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I have a large terrace in New York City, and am looking to fill it with some greenery without spending a fortune. In the past I have had good luck with morning glories in containers - they grow quickly, are very cheap of course, and have nice flowers.

However I'd like a little variety and also flowers that didn't only bloom in the morning would be nice. I've tried moon flowers but could never get them to bloom.

I also tried passion flowers but they did not grow that quickly, and the vines did not branch out much so there was not much volume to them.

So can anyone recommend some others? I guess I'd prefer to plant seeds, but I'm not too picky about that.

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5 Answers

Honeysuckle? Depending on how big your containers are. Or buy new morning glory seeds - sounds like you got a bad batch

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Not vines, but how about some "Deciduous shrubs"?

Two that standout for me are (would need to check your Hardiness Zone to see if they would be suitable):

  1. Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

  2. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

Initial outlay might be a little more than you're thinking, but once you've bought them, there really is no recurring cost each year...

Also, this time of year (later Summer, early Fall/Autumn) is "normally" a great time of year to pick up plant bargains, plus it's not too late in the year to get them planted, established before Winter time arrives...

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If you're willing to grow veggies, snap peas are great! They don't need much tending, they're one of the first things to pop out of the soil in the spring, long before the last frost. And they are one of the best things to snack on straight off the vine. They can be planted densely, will climb any trellis you give them without much direction. And they will fix nitrogen into your soil, lowering your need for fertilizers (which can be important for containers).

Minor downside, the varieties I'm familiar with don't do well with the hot summer sun, and they will die out before then. Major upside, you can easily get several successive harvests in both the spring and the fall. I like to let a small percentage of mine dry out on the vine in the fall, and then I collect them and plant them next spring.

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How about Jasmine? Not exactly a vine, but there are many species that might be suitable for you. They bloom at night and their perfume is incredible (there are varieties that don't have any scent, though).

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For variety, try a packet of goblins egg gourds, they're very prolific and don't require all that much soil.

I'm growing a gourd within a gourd right now (sort of a recursive programmer/gardening joke)

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