I have to admit I didn’t discover these all by myself, blog co-writer Chris inspired my vine obsession. This trend started way before my dollar deals on clematis, but not too long ago, so you, too, can join in the “climber club.”

Vines are just cool.  So I have written about my big deck before, but not sure I shared the fact I hate the ugly red cedar stain on it.  Plus, again, I didn’t know where to start with my deck landscape.  Chris came over and sat out at the Tiki bar and suggested, you need cool vines growing up your deck.  And that is how it all started.

I prefer annual vines or perennials that can’t survive our winters (look at the zones, >9 will die in winter).  There are lots of varieties. They grow fast.  Need hardly any effort–little soil, water, fertilizer and you are off to the races.  They make an immediate impact.  Best of all, you don’t have to tame them for the long term.  As you may know, I detest my english ivy that has overgrown most of my yard–that plant gives vines a bad name.

Here are the vines I love and you should grow:

1)Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)

My Cypress Vine

It is awesome.  It has these marijuana-like leaves–only rounded edges.  Plus, it is a prolific bloomer–hot pink, red or white blossoms.  They are like little trumpets. This year, my cypress vines are from seeds I harvested the previous year. So it is a good investment. I have it growing up one side of my deck in a pot and in the ground growing up my mailbox. BTW–hummingbirds love their flowers–come end of summer we see tons of them flying up to our deck to munch on the nectar.

2)Morning Glory (Ipomoea imperati)

My Morning Glory Vine--looks like the MoonVine, but smaller

This is one of the grandma plants you must grow.  What can I say, heart-shaped leaves, and wonderful medium-size fluted saucer-like blossoms.  And, yes, these usually bloom in the morning..hence the name. This is my first year growing these.  I actually mixed this vine with my Cypress, so I have 2 growing together.  It is a lil experiment.

3)Moonvine (Ipomoea alba)

Giant MoonVine Blossom

What a splendid surprise.  This is a relative of the Morning Glory, but just as its name suggests, it blooms in the evening.  It has a GIANT blossom.  It is the perfect treat after a long work day with a cold one in hand, to watch it bloom. I didn’t have luck with my seeds from last years, but no worries..i bought a pack and went from there.  BTW–these take a long time to germinate, so don’t worry if you don’t see a sprout immediately. Once they pop out of the ground..they grow quickly.

4)Lablab vine (Dolichos lablab)

Another suggested vine from Chris, but this one is grown a lot at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s homestead.  When we visited a couple of years ago, we saw this awesome covered walkway that has the Lablab vine overgrown and severed as a natural canopy.  This vine has 2 features, tons of purple flowers and really cool seed pods.  It is part of the bean family, sometimes called Hycianth Bean.  Definitely, a crowd pleaser.

5)Cup & Saucer Vine (Cobea Scandens)

Cup and Saucer vine mixed with a MoonVine

Finally a new one this year.  It is a native to Mexico and is a perennial in Zones 9-10.  Since I am a Zone 7–it is a perfect annual vine for me.  The descriptions said it can grow 30 feet high…that made me a little nervous. But I can keep training it to grown around my deck frame.  It hasn’t bloomed for me yet, but it has grown exponentially.  It has these little fingers that grab on to the string I set out for it.  They are call tendrils.  When I did my research, I read it was hard to germinate….not for me.  It just took patience.  Don’t mess with it once you planted them.  Give them the love…and let them do their thing.

You can pick up a pack of seeds for $1-2, so what do you have to lose….you can start now, you just will have to water generously in this heat.  If you are planning to plant in pots, take my advice–buy the biggest pot you can afford.  Otherwise, you will be watering all the time.  That was my big mistake last year, so I bought GIANT pots on sale throughout the year for this vine extravaganza. Get some butcher’s twine and some thumb tacks to create a path for your vines to grow.  That’s it.

Any other vines people have tried?  I would love to add more to my vine collection.

Happy Gardening.