, with their abundant blooms and often sweet fragrance.

Climbing roses are not true climbers. They don’t have tendrils to support their growth. Instead, they produce long stems that can be trained to climb a trellis or wall. For this reason, they will require some help and guidance from you to establish themselves.

There are countless varieties of climbing roses to consider, from ‘New Dawn’ with its delicate pink blooms to ‘Dublin Bay’ with its vibrant red flowers. Regardless of the variety you choose, ensure it receives plenty of sun and is planted in well-drained soil for the best results.

When choosing climbers for your garden trellis, always consider the specific needs and conditions of your garden. With the right care and attention, these climbing plants can transform your garden space into a vertical oasis.

Virginia Creeper – The Fast-Growing Climber

Among all the climbing plants, Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is renowned for its exceptionally fast growth. This North American native can reach heights of up to 20 meters, making it an ideal choice for covering large trellises or walls.

Virginia creeper requires full sun to partial shade and thrives in any well-drained soil. The plant is also highly resistant to pests and diseases, making it an easy-to-care-for addition to your garden. However, this climber should be pruned regularly to keep it under control and prevent it from invading other areas.

One of the main attractions of Virginia creeper is its leaves. Initially, the leaves are a fresh green colour that provides a lively backdrop. But come autumn, they transform into a stunning display of crimson red, offering a striking contrast against the garden trellis.

In terms of hardiness, Virginia creeper can withstand UK hardiness zones 3-9. Thus, it can tolerate extremely cold temperatures and continue growing robustly once spring arrives.

Star Jasmine – An Evergreen Climber with Fragrant Flowers

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is another evergreen climber that is well worth considering for your garden trellis. This plant, despite its common name, is not a true jasmine. It is actually a member of the Apocynaceae family, which also includes the likes of oleander and periwinkle.

Star jasmine is known for its glossy green leaves that remain on the plant year-round, providing a constant source of greenery. In the summer months, it produces clusters of white flowers that bear a sweet, intoxicating fragrance. These blooms can fill your entire garden with their delightful scent, adding an extra sensory dimension to your outdoor space.

This climbing plant prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is relatively hardy and can tolerate lower temperatures. However, in extremely cold winters, it may require some protection.

Although star jasmine is a slow grower initially, once established, it can cover a large trellis or wall. With its combination of appealing characteristics – evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers, and strong growth – the star jasmine makes an excellent addition to any UK garden.


To sum it up, climbing plants are a fantastic way to add interest to your garden, creating a lively and dynamic space. Whether it’s the vibrant flowers of clematis and honeysuckle, the evergreen leaves of star jasmine and Virginia creeper, or the classic elegance of climbing roses, there’s a climber to suit every garden.

When choosing a climbing plant for your trellis, consider your garden’s specific conditions, such as the amount of full sun or partial shade it receives, and the type of soil present.

Invest time in providing the right support and care for your climbers, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning vertical display that takes your garden to new heights. Climbing plants truly prove that sometimes, the sky is the limit when it comes to garden design.