Shade vines zone 8

Climbers for a shady wall or fence

Walls and fences in a shady spot are easily covered if you know what to plant.


10 shade-loving perennials

North and east-facing boundaries can be transformed by a surprising amount of attractive climbers. Some will do better on an east-facing boundary which should get sun for part of the day. Others will cope in full shade.

Here are our recommended plants for north and east-facing walls and fences.

North and east-facing boundaries can be transformed by a surprising amount of attractive climbers.

Rosa ‘Wedding Day’

Rosa ‘Wedding Day’ is a fast-growing and fragrant rambler rose, perfect for covering a house wall or boundary in partial shade. It tolerates poor soil and a north-facing aspect, but likes moist, well-drained soil and plenty of space.


Ivy will cope in the deepest shade. The native form, Hedera helix, has beautiful dark green lustrous leaves. The variegated forms will help to lighten up dark corners in the garden.


Honeysuckles such as Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ (pictured) climb over walls and fences and many are happy in shade. They offer wonderful scent and great for wildlife.

Star jasmine

Although tiny, the flowers of star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, are highly fragrant. It’s happy on an east-facing wall that is shaded for part of the day, but gets some sun.

Clematis viticella

Viticella clematis such as ‘Black Prince’, pictured, are tough varieties that can cover walls and fences fast. Like all clematis, they do best with their roots in cool, moist shade.

Chinese Virginia creeper

Turning rich crimson as soon as the frosty nights arrive, Parthenocissus henryana is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber, ideal for a north or east-facing boundary. Its colour will be more vibrant with a bit of sun during the day.

Clematis alpina

Despite its dainty appearance, Clematis alpina is pretty tough, and tolerates a fair degree of shade, as well as cold temperatures. Plant it cascading over a fence or a low wall for graceful spring flowers. It doesn’t need pruning.


Clematis x durandii

Enjoy indigo blooms all summer with this shrubby clematis, which has stems that are more likely to scramble than climb. To cover a boundary, tie stems to supports as they grow. Clematis x durandii likes shade for some of the day, so copes in most aspects.

When planting in shade, be sure to prepare the soil well. Here are our five tips for planting in shade.

I have been washing up looking out on a wooden fence for over 10 years. Once, I tried to rectify this with hanging pot holders – but it was a sad attempt. Most of the path runs down the side return, so it is north-west facing, but it’s also sliced between two buildings so it’s light. It’s very much a shaft, but it’s a warm, sheltered one.

Last year, I had an inspired moment with a wrecking bar and chisel, and liberated pockets of the patio below to find rich, dark earth. If you want to hide your sins, the quickest solution would be a virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia. The variety ‘Guy’s Garnet’ from Crûg Farm Plants in Wales turns a statement postbox red in autumn, even in deep shade.

I could go for the self-clinging Hydrangea anomala ssp anomala or the slightly slimmer-leaved ssp. petirolaris, both with lacy white flowers in summer that are loved by bees and are tough as old boots, so good for an exposed position. However, it is such a good plant that I already have one, and two might be too much frill. Again, Crûg Farm Plants is the place to visit as it has all sorts of interesting varieties collected from Japan and Korea.

Climbing rose ‘Albertine’. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

A number of roses would climb or ramble given a little tying in, and although they might not bloom with the profusion of a sunnier spot, they’d hold their own. ‘Albéric Barbier’ (creamy lemon), ‘Albertine’ (salmon pink) or ‘New Dawn’ (pearl pink double) all froth in a delicious old-fashioned manner.

If I were more patient, I’d fan train a morello cherry, one of the few edible choices that thrives on a north-facing position. But I am impatient and demanding; I want something fast and evergreen.

Lonerica japonica ‘Halliana’. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

One option could be honeysuckle, such as Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’, with its trumpets of deliciously scented cream and yellow flowers that appear in July and keep going right into September. It can ramble up to eight metres and will do so fairly fast, but it’s easy enough to keep in bounds, just prune it back after flowering.

