Certain flowering vines climb gate arches whether the structure is a single post or a lattice pattern. Gate arches vertically accentuate entryways and act as dividers between parts of your landscape, such as a transition from your patio to your vegetable garden. Vines attach themselves to surrounding structures by twining, tendrils or adhesive disks. Encourage young vines to climb your gate arch by tying them loosely with a piece of cloth.
Long-blooming vines keep this architectural structure adorned with flowers from spring into fall. Trumpet honeysuckle “Alabama Crimson” (Lonicera sempervirens “Alabama Crimson”) presents crimson-red and yellow, hummingbird-attracting flowers from late spring until frost. This vine grows 9 to 19 feet tall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Mexican flame vine (Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides) has orange flowers that emerge orange and mature to red from late spring to early fall. This evergreen vine grows 6 to 20 feet tall in USDA zones 9 through 10.
Ornamental Seed Pods
The blooms on certain flowering vines yield ornamental seedpods, extending the plant’s interest. The lavender-blue flowers on downy clematis (Clematis macropetala) appear in April, followed by fluffy, pale-pink seed heads. This vine tolerates black walnut trees and grows 8 to 12 feet tall in USDA zones 3 through 8. The fragrant, blue flowers on wisteria “Blue Moon” (Wisteria macrostachya “Blue Moon”) bloom in June, followed by pendant, seedpods resembling beans. This somewhat aggressive vine tolerates deer and grows 15 to 25 feet long in USDA zones 3 through 9.
Only some flowering vines will perform well for a gate arch in a shaded area. Cross vine (Bignonia capreolata) grows in full shade to full sun and produces fragrant, orange-red, hummingbird-attracting flowers. Native to the eastern U.S., it grows 35 to 50 feet tall in USDA zones 5 through 9. Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala) grows in full to partial shade and has white flowers. Tolerant of drought, but not the hot-humid climate of the Deep South, it grows 30 to 50 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 8 and makes an excellent cut or dried flower. Both of these flowering vines blossom from May to June.
The flowering vine covering your gate arch doesn’t have to be strictly ornamental. Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) has chocolate-purple flowers in early spring followed by violet-purple seedpods with edible pulp – planting more than one increases fruit production. Tolerant of considerable shade, it grows 20 to 40 feet long in USDA zones 4 through 8 and listed as invasive in some regions. Passion flower “Alba” (Passiflora incarnata “Alba”) develops white, butterfly-attracting flowers all summer, followed by edible fruit called maypops. Tolerant of drought, it grows to 8 feet tall in USDA zones 6 through 9. Both flowering vines for a gate arch have fragrant flowers.