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Vines for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

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Vines – Buying & Growing Guide

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on December 2, 2021

Whether you wish to find an attractive groundcover or invigorate the look of your garden structures, vines are one of the first categories of plants you should turn to. You'll be happy to know there are vines for nearly all climate zones and each carries a distinct appearance and charm.

Types of Vines

Type  Growing Zones Mature Height Sun Features
English ivy, Hedera helix 4-8 6-8 inches Full sun to shade: 2-8 hours Trident leaves and grows as a vine or groundcover
Pothos, Epipremnum aureum 10-12 15-20 feet Partial Shade: 3-4 hours Long trailing vine with variegated leaves
Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens 4-9 6-15 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Grows to cover a large area and has trumpet-shaped flowers
Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis 4-9 20-40 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Fast-growing with drooping purple flowers
Bougainvillea, Bougainvillea 9-11 20-30 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Copious amounts of vibrant flowers
Morning glory, Ipomoea purpurea 3-10 3-8 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours A light, manageable vine with pleasant, rounded flowers
Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia 3-9 30-40 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Groundcover or climbing vine with sets of five leaflets
Sweet potato vine, Ipomoea batatas 9-11 6-12 inches Full sun: 6-8 hours Deep purple or vibrant green foliage with a unique shape
Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata 4-8 30-50 feet Full sun to part shade: 4-8 hours Three-pointed leaves, climb quickly, and decent fall color
Climbing rose, Rosa setigera 5-9 5-20 feet Full sun: 6-8 hours Iconic rose flowers with a climbing habit

How to Plant Vines

Plant vines in high-quality soil with adequate drainage and an abundance of organic nutrients. Those two factors will have an incredible impact on the future success of your vines. Take time to ensure you plant your vines in a hole wide enough to encourage horizontal root development. While many vines will grow vertically above the soil’s surface, their root systems still need space to spread laterally. 

You should anticipate the space your vine will take up in the following seasons. Many vines grow quickly and vigorously. In response to that growth habit, give your vines ample room to expand in the coming years. 

How to Grow Vines

  • When. As is the case with many plants, ideally, plant vines when they are in their dormant phase. Plant them in early spring or wait until the fall. 
  • Where. When growing vines as a ground cover, give them plenty of nearby space they can spread into. If growing climbing vines, locate them near the base of a structure large enough to support years of healthy plant growth. 
  • How. Upon first planting a vine, you should rough up its root ball to allow the roots to spread outward rather than encircling each other. Then backfill your planting hole and provide water regularly. 

How to Care for Vines

  • Watering and nutrients. The multitude of genera to which vines belong implies each has specific needs regarding water and nutrients. Regardless, do not neglect to give your vines plenty of water after planting and set a fertilization schedule. 
  • Pruning. Prune away all parts of the plant that are damaged, dying, or otherwise unhealthy. If you grow climbing vines, be careful not to cut the parts of the vine that form the essential connection with the structure it climbs.
  • Pollination. The numerous vine varieties imply multiple means of pollination. Most often, vines employ flowers to attract insects and birds.