However, I have a soft spot for something that seems perhaps a little unexpected. You’d imagine that star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, would want full sun, but it will cope in part shade as long as it’s sheltered. Cold, drying winds kill it off. It’s evergreen, the foliage often tinting a lovely bronze in autumn, and fast growing, but not rampant. The flowers are some of the headiest scented I know. It is used in perfume and incense, so something to open the window for when washing up.

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Zone 8 Shade Vines: What Are Some Shade Tolerant Vines For Zone 8

Vines in the garden serve a lot of useful purposes, such as shading and screening. They grow fast and most flower or even produce fruit. If you don’t have a lot of sun in your garden, you can still enjoy growing vines in the shade; you just need to know which plants will work best.

About Zone 8 Shade Vines

If you live in zone 8, you live in a warm climate with mild winters. That means you have a lot of choices for plants that will thrive in your garden, even if you have a lot of shade.

Vines are popular in all zones because they grow quickly to cover things you don’t want to see, like that big air conditioning unit, but also because they soften lines, add pretty, colorful flowers and foliage, and some even turn color in the fall. Vines are also great for small spaces, adding foliage and flowers in the vertical space.

Shade Tolerant Vines for Zone 8

Although zone 8 is a climate in which many different plants thrive, shade can be tricky. A lot of vining plants love the sun, but there are some choices you can pick that will tolerate shade during warm growing seasons:

Claradendrum. Also known as bleeding heart, this vine loves shade and produces its namesake, heart-shaped white flowers with a drop of red. The vine is easy to train on a support but will also grow along the ground.

Clematis. The clematis vine produces pretty flowers and while many varieties require full sun, there are a couple that thrive in the shade: sweet autumn clematis, which grows fast and produces white flowers, and alpine clematis.

California pipevine. You can’t go wrong with pipevines in the landscape. This particular vine is native to California and will grow quickly and produce an abundance of small, purple flowers even in nearly full shade.

Confederate and Japanese star jasmine. Jasmine generally needs sun, but these varieties will tolerate shade and still produce fragrant blooms.

Chocolate vine. Also known as five leaf akebia, this is an easy vine to grow because it tolerates a variety of conditions, including sun or shade, dry or most soil. It smells like vanilla and produces pretty, mauve-colored flowers.

English ivy. Ivy will give you slower-growing coverage, but is a great choice for shade and to cover walls, especially brick. There are no flowers, but you do get a rich, deep green year after year with ivy.

Most zone 8 vines for shade prefer moist soil that is well drained and will need to be pruned regularly to prevent them from taking over your garden. Tend your shade vines well and they will give you coverage, greenery, and add a beautiful vertical dimension to your space.

5 Pretty Vines for Your Partial Shade Garden

Are you looking for a pretty vine to grow in your partial shade garden? Several vines can grow well in those shadier spots, even when they typically prefer full sun. Read on to discover 5 of our favorites.

Apios americana photo via Helena Jacoba /Flickr Creative Commons

1. American Groundnut

This attractive vine (Apios americana ) is native to the Eastern United States. The perennial (Zones 3 to 9) grows best in moist, well-drained soil that gets partial shade to full sun. Fragrant flowers bloom in summer and attract butterflies.

The edible tubers were eaten by the pilgrims, and are delicious cooked in stews and soups today.

Sweet potato vine photo via Sarowen/ Flickr Creative Commons

2. Sweet Potato Vine

It’s true that sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) grows well in full sun. But this fast-growing vine often prefers dappled light or partial shade in hot, dry climates. I’ve found this pretty vine actually likes morning sun, afternoon shade in my coastal California garden (Zone 9).

Sweet potato vine foliage is available in everything from chartreuse to nearly black. Give this vine moist, well-drained soil for best results. Sweet potato vine is a great “spiller” in containers and garden beds. Let it drape from planters, or use it as a colorful ground cover. Just don’t let the name fool you; this plant is grown for its ornamental leaves, not to eat.

Akebia quinata photo via carrieonknitting /Flickr Creative Commons

3. Chocolate Vine

This pretty vine (Akebia quinata) grows in full sun to partial shade. In some areas, such as the eastern United States, this perennial (Zones 4 to 8) can be invasive and crowd out native plants . While in other areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, it is enjoyed by many gardeners without problems. So, check first to see if this vine is a problem or a pleasure in your region before you plant it.

