Our living room windows are about 10 feet from the ground. I'd like to plant some kind of a flower near the house that will...

  • Attract hummingbirds
  • Climb a simple trellis like a few strings
  • Be happy with morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • Climb high enough that there would be blooms at window height, about 10 feet up

We live in zone 5. I'm a novice and so I don't know many plants. I was thinking morning glory or clematis, perhaps runner beans?


2 Answers 2


I assume by "string trellis" you mean an arrangement where you tie several strings from stakes to either a fixed point 10 feet above the ground, creating a triangle or to several fixed points, creating a rectangle. No perennial vine that I know of will do well with this arrangement because the trellis is rather flimsy, doesn't have cross-bars (so to speak), and is temporary. You do have some annual/tropical options, though:

  • Morning glory (I don't believe this is a hummingbird plant; I think people think it is because of the trumpet shape of the flowers). The variety Grandpa Ott's can grow over 20 feet in one summer - I know, because I've done it. Once you've planted one of these, you'll never have to plant it again as it reseeds furiously.
  • BLack-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata). I've seen this on a string trellis, although it wasn't 10 feet tall.
  • Spanish Flag vine (Ipomoea lobata) (another photo here). I've grown this on a string trellis without a problem, although the plant doesn't seem to like to grow in a heavy clay soil.
  • Hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus, formerly Dolichos lablab). Note that it needs a fairly sturdy trellis due to the weight of the vine plus its fruit.

If you were to invest in a permanent trellis, then I'd recommend

  • Clematis (lots of them exceed 8 feet in height, although none bloom all summer. Some cultivars bloom twice in a summer, though.
  • Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera periclymenum. This is a native US species and is a definite hummingbird magnet. Most cultivars get well over 10 feet height, however. The best bet for a smaller trellis is probably 'Serotina'.
  • Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). Beautiful and interesting, with edible fruit, this is an annual in zone 5, though. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the linked article explains.
  • I see morning glory and I (now) think "ah, colored bindweed flowers" No, thanks. Could use one of those 6" square net string things (I have one in a bucket somewhere. It seemed like it would be useful for trellising vegetables. It's amazingly good at tying itself into knots in the off-season...untangling it to use in the spring is not always something I want to face, so I use less flexible trellising materials now.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 15:15
  • Yes, that was my plan for a "string trellis." This - while not the answer I "wanted" to hear - is certainly useful!
    – nuggethead
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 13:13

I'm not clear on what kind of trellis you mean, exactly. So, keep that in mind as you read my answer.

Clematis does attract hummingbirds, and it does climb. However, you'd probably need to fertilize it well to get it to climb 10 feet, but I imagine it could work.

I'm not sure about domestic morning glories, as I've never grown them, but the ones that are weeds could do it! Never seen hummingbirds on them, but that doesn't mean they don't visit them. :) I'd think domestic morning glory would be worth a try. People on the Internet seem to think hummingbirds like them. Morning glory is very good at climbing.

You might like a climbing rose bush. Hummingbirds do like roses, and they can get pretty big (but it might take a few years to really be how you want).

  • 1
    Also, there are many related-but-different things under the heading of clematis, with varying habits (and pruning needs.) Some may climb more easily than others.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 15:22

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