21 Flowering Vines For Shade Gardens and Shady Areas

Looking to plant some flowering vines in your shade garden, or somewhere in your garden that's shadier than the rest of the area? The good news is that there are many vines that will grow quickly, depending on your hardiness zone. In this article, you'll learn about our favorite flowering vines for shade gardens and shady areas, along with what zones they typically grow the best in!

Flowering Vine in Shaded Area


Whether you’re curious about a flowering vine that’s growing near a hedgerow of trees, or you’d like to install a trellis in a shady part of your lawn, you’ve come to the right place. Many types of flowering vines exist across many USDA hardiness zones. That means you’ll likely have at least a few options to choose from, regardless of where you live. Furthermore, shade friendly flowering vines come in a variety of beautiful petal colors.

Best of all, if the place where you want to grow flowering vines receives a little sun, you’ll find many options on this list. In fact, a couple of the plants we’ll talk about here can even tolerate full shade to full sunlight.

When choosing a flowering vine to plant in your yard, understanding how quickly and large it’ll grow is crucial. Some of the vines here can climb over five times as high as a human. The good news is that many vines respond well to trimming so that you can keep them in check. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites!

Flowering Vines That Prefer Shade

Shade flowering vines are attractive additions to gardens and unsightly fences or items in your yard that you want to cover. You may even get an additional benefit with these flowers, as some produce food. While we’re on the topic of butterflies, planting flowering vines in your yard is an excellent way to attract them, along with hummingbirds and other wildlife.

Some of the vines we’ll cover here require specific growing conditions to thrive. However, others are hardy, holding up well in various environments. We’ve intentionally created this list with a range of flowering vine options so that you can choose the best fit plant for your situation.

American Groundnut

American Groundnut Vine
The American groundnut is actually a relative to the pea family.
Scientific Name: Apios americana
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: The Americas
  • Plant Size: 15 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4 – 9

The American Groundnut is a relative of peas but with flowers that look similar to wisteria. You might also hear people call it the potato bean, given that its nutty flavored, potato-like roots are edible. In fact, this vine’s flowers, shoots, and seed pods are also edible.

American Groundnut vines prefer growing in bottomland forests, stream banks, and marshes. It produces orchid-looking flower clusters with deep red colors that fade out to cream tips. Plenty of moisture is crucial for this plant, along with sandy or loam soil. It’s easy for this vine to grow out of control, so keeping it trimmed is vital.

Atlantic Pigeon Wing

Atlantic Pigeon Wing
The Atlantic pigeon wing has beautiful lavender purple or pinkish blooms.
Scientific Name: Clitoria mariana
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 4 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

Atlantic Pigeon Wing is an excellent vine to plant if you want a short-growing vine or one as ground cover. It produces lavender-pink flowers that grow two inches wide. You can expect it to blossom in the early or late summer.

It can be easy to mistake the Atlantic Pigeon Wing as a pea at first, given the shape of its flowers and legumes that emerge from its flowers. The Atlantic Pigeon Wing’s ideal growing conditions are sandhills, pine and oak forests, and roadsides.

Butterfly Pea

Butterfly Pea Vine
The butterfly pea vine has beautiful violet blooms.
Scientific Name: Clitoria ternatea
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Plant Size: 3 feet long
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 9 – 11

The Butterfly Pea is a twining vine, meaning that it grows on the ground. So, it’s an excellent fit if you’re looking for a flowering vine as ground cover. Its flower has a beautiful deep purple color with a white center. Its center is curved, and if you go to India, you’ll see them using this holy flower in their puja rituals.

Butterfly Peas prefer moist soil with a neutral pH. Six to ten seeds grow in their flat pods, and you can eat them if you pick them when young. Furthermore, people in Southeast Asia use this flower as a food coloring.

Bleeding Heart Vine

Bleeding Heart Vining Flower
The bleeding heart flowering vine has flowers with white petals, with red tips.
Scientific Name: Clerodendrum thomsoniae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Western Africa
  • Plant Size: 15 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or spotty sunlight
  • Plant Zone: 9+

The bleeding heart vine is just what it sounds like—heart-shaped flowers with deep red colors at the end of their tips, making them look like they’re bleeding. The heart part of the flower ranges from white to light purple and grows up to 2.5 centimeters in diameter.

