While many pergola enthusiasts prefer the spare and elegant lines of a pergola without plants, many prefer the lushness and beauty of a growing plant on one of these garden structures. Growing pergola plants can create ambience and provide privacy and shade to pergola owners. For those who love gardening, this addition can also enhance the look and style of a garden.
The Pros & Cons of Pergola Plants
Before deciding on a vine, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of including a growing vine on your pergola.
The advantages of a growing pergola plants include filtered shade, the scent of flowers, and the fact that these growths can enhance the “garden” feel of a pergola. Although the offered shade from pergola plants may be limited, they can be used in conjunction with retractable canopies to provide maximum protection from the elements (sun and rain) while enhancing the aesthetics of your pergola.
The disadvantages of vines are that they can sometimes create quite a cleanup as they drop leaves and debris throughout the year. Pergola plants are a living thing which will require care an maintenance such as watering, pruning, etc. They can also attract unwelcome guests, such as bees, wasps, or even lizards and snakes.
The best vines for pergolas
The following are some of the best options to consider when selecting a plant for your garden pergola. Each extends aesthetic value with different advantages in various climates.
One of the most resilient and brightly colored options, the sometimes thorny bougainvillea works well in full sun and warmer climates. It is not, however, highly resistant to frost and can prove difficult in colder climes.
Royal Trumpet Vine
This vine is well-loved by many for its bold lavender shade, as well as its bright, red throat. It grows well in both full sun and partial shade.
For those who love to fragrance of jasmine, the evergreen Carolina is a good bet. Those with pets, however, may want to avoid the Jessamine, as it can be toxic when ingested. Fragrant yellow blossoms smell like Jasmine.
The Bower Vine provides a very fresh and clean look to a pergola. It sheds little and grows in an orderly fashion. It is good to go with full sun, but rather, prefers partial sun or partial shade.