Native to Japan, China and Korea, the attractive chocolate vine grows well in most soil, but particularly likes sandy loam. The fragrant flowers bloom in the spring with chocolate-purple petals. It adds a pretty and old-fashioned look to the garden.

Boston ivy photo via tjblackwell /Flickr Creative Commons

4. Boston Ivy

Boston ivy is the deciduous vine (Parthenocissus) you see growing on the walls and fences of the famous Ivy League schools. The fast-growing perennial vine can grow up 6 to 8 feet a year, so keep that in mind before you plant it. Once this vine is growing on something, it becomes much harder to remove. Prune Boston ivy in spring to help control its size. (Zones 4 to 8).

In the fall, the foliage turns a brilliant red. This color is best enjoyed when Boston ivy is grown in sunny locations, although the vine will grow well in part-sun and shady spots too. Water the plant well after planting; Boston ivy becomes more drought-tolerant when established.

Nelly Moser clematis via Baerchen57 /Flickr Creative Commons

5. Clematis

There’s an old saying about growing clematis vines: keep their roots in the cool shade and their flowers in the warm sun. Most clematis grow best in full sun, more than 6 hours day, but several varieties will even bloom in partial shade, including ‘Nelly Moser.’

The low-maintenance, perennial vine (Zones 4 to 9) will attract lots of pollinators to your garden . Grow clematis to drape over fences, arbors or trellises, where the colorful flowers can be enjoyed. This vine can grow up to 20 feet long, with blossoms ranging from purple and red to pink and white.

Have you tried growing any partial shade vines in your garden?

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Garden Shoots

One of the first sun-loving plants I learned to crave when I became a gardener was clematis. As many of my readers know by now, however, very little of my garden gets full sun (in fact, none of it does, although a portion of it gets western sun and that qualifies as far as I can tell). I have grown, loved and photographed many clematis – and will share more of them in a later post. I have a particularly soft spot in my heart, however, for three that have flowered well for me and my clients in shady sites: Clematis ‘Dawn,’ Clematis ‘Silver Moon,’ and Clematis ‘Blue Moon.’

A duo of Clematis ‘Silver Moon’

I started with ‘Silver Moon,’ a light-blue colored large-flowered clematis, planting it behind some shrubs next to a fence on the east side of my house. The color was breathtaking, although it probably would fade out in direct sun. It flowered regularly for me for some years, eventually succumbing (I think) to stem breakage once too often during my attempts at a one-person spring cleanup. I have used Silver Moon’s cousin, ‘Blue Moon’ (now apparently known as Clematis ‘Claire de Lune’) on a client’s arbor in serious shade. It took several years to establish but this year is blooming prolifically, benefiting from additional indirect light that now reaches the area because of the loss of a large hickory tree on the other side of the driveway. The early form of the bloom looks like this:

Clematis ‘Blue Moon’

Mine has never really taken off, but here’s ‘Blue Moon’ on the client’s arbor this year (some five years after planting): After night comes the dawn – Clematis ‘Dawn,’ to be precise. This is my favorite, probably because I love the way it looks as it opens,
and its almost perfect form as it presents itself fully.

How can you not love this flower?

Singly or in groups, it never disappoints.

A cluster of Clematis ‘Dawn’

I must explain that this clematis – which will probably never bloom as prolifically as the Blue Moon clematis on my client’s arbor – represents to me a real triumph. It gets absolutely NO direct sun; I planted it behind a large old pieris in my front yard, against the brick wall of my north-facing house. Its colors are delicate and its shape gorgeous. I should plant it for clients more often. Speaking of planting, if this post has whetted your appetite for any of these clematis, I can recommend an East Coast mail-order nursery that has supplied me with my plants and does a phenomenal job of packing and shipping these delicate treasures, Completely Clematis ( in Massachusetts) . On the West Coast, Chalk Hill Clematis used to sell clematis online but apparently has become primarily a cut-flower supplier. If any of my readers can recommend other trusted online suppliers, I’d love to know about them.

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2011 at 7:51 am and is filed under landscape, Landscape design solutions, photography. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post’s comments.

Tags: D100, D200, D300, design, photography, shade

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