The Bleeding Heart is a favorite flowering perennial vine among garden enthusiasts for its ornamental qualities. It grows best in temperate climates, and among the over 400 Clerodendrum species that exist, the Clerodendrum thomsoniae variety prefers a mostly shaded area.

Carolina Jasmine

Carolina Jasmine
A yellow flowering vine, Carolina Jasmine has beautiful blooms.
Scientific Name: Gelsemium sempervivirens
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southern United States
  • Plant Size: 10 – 20 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 7 – 10

As its name implies, it’s common to find the Carolina Jasmine in the Carolinas region of the United States. This jasmine variety thrives in subtropical and tropical areas, where it can grow high when it has the proper climbing support.

Trumpet-shaped bright yellow flowers are iconic of the Carolina Jasmine. These flowers cluster together and may have an orange interior. It’s impossible to miss the pleasant smell of Carolina Jasmine flowers when you walk by them. As a result, they’re a favorite vine among insect pollinators. Just be careful not to brush against this plant—its sap can cause skin irritation.

Chinese Wisteria

Chinese Wisteria Vine
A beautiful vine with lavender colored blooms, Chinese wisteria is great for shady areas.
Scientific Name: Wisteria sinensis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: China
  • Plant Size: 10 – 40 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

You likely won’t mind how high the Chinese Wisteria grows, given that it produces massive clumps of flowers, called racemes, that hang down from its vine in the springtime. Its flowers come in three colors—white, blue, or violet—and have a distinct grape-like smell.

A flat, velvety pod emerges from the flowers when they fall. Take care that children and pets don’t eat these pods, as all parts of the Chinese Wisteria are toxic. The Chinese Wisteria prefers temperate climates and will die if the temperature gets too cold.

Chocolate Vine

Akebia quinata
The Akebia quinata, also known as the chocolate vine, has colorful deep purple flowers.
Scientific Name: Akebia quinata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia and parts of North America
  • Plant Size: 20 – 40 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full shade, partial shade, or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

Calling all chocolate lovers! The Chocolate Vine has chocolate-scented flowers that have a deep reddish-pink color. Although the chocolate vine doesn’t produce chocolate, you can eat the fruit in its pods, which has a sweet white edible pulp around each seed. Consuming the rind is also possible, although it has a bitter taste.

The Chocolate Vine is one of the shade flowering vines that love to grow on mountain slopes, in hedges, and up trees. It needs plenty of water but good drainage and thrives in sandy soil. In the past, people used to weave baskets out of Chocolate Vine.


Purple Clematis Vines Growing
Clematis is a fast growing vine that loves shady environments.
Scientific Name: Clematis spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 8 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4 – 9

The Clematis genus is a vine in the buttercup family. So, these vines produce beautiful waxy flowers. Unlike buttercups, they have a range of flower colors from white to violet and magenta. Furthermore, their flowers can grow much bigger than buttercups, with some reaching eight inches in diameter.

Since around 300 species of Clematis exist, you can choose a variety that blooms early or late, per your preference. These plants have woody stems. However, make sure to not roughhouse them if you want to direct where the vine grows, as it takes several years for the stems to become hardy.

Common Hop

Humulus lupulus Common Hop
Common Hops are used in beer making, but are also a beautiful green vine.
Scientific Name: Humulus lupulus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Chicago region
  • Plant Size: 20 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4 – 8

Beer lovers will recognize the name Hop, given that this plant contains chemicals for flavoring beer and making it bitter. However, it just so happens that Common Hop is a beautiful vine to include in your garden.

The Common Hop flowers in July or August and tolerates partial shade well. Its flowers grow in cone shapes with cream-colored petals for females. That said, male Common Hops don’t have petals. You should ensure this vine has access to a moderate amount of water and prepare for it to grow fast wherever you plant it.


Bignonia capreolata
Crossvine loves shade, and is a quick growing vine.
Scientific Name: Bignonia capreolata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 30 – 50 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 6 – 9

If you want to plant a shade-loving vine more for its flowers than its leafy vine properties, then Crossvine is an excellent choice. It boasts stunning trumpet-shaped flowers with bright yellow petals that plunge into a deep orangish-red interior.

