Choosing the Perfect Climbing Plants for Your Pergola or Arbor

Nov 10, 2017

If you’ve already installed the majority of your landscaping and hardscaping features, chances are your Sioux Falls backyard is shaping up into a beautiful and relaxing retreat. The next step is to consider structures like pergolas and arbors that will add visual appeal to your outdoor spaces, as well as some much-needed shade and privacy screening

Of course, these structures are lovely on their own, but if you want to maximize the practical usage and eye-catching appeal of pergolas and arbors, you really need to add climbing plants that twine their way up the sides and over the tops. How can you choose the perfect climbing plants for your backyard project? Here are a few things to consider.

Types of Climbing Plants

You might think all climbing plants are the same, but they grow and behave in different ways. You’re probably familiar with ivy, one of the most popular climbers. However, this plant grows by means of aerial roots, and while this works perfectly on the brick of classic structures, it’s not ideal for the average pergola or arbor made from metal or wood.

For this reason, you need to look for climbing plants that twine, rather than clinging to surfaces. This will stop them from peeling off the sides of your garden structures or falling in through overhead openings when you’d prefer them to span the spaces and fill in the blanks, so to speak. Ties can help to train your climbers until they’re firmly attached.

You should also look for options that don’t get too heavy over time. Climbing roses are beautiful, but these woody climbers can get quite bulky and may require frequent trimming if you don’t start with a fairly strong support structure.

Native Plants

You may or may not have some plants in mind when you decide to populate your pergola or arbor with greenery and petals. However, you should always ask your landscape specialist about native plants that might fit the bill. Native plants are most likely to flourish in your Sioux Falls backyard because they are suited to the climate and generally resistant to other native species and pests. Adding exotic plants to your yard could entail higher potential risks for failure.


You want to make sure the plants you install are going to stand the test of time. Part of this relies on your regimen of care, but choosing hardy species of climbers from the get-go will make your job that much easier and ensure the greatest possible longevity.

Color and Fragrance

Climbing plants are a practical approach to adding some shade and privacy with your pergola or arbor, but you also want to make sure this structure provides a gorgeous focal point to your yard. This means carefully selecting climbers that add color and fragrance to your outdoor living space. In addition to greenery, climbers can offer a variety of blooms that dazzle the senses with eye-catching colors and fragrant perfumes. Consider carefully before selecting the perfect climbing plants for the pergola or arbor in your Sioux Falls sanctuary.