Climbing Evergreen Garden Plants

 In Climbing and Wall Plants

Climbing evergreen garden plants should be used more!

Mention a climbing plant to most gardeners and they will think honeysuckle, clematis, wisteria or even a rose. Most of these tend to look fairly unexciting in winter! But it needn’t be that way as there are quite a few good climbing evergreen garden plants to grow too!


Climbing evergreen garden plants have the distinct advantage of providing interest every month of the year but also can be used to cover up an unsightly object every day too!

an ivy covered wall

Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’

Larger leaf ivies have their place in the garden too!

The Persian ivy Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ and ‘Sulphur Heart’ [sometimes called ‘Paddy’s Pride’] are the ones to plant! These will steadily cover a fence, wall or tree stump and give a good show every day of the year!

Of course it would be very unwise to plant an ivy, which is self-clinging, to climb any building or wall where the mortar is in poor condition.

If the condition is good then these evergreen climbing garden plants will impart a cooling effect on buildings in summer and an insulating benefit in winter.

Ivy will grow in sunny places but is especially good for the shadier spots found in a garden.


One for a warm place

Trachelospermum jasminoides on a stoep

Trachelospermum jasminoides

If you need a self-clinging climber and the spot that you have in mind is in full sun, then Trachelospermum is the climber for you!

This Asian evergreen was introduced to Britain back in the mid-1800 s but oddly has never really picked up a common name!

Don’t let that put you off, since this is one of the best of all evergreen climbing garden plants!

It produces masses of small star-shaped cream blooms in summer. But this is only half the story since this is a heavily perfumed evergreen climbing plant.



One for a cool place

Berberidopsis corallina plant on a wall

Berberidopsis corallina

But perhaps your garden has a cool shaded corner that needs an evergreen climbing plant?

If so then there are some gems for you to choose from!

I have a soft spot for the Coral Plant – Berberidopsis corallina.

This requires an acid soil and if you don’t have that it will pay to add a generous helping of Ericaceous compost to any planting hole.

Then you mustn’t expect it to cover too large a space but you will enjoy the strings of coral-red bell-shaped blooms in late summer.

This is an evergreen climbing garden plant that needs to be supported and trained.



Hydrangea seamanii plant

Hydrangea seamanii




Both the next two also enjoy cooler shaded spots but will grow in sun as well.

They are self-clinging evergreen climbing plants and so no support is required.

The popular climbing Hydrangea petiolaris loses its leaves in winter but its more recently introduced cousin seemanii is a true evergreen species. So far I have found it to be very slow growing but the white lace-cap summer blooms are showy.



Pileostegia viburnoides, white flowers

Pileostegia viburnoides

Pileostegia viburnoides has frothy blooms above smaller more attractive leaves and likes the same conditions.

This plant was a very large one that I photographed in a lovely garden in Brittany called Kerdalo. It’s well worth a visit so here is more info.






Most Clematis lose their leaves in winter. However there are exceptions and some of these are strong growers and will cover large areas quickly.

The winter flowering Clematis cirrhosa varieties are very vigorous. Their cream lantern-shaped blooms give  a welcome winter display. Foraging and cold hardy bumblebees will ‘work’ these blooms but look inside each and you will discover a tracery of intricate detail.

Clematis, Clematis armandii, evergreen climbing plant

Clematis armandii

Clematis armandii flowers later and should be regarded as an end of winter bloomer. The white and delicately scented flowers of Clematis armandii are produced in clusters above large leathery bold evergreen leaves. It performs best in sunny and warm places.

In another blog I describe how to prune Clematis. I also describe how to grow these showy climbing plants in containers here





Finally I offer an evergreen honeysuckle to consider.

Most honeysuckles lose their leaves in winter- or perhaps drop most of them after a cold snap.

Lonicera henryi, on the other hand, is true evergreen and will still have leaf whatever the severity of our winter. I wish that I could say that it also had the showiest and most scented of all honeysuckle blooms but then I would be misleading you!

This is an easy to grow climbing evergreen garden plant that like many others are worth growing to provide privacy, sound proofing and places for garden wildlife to be.

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Variegated ivy with juvenile and adult leaves