Although Crossvines love climbing up high beneath shady trees, they have holdfasts at the end of their tendrils that allow them to latch on to more challenging surfaces like bricks and stone. These woody vines have glossy green leaves during the summer that turn a beautiful purple-red in the winter. They can handle dry or moist soil and can even withstand flooding.

Dutchman’s Pipe

Aristolochia macrophylla
The Dutchman’s pipe is another shade-loving vine that has unique looking flower blooms.
Scientific Name: Aristolochia macrophylla
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern United States
  • Plant Size: 15 – 30 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4 – 8

The fast-growing Dutchman’s Pipe is an excellent vine to plant in partially shady areas if you want to cover a space fast. It flowers from May to August, producing yellowish-green petals. Although the Dutchman’s Pipe flowers aren’t as striking as some of the other flowering vines we’re covering here, they’re unique because they have three purple-brown lobes.

Dutchman’s Pipe prefers wooded, sloped areas like gaps and ravines. They can grow in a range of soils, from semi-sandy to clay. However, they prefer well-draining areas, along with soil that has a high pH.


Lonicera japonica
Honeysuckle has some beautiful red colored stems on top of the unique flowers it produces.
Scientific Name: Lonicera japonica
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern United States
  • Plant Size: 10 – 30 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or dappled sunlight
  • Plant Zone: 4 – 9

The Honeysuckle’s flowers are beautiful, but that’s not always why people plant this vine that loves shade. Instead, its young stems produce an attractive reddish color. As the vine ages, the stems turn to bark and start peeling.

When the Honeysuckle flowers, you’ll get to enjoy lengthy, double-tongued petals. They start with a white base and turn yellow with a vanilla scent. Humans can eat the nectar and flower of honeysuckle, but all other plant parts are toxic. Take care when planting Honeysuckle, as invasive varieties are common, and they can grow out of control in shady areas.


Kadsura japonica
The Kadsura japonica is a lesser-known fruit bearing vine that loves shade.
Scientific Name: Kadsura japonica
  • Plant Type: Evergreen
  • Geographic Origin: Japan
  • Plant Size: 8 – 15 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 7 – 10

The Kadsura vine is beloved in Asia for its edible fruit, which you can eat raw or cooked. In the spring, this vine produces white cup-shaped flowers with several delicate veins. Like its flower, the Kadsura leaves have an irregular edge. The leaves are glossy and turn from green to light red in the fall.

Kadsura vines thrive in woodlands where they have lots of shade and small amounts of sun. It grows well indoors or outdoors as long as it has fertile soil with a neutral or acidic pH.


Devils Ivy Vine Outdoors Climbing
Pothos vines can climb, and thrive in moist, partially shady environments.
Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Plant Type: Evergreen
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 30 – 40 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full or partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 10 – 11

If you’re looking for hardy shade flowering vines that don’t require a green thumb, most pothos varieties can be strong contenders. In fact, some people call this plant the “devil’s vine” because of how difficult it is to kill it. Needless to say, it’s best to plant it in a shady place indoors where it can’t take over your garden.

Pothos has beautiful heart-shaped leaves with dark and light green patterns. It can handle a variety of conditions well. However, if you want it to flower, you’ll need to provide it with a subtropical climate and large growing space where it can grow to its fullest potential.

Prairie Rose

Rosa setigera
The Prairie Rose is a shade loving vine, that comes in several colors.
Scientific Name: Rosa setigera
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Central North America
  • Plant Size: 6 – 12 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 8

If you never pictured roses as a climbing vine, the Prairie Rose will change your mind. The partial shade-loving Prarie Rose can grow a dozen feet high if it has a tree or fence for support.

The Prairie Rose’s petals resemble a wild rose, with five pink petals that grow up to three inches in diameter and have a yellow center. You can even eat the hip, but you should clean its little hairs well before consuming it. Prairie Roses grow best with lots of water and well-draining soil, but they can tolerate drought.

Spurred Butterfly Pea

Centrosema virginianum
The spurred butterfly pea typically resides on the ground, and produces light purple flowers.
Scientific Name: Centrosema virginianum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 6 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

If showy flowers are your thing, you’ll appreciate that the Spurred Butterfly Pea produces colors from a deep purple to lavender so subtle that it’s nearly white. The flowers also have an inverted banner which enables bees to pollinate them. You’ll be able to enjoy these flowers in the spring and summer.

