In this article, plants for wall, fences and other vertical surfaces in containers in the shade. In a previous article climbing plants for vertical surfaces in containers in full sun has been discussed, and now it is time to extend our attention to growing vertical plants in the shade. This is a more difficult growing regime, as plants tend not to do as well in the shade as they do in full sun. It is not impossible but let us say the choices are more limited.
Plants that are grown up vertical surfaces are generally used in small gardens, where the beautiful colours of the flowers and leaves add interest, whilst occupying little horizontal growing area.
Many climbers like their roots in the shade, whilst their stems climb towards the sun. Clematis is a perfect example as most of them are happy if the twine is bathed in sunlight for a few hours per day, especially in summer. Clematis ‘Niobe’ likes to be grown on north-facing walls, whilst others like ‘Nelly Moser’ like the shade. This is because the sun can bleach out the flower colours.
Deep shade is not a problem for natural forest dwellers, such as Parthenocissus and ivy. Others although will take some shade, will need some sunshine for part of the day in order to thrive.
What follows are climbers that can be grown on vertical surfaces in containers in the shade:
CLEMATIS ALPINA (Alpine Clematis)
This is a deciduous climber with divided, wide green leaves, from which lantern-shaped, blue, pink or white flowers appear from early to late spring. Grow this 3m tall climber on a trellis, fence or wall in a multipurpose compost in a large container, where the roots will prefer to be in the shade.
CLEMATIS ‘Bill Mackenzie’
This deciduous climber has dark green leaves, where large bell-shaped waxy, yellow flowers appear from mid-summer to late autumn. This 7m tall climber will require to be grown in a large container full of multipurpose compost, against a house wall or a fence. In late winter to early spring cut back.
This is an evergreen variety of Clematis that has jagged-edged green leaves. This 3m tall climber produces small, white bell-shaped flowers in late winter to early summer. Grow it in multipurpose compost up a sturdy support structure in a sheltered site.
A very vigorous 12m tall, deciduous Clematis that has divided, mid-green leaves. Grow this Clematis up a very large wall structure such as a wall or pergola in a multipurpose compost in a very large container. It produces masses of scented, white flowers with yellow centres from late spring to early summer.
CLEMATIS ‘Nelly Moser’
This 3m tall deciduous climber has dark green leaves, where rose-mauve blooms with carmine stripes on each petal appear in early summer. Grow this clematis up a trellis, pergola, or fence in a large container full of multipurpose compost. Would appreciate being trimmed lightly in late winter to early spring.
A 3m tall deciduous Clematis that has dark green leaves, where throughout summer masses of velvety deep-red flowers appear with yellow antlers. Grow this climber up trellis pergola or walls in a large container full of multipurpose compost. Trim lightly in late winter to early spring.
CLEMATIS ‘White Swan’
A beautiful large deciduous climber that produces divided, green leaves and nodding open white, bell-shaped flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Grow this 3m tall clematis on a trellis, wall or pergola in a large container full of multipurpose compost. Prune after flowering to keep it tidy.
FORSYTHIA SUSPENSA (Weeping Forsythia)
This is a deciduous shrub that has slender, arching stems, with toothed green leaves. In early spring this 3m tall shrub produces masses of nodding bright yellow flowers on bare branches. Grow this shrub against walls as a wall shrub. It prefers to be grown in a large container full of multipurpose compost.
HOLBOELLIA CORIACEA (Sausage Vine)
This 5m tall evergreen climber has dark leaves that are divided into leaflets. In spring, pale purple male flowers and white-cream in female flowers appear. Occasionally this is followed by purple sausage like seedpods. Grow in a large container against a wall in multipurpose compost.
A 3m tall evergreen shrub that has arching stems full of oval, dark spiky leaves. In mid-summer to early autumn, snow-white catkins are produced that are striking to look at. Grow this shrub in a large container full of ericaceous compost, where it appreciates being grown against walls or fences in a sheltered spot.
JASMINIUM HUMILE (Italian Jasmine)
This is an evergreen, climbing shrub that has glossy, bright green leaves, which are divided into leaflets. In spring to autumn fragrant, tubular, bright yellow blooms appear. Grow up against a wall or in a sheltered spot in a large container full of multipurpose compost, where it will grow up to 2.5m in height.
LATHYRIS ODORATUS (Sweet Pea)
This familiar annual climber has oval, green leaves, where throughout summer white, pink, purple or red, highly fragrant flowers appear. Grow this 3m tall annual up trellis-es, canes or pergolas in a large pot full of multipurpose compost, where the flowers need to be regularly picked in order to produce more blooms.
LONICERA x BROWNII (Scarlett Trumpet Honey Suckle)
This is a semi-evergreen or deciduous climber. This 4m tall twining climber has blue-green rounded leaves, where from summer to early autumn, tubular, red flowers that are unscented are produced. Grow against large support in a large container full of multipurpose compost.
