Criteria for Selecting Vines
Maintenance of the fence: You should base vine selections on the type of fence.
Annual plants and herbaceous perennials die back to the ground every fall. If your trellis or fence is painted every few years, annuals such as morning glories or herbaceous perennials such as golden hops are good choices. After they die back, you’ll have a period of months to paint, clean, or repair the structure.
If the trellis or fence is natural weathered (unpainted) wood, chain link, or vinyl, it is a candidate for woody perennials such as hardy kiwi, climbing hydrangea,roses, grapes, and euonymous. All of these lose their leaves in the winter but the trunks and stems persist. There are a few evergreen perennial vines, such as the shade-tolerant Persian ivy.
Height and spread of the vine: Think about the size of the mature vine before you plant. Annual vines such as sweet peas or climbing nasturtium grow to about 6’, while the perennial Virginia creeper can grow to 30’ long and 10’ wide.
Trellises add a wonderful visual touch to all types of landscapes. With a few simple choices, you can create both privacy and beauty by covering them with vines. Since it may take a few years for woody perennials to cover a structure completely, try mixing annuals and perennials in the first few years. That will help create color and cover right from the start.