15 of the most vigorous, fast growing climbers
There are hundreds, if not thousands of climbing plants, but when you are looking for fast growing climbing plants to cover a wall or trellis, climb up the side of a home or hide unsightly views as well as many other situations you may have, it can be hard choosing one that is suitable for what you want it for.
Whether you are looking for a fast growing evergreen climber, or summer flowering deciduous climbers, there should be one on our list that may just be what you are looking for.
Our list is made up of 15 types of climbing plants, some of which are evergreen, others flower in spring whilst others flower in the winter. Some prefer an open site in full sun, whilst others will grow well in shadier areas of the garden. Some climbers will easily cover 10 to 30ft in height in just one season.
The following climbing plants are all deciduous although in sheltered positions, some may not lose their leaves in the winter.
Where you can buy our recommended fast growing climbers
Many plant nurseries that specialize in quality climbing plants now sell their plants on Amazon.co.uk and will deliver them direct to your door within a couple of days.
To help you find the correct plants and compare prices we have included a link ‘under their pictures’ to the plants which are available from specialist nurseries who sell on Amazon.
Fast Growing Climbers
Lonicera periclymenum (Honeysuckle)
Also known as ‘Late Dutch Honeysuckle‘ there are a few varieties to choose from including ‘Serotina’ and ‘Florida’. These are very fast growing and are ideal for climbing over pergolas, fences and alternatively up walls too. They climb and attach themselves by twining around something whether it be trellis work or a fence. They are a very vigorous deciduous shrub with oval dark green leaves and produce, often perfumed flowers in summer and into the autumn followed by red berries.
They grow well in most well-drained soils in full sun and partial shade so will grow well on a north facing wall where they would not receive much sun. Plant in exposed or sheltered sites. A suitable plant for most situations, can be effected by powdery mildew so spray with a fungicide at the first sign. They are usually affected less when planted in partial shade.
Image Credit: wikimedia.org
Also known as ‘Golden Hop’, this vigorous twining climber has palmate-lobed yellow leaves followed by small yellow flowers.
Ideally suited for planting in a sheltered position, it grows well in a south-facing or west-facing position in full sun or partial shade. Prefers moist but well-drained soil and will grow to around 8 metres by 2.5 metres.
This is probably the fastest growing of all climbers and is renowned for covering large areas very quickly. Also known as Mile-a-minute and Polygonum baldshuanicum, this deciduous plant has been awarded the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by The Royal Horticultural Society. It will grow to an astonishing 13ft in one year and will grow to approximately 12 metres by 3 metres once established so if you have a large eyesore to cover this may be the climber for you. It has small green leaves that get smothered in creamy white bracts that cover the entire plant.
Grows well in most well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade and is very easy to grow. Very popular, but it can get out of hand in smaller areas.
Another fast growing climber that will grow in nearly any position. There are many varieties of clematis montana from montana ‘Grandiflora’ with it’s pure white flowers to montana ‘Mayleen’ with it’s vanilla scented pink flowers. This deciduous clematis climbs with it’s twining leaf stalks, it often flowers around May and produces small single flowers.
Thrives in sheltered or exposed areas of the garden and full sun or partial shade in most soils types as long as it is well-drained.
Wisteria ‘Amethyst Falls’
There are many Wisteria cultivars and all are fast growing but ‘Amethyst Falls‘ has made it onto our list as it is one of the only ones that is fast growing but suitable for smaller gardens. It grows to around 15ft (500cm) with a spread of 10ft (300cm) and needs to be grown on some kind of support such as a trellis frame or wires. They are easy to keep to a certain size with the correct pruning method but it also flowers when young and as most Wisteria can take years to flower this is an added bonus.
It needs full sun but will grow in light shade in fertile well-drained soil.
There are many climbing roses that are fast growing and ideal for growing over a pergola or covering wall and some varieties such as Zephirine Droughin will grow on a shaded, north facing wall. There is no other flower like the ones produced by roses with their perfumed scent.
