Evergreen climbers: top 7 climbing plants for privacy


I am a student of agricultural sciences and a real country kid. At home, I love tending my small vegetable garden and spending time out in nature. When not outdoors, I love to write. Beyond gardening and writing, however, I am particularly passionate about wildlife.

Favourite fruit: currants and raspberries
Favourite vegetables: salsify, savoy cabbage and potatoes

As the name suggests, evergreen plants keep their green foliage throughout the year, even in winter. Here is a list of the seven best evergreen climbing plants to grow for privacy.

Fence with ivy
Evergreen climbing plants are great to shield your garden from nosy neighbours [Photo: Alexander Denisenko/ Shutterstock.com]

Evergreen plants are a must in every garden. They have dense, green foliage all year round which makes them perfect for decorating terraces, balconies, walls and less beautiful corners of your garden. Some evergreen climbing plants even flower in winter such as the stunning yellow winter jasmine adding a splash of colour to the otherwise dreary season.

Luckily, most climbing plants require little care and attention. Some climbers need to be tied to a support, while others, known as “self-climbers” or “self-clinging” plants, climb up almost every surface all on their own.

Not every garden has enough space for a proper hedge. Dense, evergreen climbers are a great alternative for providing privacy from nosy neighbours and passers-by. On top of that, they also provide protection against the elements.

Not many climbers are frost-resistant and keep their beautiful foliage all year round. But you can count on the following seven evergreen climbers:

1. Ivy (Hedera helix)

Ivy (Hedera helix) deserves the number one spot among the evergreen climbers. Native to our part of the world, this vigorous climbing plant is frost-resistant and neither picky about climate nor sunlight.

Common ivy climbing on a fence
Ivy looks stunning growing on walls, railings and fences [Photo: Cr3ativ3 Pixel/ Shutterstock.com]

Common ivy grows well in almost all soils and is very robust. The self-clinging ivy grows effortlessly on walls, facades, fences, railings and other external surfaces providing lovely, dense greenery and plenty of privacy.

2. Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium)

Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) is a very popular evergreen climber that is reminiscent of a classic cottage garden. Climbing honeysuckles have beautiful dark green leaves and red-yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in summer. Use a climbing support, mesh or trellis to help your honeysuckle to spread well.

Climbing honeysuckle in flower
The reddish-yellow flowers look like little trumpets in summer [Photo: fotoknips/ Shutterstock.com]

3. Spindle (Euonymus fortunei)

The creeping spindle (Euonymus fortunei) is mostly known as a ground cover plant, but some types are great climbers if provided with support. Also called wintercreeper or Fortune’s spindle, this evergreen climbing plant thrives in any soil and loves sunny to semi-shady locations. One variety Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus’ has green leaves that turn a stunning purple-red in winter.

Spindle covered in snow
Most spindles are actually groundcover plants [Photo: pavels/ Shutterstock.com]

4. Clematis (Clematis alternata)

The ‘Queen of Climbers’, the evergreen clematis is a woody climbing plant that produces an abundance of flowers in a wide range of colours from late winter to spring. Protect it from severe frost using a layer of mulch or pine branches.

Purple flowering clematis climbing over arch gateway
Evergreen clematis is a popular climbing plant [Photo: Mark Heighes/ Shutterstock.com]

Ivy, honeysuckle, spindle and clematis are true evergreen climbing plants. Their foliage is constantly replaced with new growth, so it is hardly noticeable when leaves fall off.

If you would like to grow other hardy climbing plants that bear their foliage for a long time, semi-evergreen plants are also a good choice. Semi-evergreen plants generally lose their foliage in late winter or lose most but not all their foliage in winter and quickly grow back in spring. The next three climbing plants are considered semi-evergreen.

5. Blackberry (Rubus sect. Rubus)

Blackberries (Rubus sect. Rubus), or brambles, make excellent garden borders and hedges because of their lush growth and leaves that stay green in winter. Blackberries can be grown as an espalier fruit using wire frames or supports along walls and fences. This creates a beautiful decoration, while also making it easier to pick the delicious berries.

Bramble hedge in garden
Blackberries can be trained along walls using wire frames or supports [Photo: Fabio Pagani/ Shutterstock.com]

But be careful: Due to its vigorous growth, blackberries can quickly become a nuisance and spread further than you might like. To save yourself the trouble of having to remove the thorny bushes, always prune your blackberries back in autumn.

6. Knotweed (Persicaria)

The semi-evergreen knotweed (Persicaria) is very robust and spreads quickly. During its growth phase knotweed can grow up to 30cm per day! This makes it ideal for transforming large empty areas into luscious green foliage very quickly. Here too you need to have your wits about you and prune regularly to keep it under control.

Persicaria with pink flowers
With the semi-evergreen knotweed you can quickly green up large areas [Photo: Del Boy/ Shutterstock.com]

7. Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

The semi-evergreen winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is part of the olive family (Oleaceae). Its bright yellow flowers bloom as early as January just before the leaves shoot again. Tie it to a support to grow it up walls.

Winter jasmine climbing up wall
Winter jasmine dispels the winter gloom with its bright yellow flowers [Photo: Luigi Consiglio/ Shutterstock.com]

Evergreen climbing plants are practical because they fit easily into even the smallest of gardens. They are decorative, beneficial and, with very little maintenance, bring joy to every gardener.

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