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With so many options out there when it comes to fast growing climbers, it can be tough to choose the right climbing plant that suits your needs – whether you’re trying to cover a wall or trellis, add some greenery to the side of your house, or block out an unsightly view.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 19 exceptional climbers which includes both evergreen and deciduous varieties that flower in the summer, spring, and even winter. Plus, I’ve got options that thrive in sunny positions and those that prefer a shadier corner of the garden.
With the potential to grow 10 to 30ft in just one season, some of these climbers are sure to be what you need. While all the plants on my list are deciduous, some may hold onto their leaves in sheltered areas during the winter months but some are evergreens and will retain their leaves all year round.
Where can you buy our recommended fast growing climbing plants?
Many plant nurseries specialising in quality climbing plants now sell them 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, I have included a link ‘underneath their pictures’ to the plants available from specialist nurseries that sell on Amazon and eBay, which is one of my favourite places to buy plants.
Fast Growing Climbers
1. Lonicera periclymenum (Honeysuckle)
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. Clematis tangutica (Golden Clematis)
Clematis tangutica, also known as Golden Clematis, is a fast-growing climber renowned for its striking, lantern-shaped yellow flowers and is a popular variety of clematis. This vigorous, deciduous vine can reach an impressive height of around 10 to 15 feet within a single growing season, making it perfect for growing up walls, trellises, or pergolas with its vibrant blooms.
The flowers are followed by silky, feathery seed heads that provide additional visual interest throughout autumn which us what I love about that. Clematis tangutica is low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and hardy, making it an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a fast and very easy-to-grow climber to add a touch of elegance and colour.
3. Fallopia (Mile-a-minute)
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.
4. Perennial Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)
Lathyrus latifolius is actually the perennial Sweet Pea and is a great alternative to the fast-growing annual that effortlessly adds colour and charm to any garden. It’s a low-maintenance climber which features vibrant clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of pink, white, and purple depending on the variety you choose.
Ideal for covering walls, fences, and trellises, it quickly establishes itself with a strong root system and has an impressive growth rate, reaching heights of 6-9 feet within a single season. The Perennial Sweet Pea’s resilient nature and hardiness make it perfect for beginner gardeners or those looking for easy-to-grow, high-impact climbers to quickly cover a fence or wall.
5. Clematis Montana
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.
6. Wisteria ‘Amethyst Falls’
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.
7. Climbing Roses
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.
8. Parthenocissus quinquefolia (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.
9. Climbing Hydrangea
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.
10. Humulus lupulus
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.
11. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Nasturtiums are colourful and versatile annual climbers that bring a cheerful, exotic touch to any garden over the summer. Renowned for their vibrant, edible flowers in warm shades of yellow, orange, and red, Nasturtiums are fast-growing climbers that can reach up to 10 feet in a single season.
Their lush, round leaves create dense foliage, perfect for covering unsightly walls or fences. Not only do they provide an aesthetic appeal, but they also attract beneficial insects, like pollinators and pest predators, making them fantastic companion plants. With their low-maintenance needs and impressive growth rate, Nasturtiums are an excellent choice for those wanting a quick and easy-to-grow climber for some summer coverage. They are also perfect for growing on a top planted wall and growing over the wall and down.
12. Jasminum Polyanthum
Jasmine, a delightful and enchanting fast-growing climber is a popular choice for anyone looking for a climber with an elegant fragrance and elegant blooms. Jasminum, as it’s botanically known, is a versatile plant that quickly covers fences, walls, trellises, or arbours, providing a verdant and blossoming focal point in your outdoor space.
This captivating climber thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. As it swiftly reaches for the sky, jasmine rewards you with an abundance of delicate, star-shaped flowers that not only brighten your garden but also fill the air with a heavenly scent. Easy to care for and adaptable to various climates, jasmine is an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a fast-growing, low-maintenance climber that adds a touch of elegance and a burst of fragrance to their outdoor oasis.
Fast growing evergreen climbers
13. 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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14. Clematis armandii
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.
15. Clematis cirrhosa – ‘Freckles’ and ‘Jingle bells’
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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Passiflora (Passion Flower)
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.
19. 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, 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 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API