To read more about the top 10 best climbing roses – click here
Parthenocissus quinquefolia is also known as the Virginia creeper plant. It is an excellent all round deciduous fast growing climber and will grow in nearly all positions including shade unlike most climbers. The green lobed leaves turn red/orange in the autumn for the most beautiful autumn display of colour. They climb by using tendrils or disc-like suckers so do not need support as they self cling to walls.
Will grow in sheltered, exposed areas in full sun, partial shade or shade. Plant in fertile but well drained soil, grows to around 12 metres tall with a spread of around 8 metres.
Climbing Hydrangeas are ideal for planting in shadier parts of the garden where nothing else will grow. They use clinging aerial roots to attach themselves to walls and fences and can grow to 50ft once they get going. They flower on the previous years growth so pruning straight after flowering is advised. The lace cap type flowers are often 30cm (1ft) in length and appear in early summer around May / June. They prefer moist but well-drained soil and shade, partial shade or full sun. They are a little slow to start so don’t expect too much growth for the first year but once they have got their roots out, they will romp away and cover large areas quickly.
Fast growing evergreen climbers
Solanum jasminoides Album
Also known as the Potato Vine, this evergreen climber is best grown on a support or trellis and it will even grow well through other climbers. Best planted in a sheltered spot in fun sun or semi-shade in fertile but well-drained soil. Once established they are drought resistant and will grow to around 4 metres by the same spread. The star-shaped white or purple flowers have a mild perfume and will flower from summer and into the autumn. It has been awarded an RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit).
Armandii clematis as it is also known, is a large vigorous evergreen climber with dark green leathery leaves that are around 15cm across. They are an early flowering clematis and flower early to mid-spring and have single fragrant creamy white flowers.
They prefer a sheltered position in full sun and will grow to around 8 metres with a spread of around 3 metres.
Clematis cirrhosa – ‘Freckles’ and ‘Jingle bells’
Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ with it’s pale pink flowers, mottled with cream and the ‘Jingle Bells’ variety with it’s pale yellow flowers are vigorous evergreen climbers which flower in the winter and early spring making them ideal for providing winter colour. Both prefer a sheltered spot in full sun. They are ideal for a wall side border and for growing in pots.
They get to around 4 metres wide by around a 1 metre spread.
Lonicera henryi ‘Copper Beauty’
This fast growing evergreen twining climber is often called ‘Henry’s Honeysuckle’. It is a type of honeysuckle and had dark green ovate leaves and produces fragrant yellow and red tubular flowers in summer, these are followed by black berries. It will grow in most soils as long as it is well-drained and will reach heights of 8 metres. Will grow well in full sun or partial shade and exposed or sheltered areas.
Trachelospermum Jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
Originating from Japan and the far east, this vigorous evergreen twining climber has dark green ovate leaves and produces jasmine like star shaped very fragrant white flowers in summer. The leaves take on a reddish colour in winter and will grow to around 8 metres tall. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade in a sheltered position.
There are many types of passion flowers but the hardy variety is the common ‘caerulea’ variety which produces distinctive, exotic looking beautiful blue flowers. They are very fast growing and prefer a sheltered position where it will thrive in full sun or partial shade. They prefer fertile but moist soil and are fairly hardy, in very cold areas they are best grown in large pots and moved indoors in winter. The large evergreen leaves are lobed and it uses it twining stems to climb. Height x Spread: 12 metres x 4 metres.
Hedera helix (Ivy)
More commonly known as Common Ivy, there are many types of ivy and they are available in a large variety of colours from dark green leaves to variegated yellow and cream leaves. They use aerial roots to hold onto walls and will climb anything from walls, fences, trees or whatever they come cross. They are very hardy and will grow in full sun or semi-shade and even shade. With lots of varieties available there are some smaller varieties so check the eventual sizes before purchasing.