Best evergreen climbing plants - our top ten

One of the most sought-after groups of plants in our mailbox, is evergreen climbing plants - and even more sought-after is flowering evergreen climbing plants.

We often get queries about a colourful berried climber or sometimes about the bright blue flowers on a climbing shrub against a wall. These inevitably come down to being Pyracanthas - firethorns - in the case of the berrying shrub, and Ceanothus - Californian Lilac - in the case of the blue flowered climber.

Similarly, Solanums - the climbing potatoes -  are semi evergreen, though they sometimes retain their foliage throughout mild winters. Neither are they true climbers but more rambling shrubs that need support.

Twining or clinging evergreen climbers are the ones featured on this page.

Neither of these are true climbing evergreen plants, but as they are commonly perceived as such we will include them in our list. Climbers, either evergreen or deciduous, can be broadly categorised into two types.

 Those that cling to walls by way of aerial roots, and those that are the twining evergreens. The twining plants either twine their stems or leaf tendrils around supports such as other plants or trellis, whilst those with aerial self clinging roots, normally use them up rigid surfaces such as walls and sometimes fences.

True Climbing Evergreen Plants - Those that Twine and Cling.

Twining evergreens that are suitable for growing up trellis, open fence, tree or shrub, or wired supports on wall. In fact anywhere that they can find spaces to twine around or supports to grip.

Evergreen Clematis Climbing Plants. The Clematis are normally associated with sunny walls of dripping over the top of a fence, amongst them being the increasingly popular group of evergreen climbing Clematis.

Clematis cartmanii Avalanche  Passiflora caerulea Constance Spry
Left is Clematis cartmanii Avalanche with the surprisingly hardy Passiflora caerulea Constance Spry on right.

The Chocolate Vine - Akebia. Semi evergreen vine rather than fully evergreen, loses some of its leaves in late autumn and winter.

Jasmines are represented with a few evergreen and semi-evergreen varieties. - Jasmine list

Honeysuckle - Lonicera - true climbing vines with a few evergreens amongst them.

Passiflora caerulea - The common Passion Flower - Close up of spectacular flower.Passiflora - Passion Flower. Passion flowers are vigorous tendril clad climbers with evergreen foliage and very unusual flowers. Not the hardiest of climbers, but I have got them through the hardest of winters in a dry border, with added root protection. Often get battered in the winter, but can shoot out again from down below.

Trachelospermum - The Star Jasmine - Is not a Jasmine, but often mistaken for one. The flowers are similar, and the scent is heady!

Berberidopsis - The Coral Plant. Is just about hardy in a hard frost - no more, unless grown in a lot of shelter.

Evergreen Climbing Plants that cling to walls with aerial roots.

This group of evergreens use adventitious roots along their stems to cling to solid surfaces. Good for training up walls that have no other means of support framework.

Variegated Ivy - Colchic dentata Areomarginata Hedera late flowering for bees pollen Variegated climbin Hedera canariensis
Left is Hedera colchica Dentata Variegata with Centre of Hedera in flower late Autumn - important late pollen supply for bees and Right the hedera canariensis Gloire 'd Marengo with the reverted green foliage it is noted for.

Ivies - Hedera. - the most noted and maligned of the evergreen Climbers - yet so versatile if grown in the right place. There are many to choose from. we will mention but a few.

Hedera Golheart against wall
Hedera Goldheart

Climbing Hydrangeas. There is one to mention. The other (H. petiolaris) is not evergreen

Euonymus - Some of the evergreen types will climb unaided once established. best described as rambling plants, however they will climb by way of aerial roots if planted against wall or fence.

Pileostegia or (Schyzophragma viburnoides. - Both the same plant). NOT Schyzophragma integrifolium which is deciduous 

Shrubs Suitable for Wall or fence Plants.  These mentioned below are not true climbing evergreens. However, they are often used to good effect when planted against walls.

Solanum crispum glasnevinSolanum crispum Glasnevin

The evergreen climbers in our lists are hardy to varying degrees, and as evergreen climbing plants are normally seen as a permanent solution to a problematic situation, care should be taken to ensure that you choose a hardy evergreen climber for your locale and situation. This will avoid the disappointment in years to come, when your not so hardy evergreen climber is no longer evergreen, but simply a tangle of bare stems!

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