Climbing Plant For Pergola

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Climbing Plant For Pergola

Postby Paul Littler » 21 Jan 2008 16:18

Hello - can anyone please help me. I have just built a Pergola on my terrace about 4 meters long and 3 meters deep, and 2.5 meters high. Under it will go a table and chairs for eating out, I live in Normandy and the Pergola is south facing. Can anyonr please advise me of what plants to grow that will cover the pergola (to give me shade while sitting under it) with good colour/low maintainance/quick growing and good coverage accross the top.
Thanks for any help
Paul Littler
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Location: France Normandy

Postby gardening_guru » 21 Jan 2008 21:09

Hello Paul,

Thanks for your question to the forum.

There are a couple of plants that immediately come to mind and meet all of your criteria regarding colour, quick growing and low maintenance.

The first is an ornamental grapevine called Vitis coignetiae. This grapevine has non-edible grapes but it is the foliage that would be the talking point if you selected this plant to grow on the pergola. The leaves are large, heart shaped, shield-like with prominent veins.

The colour comes in autumn when the leaves provide a magnificent display of bright reds, oranges and purples. Vitis coignetiae will grow quickly, each stem reaching 20-30 metres in length. No pruning is required except to contain the plant when it gets too big. It also self clings using tendrils so you will not have to do any support work apart maybe from tying in the leading shoot to the structure once planted.

The other climber I had in mind is Parthenocissus tricuspidata. Again self-clinging, this plant has other similar qualities to Vitis coignetiae and both plants will give their very best autumn displays on your south-facing site. Please note both plants are deciduous so you will have some leaf clearance to do and the stems will be bare in the winter. Maybe you could plant one of each plant at either end of your pergola for double quick coverage.

For more information about Parthenocissus tricuspidata see our plant database

Hope I have been of some help,
George aka The Gardening Guru
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