LONICERA PERCILYMENUM (Honeysuckle)
This 7m tall honeysuckle in a twining climber that has dark, oval-shaped leaves. In summer fragrant, yellow-white, red flowers are produced, which are followed by red berries. Grow it in a large container full of multipurpose compost.
LONICERA x TELLMANNIANA
A deciduous, woody, twining climber that has oval green leaves, with the upper leaves resembling saucers. In late spring to summer, bright yellow-orange flowers are borne in clusters at end of shoots. Grow it against a wall in a large pot full of multipurpose compost.
This is a very vigorous deciduous climber that will self-cling. It has palm-shaped, dark green leaves with white veins. In autumn the leaves turn a bright red and at the same time black-blue berries form. Grow this 10m tall climber against a house wall in a very large container full of multipurpose compost.
PARTHENOCISSUS QUINQUEFOLIA (Virginia Creeper)
A 15m tall vigorous deciduous, self-supporting climber that has rounded divided, green leaves. The leaves turn a vibrant red and orange colour in autumn. Grow this tall climber against a large support such as a house wall or fence in a very large container full of multipurpose compost.
This 20m tall vigorous, deciduous, self-supporting climber, which has lobed, green leaves. In autumn the fireworks begin as the leaves turn various shade of fiery reds. Grow this extremely tall plant against a sturdy wall or boundary fence in a very, very, large container full of multipurpose compost.
ROSA (ROSE) ‘Alberic Barbier’
This rambler rose that grows up to 5m in height is a vigorous, semi-evergreen climber. It has disease-resistant, bright oval-shaped green leaves, where in summer in a single flush, double, creamy white blooms are produced that lasts several weeks, Grow it in a very large container full of enriched multipurpose compost, where it can be grown against walls and fences.
ROSA (Rose) ‘Constance Spry’
This 2m tall short climbing rose has greyish-green leaves where during a summer month an abundance of large, pink, bowl-shaped, double flowers are produced. The flowers are so richly scented. Grow this beautiful rose against a wall in a large container full of enriched multipurpose compost. Mulch with organic materials in early spring.
ROSA (Rose) ‘Mermaid’
This is a 6m tall slow-growing climbing rose that has glossy, green disease-resistant leaves. From summer to autumn, light yellow, single blooms are produced. Grow this large, hooked throne rose near your front door against a wall to deter intruders. Plant it in multipurpose compost in a very large container.
ROSA (Rose) ‘New Dawn’
This 5m climbing rose has green, disease-resistant leaves where it will grow up to 5m in height. This repeater bloomer produces flowers from summer to autumn that are pale pink, fragrant and double appear. Grow this climbing rose against a house wall in enriched multipurpose compost in a large container.
SCHIZOPHRAGMA INTEGRIFOLIUM (Chinese Hydrangea Vine)
This is a deciduous climber that can grow up to 12m high. It has heart-shaped or oval green leaves, where clusters of tiny blooms with petal-like bracts appear in summer. Grow it against a wall with a large support in a very large container full of multipurpose compost.
SOLANUM CRISPUM (Chilean Potato Vine)
This 6m tall semi-evergreen scrambling climber has oval green leaves. In summer to autumn, violet-blue flowers with yellow-centres appear. Grow this climber in a large pot full of multipurpose compost in a sheltered spot.
A 4m tall deciduous, spreading shrub that has purple-red shoots, where from pale yellow-green, bell-shaped flowers appear on bare stems. They appear from late winter to early spring, which is soon followed by slim, dark green leaves that appear soon after. You can train against a wall or fence where this shrub can be grown in a container full of ericaceous compost.
TRACHELOSPERMUM JASMINOIDES (Star Jasmine)
This 9m tall evergreen, twining climber has glossy, dark green leaves that turn bronze in autumn and winter. In summer sweetly fragrant, white flowers appear in clusters. Ideally growing in partial shade against a wall in a large container full of multipurpose compost.
TROPAEOLUM SPECIOSUM (Flame Creeper)
This short 3m tall perennial climber has twining stems, has rounded blue-green leaves that are divided into oval leaflets. In summer, it bars scarlet flowers that are followed by bright blue spherical fruits. Grow it in light shade in a moisture retentive enriched multipurpose compost against a fence, trellis or pergola.
In this article, plants in containers for walls, fences and other vertical surfaces in the shade has been discussed. As you can see there are vast arrays of climbers and shrubs that can be used to brighten shaded vertical surfaces in your garden.
You do not need to look at bare walls anymore, as you can fill them with scented climbers with interesting leave forms and points of interest.
If you have any questions that you wish to raise or any comments that you are climbing the wall to make, please do so in the comment box below.
Turn the bland to the spectacular.