I'm hoping someone has had good experience with a climber that tolerated partial to full shade? Most climbing flowers seem to need full sun, but we have a space in our backyard that would look great with some climbing color. Thanks for any tips. We're on the border between Zones 6 and 7 in Maryland.

5 Answers 5


Plumbago capensis, very nice, covered with flowers all the summer, no sun, no scent. Suffers a lot from ice.


Lonicera caprifolium, forest plant, white flowers yellow or pink all the summer, delicious perfume, very tolerant to frost


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Hydrangea petiolaris, very nice, stand the cold to the foot. Appropriate mulch with dry leaves or straw.


Thunbergia (family Acanthaceae) (Black-eyed Susan vine), very good essence, many different types



Plants very strong, do not give showy flowers, but that resist all.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia, cool the effect of the change in color from green to red in autumn.

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Hedera helix, good effect two-tone color.


I got all of them (but Thunbergia), with fantastic results.


Since you also speak of half shade, yes, clematis are a good choice.


CLEMATIS MONTANA VARIETIES One of the hardiest of the clematis plant family. They are vigorous growers and will quickly cover large fences and wall. They require little pruning other than keeping them within bounds. Clematis montanas produce masses of flowers in late spring. Colours vary from white through to rose-pink and many are scented. the best strains, features and images

Another climbing half-shadow is the Trachelospermum jasminoides or Rhynchospermum jasminoides.

Very strong at any temperature and evergreen. Very rapid growth, flowering in late spring and summer with a very intense fragrance in the evening.

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If you want an evergreen, Hedera helix and Trachelospermum jasminoides in my opinion are the best. But i think that a facing north wall also needs to breathe. A few months without coverage of leaves prevents mold, moisture and rot in the walls and rooms.

If you want a nice and enchanting atmosphere, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Lonicera caprifolium fill your garden with perfume, and make you sleep in a magical atmosphere. That is why I personally prefer them.

To avoid doors and windows covered by creepers, simply, when you prune the plant in spring, leave a free frame of about twenty centimeters. The space will soon be filled by new shoots.

But remember that all half-shade plants flourish more in parts where they get the sun, and bloom less in areas in the shade.


I am on Long Island, in New York, zones 6 - 7. When we moved in to our current home, we inherited a sweet autumn clematis growing on the north wall of the house. It gets very little sun (if any) and it grows/climbs quickly, starting in early spring. Small white flowers bloom in the early fall. The plant is thick and green all summer. We also have a fair share of deer, rabbits and raccoon and they do not touch the clematis.


When questions and gardeners come from all around the world it is often very difficult to provide answers that are good for where you live. I live in USDA zone 4 and have had the following experiences with these plants:

  • plumbago capensis or leadwort has now been renamed Plumbago auriculata. It is hardy in Florida and parts of California and is a wonderful leggy shrub or sprawling vine when grown in a pot. You can bring it outside in the summer and overwinter inside.
  • Schizophragma hydrangeoïdes - a wonderful vine but with uneven performance. In the right locations such as east facing with some protection from winds it is a reliable performer. I have seen other specimens in an exposed location with poor soil that were not able to make it above three feet (one meter tall).
  • Lonicera or honeysuckle: widely available and in many cultivars. Some are subject to powdery mildew and aphids and others are classed as invasive. They tend to get woody and outgrow where they are planted. Some care is in order when choosing one. The only plant that I ever broke a sequiteur blade on when trying to prune old growth.
  • Black eyed Susan - a lovely annual vine. When placed in a hanging basket it does not do well if dried out.
  • Parthenocissus - Virginia creeper or related species. It has sticky adhesive pads which help it climb and beautiful red fall colour. These plants are extremely tough and vigorous. Some house owners have planted these and noticed, after a few years, that they cannot see out their windows, due to the vine growth. If you planned on keeping this growing within a small area annual vigorous pruning is required. They can be attacked by the grape flea beetle but usually outgrow any damage. If you have other members of the Vitus or grape family nearby these may suffer.
  • Boston ivy (Hedera Helix) and it's cultivars are not reliably hardy where I live but you should have no problems. They do not have a flower that you will notice but are good at covering a wall.

My favourite vine for shady areas are the species clematis. They come in a variety of colours, usually pinks, reds, whites, blues and grow six to ten feet tall (two to three meters). Some ones I have used are - Clematis montana, virgininia, texenis, patens.... There are hundreds of cultivars, check your local retailers for ideas. Under some conditions they do get a stem wilt but cutting the plant back to the base allows regrowth. They usually require three years to get established and prefer to have their roots in shade. Good companions for a hosta.

  • Here they say: clematis, feet at shadow and head at sun ... Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 1:27

Money Plant grows very well in India (USDA Hardiness 11-13), I am not sure for your zone. However if it grows near you, it will not take much attention. It grows very fast, likes to hang.


Nice suggestions from Violaprile, but I tend to agree with Kevinsky's comments. Hydrangea anomala (syn petiolaris) will be just fine in your zone, but is not evergreen, though it does flower. Some Clematis cultivars which prefer a bit of shade, or at least do fine with it, are: C. Hagley Hybrid, Nelly Moser, General Sikorski, Henryi, John Warren, Lady Northcliffe, Marie Boisselot, Mrs. Cholmondeley, Niobe, Ramona, The President, Violet Charm, William Kennett, W. E. Gladstone and Xerxes (also known as Elsa Spath). Again, these are not evergreen plants, and all of these cultivars may be susceptible to Clematis Wilt - note that the species varieties are not susceptible to this infection (for instance, Montana, tangutica).

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