Spurred Butterfly Pea vines prefer growing along the ground. These drought-resistant plants love partial shady areas, and they thrive in loam or sandy soil. They have a high tolerance for pH changes, from slightly alkaline to slightly acidic. 

Star Jasmine

Star Jasmine in the Shade
Another shade-lover is star jasmine, which is quite popular in warmer, more humid climates.
Scientific Name: Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: China and Japan
  • Plant Size: 30 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 7 – 11

Both the flowers and leaves of the Star Jasmine make it a favorite to use on trellises. As its name suggests, it produces star-shaped flowers. These flowers start as pure white, turning the color cream as they age. The Star Jasmine also changes leaf colors—their dark green leaves turn to a bronze-red in the fall.

Star Jasmine is an easy vine to grow in partially shaded areas since it’s resistant to disease, deer, and drought. That said, you should ensure it has well-draining soil and has protection from cold wind.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Clematis paniculata
Another form of clematis, sweet autumn clematis has beautiful white flowers.
Scientific Name: Clematis paniculata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Northeastern Asia
  • Plant Size: 15 – 30 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 4 -9

The Sweet Autumn Clematis is an excellent vine to plant if you want flowers from August to November. Its flowers have six sepals with bright white petals and a yellow center. The leaves of the Sweet Autumn Clematis are also pleasant, given that they’re dark green and glossy.

Sweet Autumn Clematis requires lots of water and soil that remains damp. As a result, they love lowland areas but without a lot of humidity since mildew will form on them. Needless to say, Sweet Autumn Clematis is an excellent option if you want a tall-growing vine in a partially shaded area.

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas in Garden
The sweet pea is a shade-friendly garden classic that grows in most zones.
Scientific Name: Lathyrus spp.
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Southern Italy and the Aegean Islands
  • Plant Size: 8 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 2 – 11

We’ve talked about other peas on this list, but the Sweet Pea is the most recognized variety. These vines are a favorite among gardeners for the vegetables they produce and their colorful flowers. Maroon, pink, red, and blue are some of the many colors that Sweet Pea flowers have, in addition to bi-colored petals.

Unlike most of the plants on this list, Sweet Peas are annuals. So, it’s extra impressive that they can grow up to eight-feet tall in a single season. These plants do well with partial shade and prefer loam or sandy loam with good drainage. They can also do well in colder zones, even if just for a single season.

Trumpet Vine

Campsis radicans
Trumpet creepers are quite popular, and come in a variety of colors.
Scientific Name: Campsis radicans
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern North America
  • Plant Size: 20 – 40 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

You’ll know it if you’ve seen a Trumpet Vine in the past—it has massive trumpet-shaped flowers that hang down in clusters from stalks on its vine. There can be anywhere from 4 – 12 flowers in each cluster, all of which have a deep orange or red color that tapers into a yellow throat. They’re an excellent flower for attracting pollinators.

Trumpet Vines grow well in partial shade as long as they’re in a warm climate. They have many tendrils that will grab onto nearly any surface. Despite how beautiful these shade flowering vines are, they need frequent pruning to keep them in check.  

Wild Potato Vine

Wild Potato Vine
The wild potato vine is a shade friendly perennial that has white flowers, with deep pink centers.
Scientific Name: Ipomoea pandurata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 15 – 30 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 – 8

Wild Potato Vines don’t grow traditional potatoes, but they do have tuberous roots that you can roast and eat. Even if you don’t want to cook up its tubers, you’ll get to enjoy this vine’s large round flowers. They have white petals and a pink-red center where the flower has a funnel to store its pollen.

Because Wild Potato Vines love growing in partial shade, you can often find them in upland woods, at the edges of prairies, and highway verges. Even though their flowers only remain open during the day, this plant has attractive heart-shaped green leaves.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s no shortage of shade loving flowering vines that you can grow. Furthermore, if you want a vine with edible parts, many of the options on this list will keep your plate full of healthy, home-grown veggies.

When choosing a flowering vine to plant in your yard, assessing the amount of sunlight—or lack thereof—it receives is crucial to its success. Whereas some plants tolerate full shade well, many more prefer a combination of shade and sun.

Also, make sure you know your soil’s makeup and pH. Even if you don’t have the ideal soil for growing a certain type of vine that strikes your attention, you still might be able to treat your soil so that it’s more conducive for the plant.

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