Clematis and Climbers

15 of the most vigorous, fast growing climbers

Last updated on February 7th, 2022

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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 varieties of climbing plants, some of which are evergreen, some flower in spring whilst others flower in the winter. Some prefer an open site in full sun, whereas 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.

Many plant nurseries that specialise in quality climbing plants now sell their plants on Amazon.co.uk and will deliver them directly to your door within a couple of days.

To help you find the correct plants and compare prices we have included a link ‘underneath their pictures’ to the plants that are available from specialist nurseries that sell on Amazon.


Fast Growing Climbers

1. Lonicera periclymenum (Honeysuckle)

lonicera periclymemum fast growing deciduous climber for shadier areas of the garden
Lonicera periclymemum. A fast growing deciduous climber for shadier areas of the garden

Image Credit: wikimedia.org

Also known as the ‘Late Dutch Honeysuckle‘ there are a few varieties to choose from including ‘Serotina’ and ‘Florida’. These are incredibly 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 but they can be affected by powdery mildew so spray with a fungicide at the first sign. They are usually affected less when planted in partial shade.


2. Fallopia (Mile-a-minute)

Fallopia baldschuanica Mile a Minute Vine (Sent in 9cm pot) (3)
Fallopia baldschuanica – Mile a Minute Vine

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 fully 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.


3. Clematis montana

clematis montana ideal for shadier areas of the garden
Clematis montana – Ideal for shadier areas of the garden

Another fast growing climber that will grow in nearly any position. There are many varieties of Clematis montana, from the montana ‘Grandiflora’ with its pure white flowers to the montana ‘Mayleen’ with its vanilla-scented pink flowers.

This deciduous clematis climbs with its 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.


4. Wisteria ‘Amethyst Falls’

Wisteria Amethyst Falls which is a fast growing climber ideal for cover walls.
Wisteria Amethyst Falls – A fast growing climber ideal for covering walls

There are many Wisteria cultivars and all are fast growing but the ‘Amethyst Falls‘ has made it onto our list as it is one of the only ones that is fast growing but also suitable for planting in smaller gardens too.

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 because most Wisterias can take years to flower this is also an added bonus.

It needs full sun but will grow in light shade in fertile well-drained soil.


5. Climbing Roses

white cockade climbing rose
White Cockade climbing rose

There are many varieties of climbing roses that are fast growing and ideal for growing over a pergola or covering a wall. Some varieties, such as the Zephirine Drouhin, will grow on a shaded, north facing wall. There is no other flower like the ones produced by roses, and their perfumed scents make them extra special.

To read more about the top 10 best climbing roses click here.


6. Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia Red Wall new variety virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia ‘Red Wall’ – a new variety of Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia is also known as the Virginia Creeper plant. It is an excellent all round, deciduous and fast growing climber that 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 display of colour. They climb by using tendrils or disc-like suckers and because of this, they 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, it grows to around 12 metres tall with a spread of around 8 metres.


7. Climbing Hydrangea

climbing hydrangea which grows in shade
Climbing Hydrangea, this plant will grow in shade

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 lacecap-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 in the first year, however, once they have got their roots out, they will romp away and cover large areas quickly.


8. Humulus lupulus

Hops, Humulus lupulus, Perennial Vine 20 Seeds (Fast, Hardy)
Humulus lupulus – Golden Hop

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.


Fast growing evergreen climbers

9. Solanum jasminoides Album

Solanum jasminoides Album
Solanum jasminoides Album

Also known as the Potato Vine, this evergreen climber is best grown against 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 fully 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).

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10. Clematis armandii

clematis armandii fast growing climber
Clematis armandii – A fast growing climber

Armandii Clematis as it is also known is a large and 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.


11. Clematis cirrhosa – ‘Freckles’ and ‘Jingle bells’

clematis cirrhosa freckles evergreen climber which flower in winter.
Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ – An evergreen, winter flowering climber

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ with its pale pink flowers that are mottled with cream and the ‘Jingle Bells’ variety with its pale yellow flowers are vigorous evergreen climbers that 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.


12. Lonicera henryi ‘Copper Beauty’

Lonicera henryi vigorous climber
Lonicera henryi ‘Copper Beauty’- A vigorous climbing plant

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.


13. Trachelospermum Jasminoides (Star Jasmine)

Ttrachelospermum jasminoides evergreen climber
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 that are very fragrant white flowers during the summer.

The leaves take on a reddish colour in winter and will grow to approximately 8 metres tall. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade in a sheltered position.


14. Passiflora (Passion Flower)

Evergreen fast growing evergreen passion flower
Passiflora caerulea – An evergreen, fast growing Passionflower

There are many types of Passionflowers, but the hardy variety that is the most common is the ‘caerulea’ variety that produces distinctive and exotic-looking beautiful blue flowers.

They are very fast growing and prefer a sheltered position where they 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 its twining stems to climb. Height x Spread: 12 metres x 4 metres.


15. Hedera helix (Ivy)

English Ivy, Hedera Helix climbing or ground cover plant
Hedera Helix – English Ivy Plant

More commonly known as Common Ivy, there are many types of ivy and they are available in a large variety of colours, ranging 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 across. 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 be sure to check out their eventual sizes before purchasing.


Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

3 Comments

  1. Many of your growth projections seem very over the top, maybe I am wrong…For example, you say Clematis armandii can grow to 50 feet!!! Every site I’ve been on says 4m (about 16feet max!!!)

  2. John

    Hi Sarah, we have the Clematis Armandii growing to 8 meters which is around 26ft not 50ft. The RHS also state it grows to 8 meters tall. Usually, when you read about plant sizes they are usually height within 10 years, obviously it also depends on the location and how good the soil is ect. Some of the old stately home gardens have some really mature Armandii.

  3. t.rose newton

    Thanks for a very informative list of fast growing nature.

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