I need a fast-growing evergreen vine to grow on a trellis in shade: can you help?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Kevin: To be honest your request is a bit of a tricky one, not impossible, just challenging. There are a number of vines that will grow in the shade but evergreen vines that prefer the shade limit the possibilities. All of this depends on how much shade you actually have. If you truly have full shade, ivy would be a good choice. Euonymus would be another although this should be your last resort. This vine is very prone to scale and can be a maintenance nightmare. If you have morning sun or filtered light in the space you are wanting to plant, then crossvine (bignonia capreolata) would be a good choice. It will tolerate low light as long as it gets some filtered light. This evergreen vine has trumpet shaped, orange-yellow blooms. Tangerine Beauty is a good cultivar. It will flower better when planted in more direct light but will remain evergreen regardless. Crossvine is hardy to gardening zone 6a. Have you thought about planting some evergreen shrubs around the trellis to break it up? There are a lot more choices in terms of evergreen shrubs than there are vines. Mahonia, aucuba, pieris, and taxus are just a few options. If you are willing to let the evergreen part of the vine go, then you would have other options such as a climbing hydrangea. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service or your local garden centers to make sure what zone you are in and if they have any other suggestions.