When pergolas first came into being, they were nothing more than overhead trellises where vines were trained to provide shade. In keeping with that tradition, we explore which Australian climbing plants are best for your pergola.
First be aware that not all vines act the same way. Some plants produce suckers that stick to the underlying structure. These types of vines thrive better on solid surfaces such as brick or concrete. The ones that you want for your pergola are the kind that produce aerial roots — structures that radiate outward and seem to search for areas to cling on to.
Also, regardless of whether the vines you choose are suitable for the pergola, you also need to consider factors such as whether the plants you select give you hay fever or allergies, and whether they can adapt to the climate conditions in your area. It’s also worth considering the weight of any vines as the last thing you want is for them to overtake and weigh down your structure
Here, then, are some of the best vines for your pergola.
This tropical shrub-like vine is like a fireball of wild colours — red, purple, pink apricot, orange and cream. If conditions are perfect, it stays in bloom for nearly the entire year. It does not do too well in cold temperatures and is suited to middle and northern Australia. If you want your pergola to be swathed in fiery colours for the most part of the year, this is the vine to grow on it.
Golden Trumpet Vine
This plant originally came from the jungles of Brazil, but is now grown all over the world in areas that get plenty of sun. It also does not like too much water and may be prone to insect pests. It is most at home in middle and northern Australia.
This fast-growing vine adds a delicate touch of pink to your pergola all summer, and its bloom may even extend way into autumn. But even when not in bloom, its lush, evergreen foliage keeps your pergola looking good. It is at home in the cooler climes of middle and south Australia.
This is not a true jasmine, so there is no danger of strangling other plants it happens to crawl on. It does produce delicate white flowers that emit a wonderful fragrance. It does not require much maintenance and loves the sun, although it tolerates shade. It is also resistant to many pests and diseases. This is a suitable pergola vine if you live in middle or south Australia.
Chile’s national flower is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful flowering vines in the world. Its flowering season is quite long, stretching from early spring until late fall. This means its rich pink blooms will adorn your pergola for a good part of the year. It does well in cooler climes.
Clematis is a gardener’s favourite; the sheer diversity of its variants ignites the passion of many who tend to it. Depending on the variant, its blooms come in a dizzying array of shapes and colours.