Climbing vines for patio privacy

Asked October 1, 2020, 1:11 PM EDT

We love our second-floor patio, but unfortunately we (and our neighbors) are on constant display for one another. For privacy, we're thinking of adding potted plants (on either side of our grill, or attached to the railing) as well as a trellis. But the question is: what climbing vines would grow good in relatively small planters, where we get maybe 3 hours of direct sunlight a day? Bonus if the climbing vine could be a perennial! Thank you!

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

You have several choices for vines to provide privacy on your balcony. You could use foliage vines, like ivy; flowering vines like jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, etc.; fragrant vines like jasmine, - many choices. This article explains some of the principles of designing your balcony space with suggestions of vine selections, Balcony Container Garden Design http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/design/129-design-climbing-plants..It

Some considerations are the size and weight of the vine; the aggressiveness - will it want to spread into your neighbor's space, evergreen vs deciduous, ease of care, etc.

Perennials have the advantage of coming back every year, but grow slowly. Annual vines have to go through the growth/reproduction cycle in just one year, so grow faster. You might want to plant an annual vine, like morning glory for the first year with your perennial vine. By the second year the perennial vine should give you good cover.

You can use fragrant vines, like jasmine but be sure you like the scent. Clematis produce flowers in very different shapes, seasons of bloom and color. They are worth looking into. Check the size of the vine to determine whether if it will outgrow your space, and the conditions (sunlight, water needs, etc). This article gives a good overview, Clematis Type - Which one is Yours? https://www.gardenia.net/guide/clematis-types.

One of the best sites to .get an idea of possibilities is Great Plant Picks https://www.greatplantpicks.org/plantlists/by_plant_type/vine. This is the link to their "vines" list. Click on any selection that interests you and see a picture of it, growing conditions, adult size, etc. This site is done through the Elizabeth Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle. The plants should all do well in our climate.

Good nurseries in your area can help you make good choices, and you can see the plants. Exploring your options can be great fun.