Many kinds of clematis will grow on smooth poles.

Vines That Can Climb a Smooth Pole

by Victoria Weinblatt

Vines that can climb a smooth pole are just the right choice for decorating lampposts and mailboxes. For best results, train vines to climb their target. When they are young, loosely tie the shoot to the pole with string and, as it grows, wrap the vine around the pole so it grows upward. While most of these perennial plants prefer warm weather, you can grow them as annuals in cooler climates.

1. Tall Poles

Cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) and Carolina yellow jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) have scented flowers and are excellent selections for tall poles. Cup and saucer vine puts out bell-shaped, green flowers that mature to purple and grows 10 to 20 feet tall. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Carolina yellow jasmine displays bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers. This native to the southern U.S. grows 12 to 20 feet tall in USDA zones 7 through 10.

2. Down to USDA Zone 4

Clematis “Hagley Hybrid” (Clematis “Hagley Hybrid”) and trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) are perennial vines for cold climates. “Hagley Hybrid” adorns your pole with a profusion of white flowers all summer in USDA zones 4 through 8. This vine grows 6 to 8 feet tall. The scarlet-orange trumpet-shaped blossoms on trumpet honeysuckle attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This native to the southeastern U.S. grows 8 to 15 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 9. Both vines tolerate black walnut trees and deer.

3. Made for the Shade

Certain vines that can climb a smooth pole prefer shade. Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) grows 3 to 6 feet tall in USDA zones 8 through 10. It thrives in dense shade to full sun and its starry, scented, creamy white blossoms attract bees. For a spot with afternoon shade, try black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata). This tropical vine grows 3 to 8 feet tall in USDA zones 10 through 11, and its orange-yellow flowers feature wide petals and black eyes, which offer a striking contrast. Black-eyed Susan vine is considered invasive in some regions.

4. Fruit Provides Added Interest

The fruit on canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum) and pink allamanda (Mandevilla splendens) provide added interest. Canary creeper quickly grows 8 to 10 feet tall and begets fringed, yellow blossoms all summer and into fall that yield edible fruit. This annual vine appreciates cool summers, but keep it away from your vegetable garden because it attracts cabbage moths. If left on the vine, the poisonous fruit on pink allamanda provides winter interest. It produces funnelform flowers in deep pink and grows in USDA zones 10 through 11. Pink allamanda’s height is dependent on its supporting structure.

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