Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Ideas for a hardy, annual climber for semi-shade conditions

The subject line pretty much says it. I've got a balcony with dappled sun and am interested in having a creeper growing up one wall. It needs to be something that:

1 - can grow in a container
2 - is an annual (I'm in zone 3b so winterkill is a certainty with potted plants)
3 - can handle semi shade conditions

Any ideas? It doesn't need to produce flowers; foliage is plenty good.

Hopefully something exists that will fit the bill! At worst, I might try pole beans.

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Well, since it's downright invasive in warmer climes, and since it does not produce flowers generally, and since you'll be keeping it in a container rather than the ground, why not...

English ivy (Hedera helix)? Just don't let its roots dig too deeply into the wall.

(Wow. There really *is* a place for this incredibly persistent plant!)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

I would plant runner beans. They produce lots of bright red flowers and climb all summer. The beans can be eaten at any stage! There are several types with other colored flowers! They really climb and send out vines in all directions!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

English Ivy is an intriguing idea, because I've never ever seen it growing anywhere close to here, except as a houseplant. Our climate may be too dry for it to thrive. I'm going to look into it though!

The runner beans sound pretty. Really, beans seem like the obvious choice; I'm just not a fan of the vegetable. But I suppose I could foist them on someone else.

User avatar
lorax
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

What about Kiwi Issai 'Variegata' or perhaps a nice Clematis? Both will do well in potted culture, and with the kiwi you've got a chance at fruits as well.

Also, depending on how big your pot is, if you haul it into the basement for the winter, the Kiwi will be a perennial. The Clematis definitiely will survive your winter - I used to live in 3a and mine overwintered like stars.

Another thing to consider is a grape, something like Concorde. Again, hardy in 3a and produces tasty fruit as well as lovely decorative foliage.

On the other hand, if you're OK with definitely losing the plants to winterkill, you could try Passiflora incarnata (Maypop). Again, lovely leaves even if it never blooms. Or, if you can find starts, Solanum seaforthianum is beautiful and has amazing flowers. Ditto to Thunbergia alata, aka Black Eyed Suzy or Clock Vine (which is a noxious weed where I live, but your winter would keep it in check) and Cobaea scandens, aka Cups and Saucers (also a hideous weed here, but a cherished annual north of 30).

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

For an annual vine, I like cardinal climber (aka cypress vine). It grows fast but doesn't get too big, has pretty little red flowers that hummingbirds like. On my deck I have trellis with containers in front. It gets morning sun only. Besides the cardinal climber, I grow moonflower and climbing snapdragon, both also annual vines.

The moonflower has bigger, less delicate leaves that fill in the trellis better. Then it has big white flowers that open in the evening and are fragrant.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Climbing naturtium are very pretty and you can eat the leaves and flowers. I have one in my greenhouse now 6 feet long and looking great!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

lorax wrote:What about Kiwi Issai 'Variegata' or perhaps a nice Clematis? Both will do well in potted culture, and with the kiwi you've got a chance at fruits as well.

Also, depending on how big your pot is, if you haul it into the basement for the winter, the Kiwi will be a perennial. The Clematis definitiely will survive your winter - I used to live in 3a and mine overwintered like stars.

Another thing to consider is a grape, something like Concorde. Again, hardy in 3a and produces tasty fruit as well as lovely decorative foliage.

On the other hand, if you're OK with definitely losing the plants to winterkill, you could try Passiflora incarnata (Maypop). Again, lovely leaves even if it never blooms. Or, if you can find starts, Solanum seaforthianum is beautiful and has amazing flowers. Ditto to Thunbergia alata, aka Black Eyed Suzy or Clock Vine (which is a noxious weed where I live, but your winter would keep it in check) and Cobaea scandens, aka Cups and Saucers (also a hideous weed here, but a cherished annual north of 30).
Regarding bringing plants in to overwinter, how do you make sure they experience a period of dormancy, rather than trying to grow and dying off? I'm in an apartment, so there's no "cool but not cold" place I can put them. And obviously, burying them in the ground is out. I've got some fairly dark (but not totally dark) spaces; would these be of use?

Also, does anyone know how much cultivars and natives differ in terms of dormancy requirements? The clematis suggestion got me thinking about trying to raise a native clematis, but they might need more cold than I can provide indoors (but would still be winterkilled in pots).

User avatar
ReptileAddiction
Greener Thumb
Posts: 866
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:52 am
Location: Southern California

You could do something like squash

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

So many kinds & colors of Nasturtiums! Check out this link!
++++

https://www.reneesgarden.com/seeds/seeds-hm/flowersN.htm
+++
Check this canary bird vine nasturtium> I am ordering this one for sure!
+++

https://store.underwoodgardens.com/Canar ... nfo/F1130/
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Nasturtiums might be a good idea; they did well in my previous semi-shady backyard. That canary thing is cool but I think I like the regular ones better!

It hadn't occurred to me before that they are vines, but in retrospect they were a real hassle last summer, wrapping themselves around everything around them.

User avatar
lorax
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Sasha wrote:
lorax wrote:What about Kiwi Issai 'Variegata' or perhaps a nice Clematis? Both will do well in potted culture, and with the kiwi you've got a chance at fruits as well.

Also, depending on how big your pot is, if you haul it into the basement for the winter, the Kiwi will be a perennial. The Clematis definitiely will survive your winter - I used to live in 3a and mine overwintered like stars.

Another thing to consider is a grape, something like Concorde. Again, hardy in 3a and produces tasty fruit as well as lovely decorative foliage.

On the other hand, if you're OK with definitely losing the plants to winterkill, you could try Passiflora incarnata (Maypop). Again, lovely leaves even if it never blooms. Or, if you can find starts, Solanum seaforthianum is beautiful and has amazing flowers. Ditto to Thunbergia alata, aka Black Eyed Suzy or Clock Vine (which is a noxious weed where I live, but your winter would keep it in check) and Cobaea scandens, aka Cups and Saucers (also a hideous weed here, but a cherished annual north of 30).
Regarding bringing plants in to overwinter, how do you make sure they experience a period of dormancy, rather than trying to grow and dying off? I'm in an apartment, so there's no "cool but not cold" place I can put them. And obviously, burying them in the ground is out. I've got some fairly dark (but not totally dark) spaces; would these be of use?

Also, does anyone know how much cultivars and natives differ in terms of dormancy requirements? The clematis suggestion got me thinking about trying to raise a native clematis, but they might need more cold than I can provide indoors (but would still be winterkilled in pots).
I didn't know you were in an apartment - that changes things. Don't worry about overwintering in pots, then - don't give the plants the dormant period at all, just give them a haircut and bring them inside, then keep them growing and put them out again in the spring. You can also try the fairly dark spaces with a towel or something over the pots, if you want to try for dormancy.

Sasha
Cool Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada

I didn't know you were in an apartment - that changes things. Don't worry about overwintering in pots, then - don't give the plants the dormant period at all, just give them a haircut and bring them inside, then keep them growing and put them out again in the spring. You can also try the fairly dark spaces with a towel or something over the pots, if you want to try for dormancy.[/quote]

Thanks; I'll keep these options in mind.

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”