Top 10 Backyard Vines With Fall Flair

Grow these backyard vines to brighten your autumn landscapes with blazing foliage, colorful berries and fetching flowers.

Vines aren’t for everyone. They need proper support, they can require a little more maintenance and many can quickly get aggressive. But with a little research and planning, you can choose perennial backyard vines that look charming throughout the growing season, staging a grand finale just as summer wanes. Check the invasive species list in your area before planting, and then enjoy the top picks that will work well in your backyard.

Accommodate Wild Visitors

Native vines provide shelter, food and nectar to resident and visiting wildlife precisely when they need it. Here’s a look at a few North American native vines that deserve a spot in your wildlife garden.

  • Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans, Zones 4-9):  A prolific vine bearing late-season orange or scarlet trumpet flowers that attract bevies of hummingbirds.
  • Wild passion flower (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5-9):  A larval host plant for an array of butterflies, this vine features striking fringed flowers that supply nectar to butterflies from July through September. Edible fruits called maypops mature in fall to feed the birds.
  • Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana, Zones 4-9):  Densely growing plant that flowers from July through September and supplies birds with shelter, nesting sites, nest-building materials and seeds that persist into winter.

Porcelain vine

(Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, Zones 4 to 8)

This vine is all about the berries! Come fall, 20-foot stems are covered with showy light-blue fruits that shade to porcelain blue as they ripen. Elegans is even lovelier, with pink and white variegated leaves. Avoid growing this beauty where it’s listed as invasive. Go to nps.gov/plants/alien to do a search.

Why we love it: Large grapevine-like leaves provide growing-season appeal and spotlight the fall berries sprouting on inner stems.

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  1. growingranny_va_z7growingranny_va_z7 says

    My sweet autumn clematis tore the entire trellis off of the side of the barn, I have it growing on the ground on two sides of the barn now.

  2. JD says

    Planting Virginia Creeper was the biggest mistake we ever made. The first few years were great & then it started popping up all over our yard from runners it was sending underground. It has choked our lilac bushes & trumpet vines and impossible to get rid of.

    • chris says

      The only time stuff gets choked is when you don’t keep up with weeding. Any serious gardener would catch it before it gets to that point unless not physically able to. I don’t like using chemicals but have heard that if you cut a hole in a piece of cardboard and spot treat any small areas with a vegetation kill and cover it with mulch to prevent contact with wildlife, this can be very effective at controlling any problems. Also planting in a less than ideal location – shade, poor soil, etc, will help.

  3. Marie says

    Can you start this plant from a clipping? If so, do I start it in water or directly in soil, and what time of year?

  4. Darcy says

    Sure seems you’ve highlighted quite a number of “aggressive” and “invasive” plants! And how many are introduced and/or non-native? IMHO, I don’t think it’s very smart to promote such plants. Even if someone assiduously keeps one of these trimmed and pruned, the seeds will spread…and trouble will start elsewhere. :(

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