The Best Vines for Pergolas With Attached Patio Covers

If you want to cool the space under your pergola, vines can drop the temperature in your outdoor living space by around 10 degrees. Attached patio covers support the weight of vines that you want to trail across the top of your pergola. Read on to learn about your choices.

Types of Climbing Vines for Attached Patio Covers

You can choose from three types of climbing vines: self-climbing, tendril-climbing and trellis vines. Self-climbing vines have joints along their branches that produce roots. The roots can attach to almost any surface, allowing these vines to climb most walls or structures.

Tendril-climbing vines produce leaves or very slender stems that also allow them to scale most surfaces. Trellis vines climb by wrapping themselves around surfaces like the supports and slatted roof of a pergola. These vines won’t attach to the wall of your home directly. If you want one of these vines to cool your wall and serve as a backdrop for your patio living space, grow them on trellises installed next to the wall.

Self-Climbing Vines for Las Vegas Pergolas

Trumpet creeper, cat’s claw creeper and crossvine are self-climbing vines that do well in the heat and direct sun of Las Vegas. Cat’s claw creeper and crossvine are related plants that use tiny hooks, like a cat’s claws, to climb. Trumpet creeper uses aerial roots for climbing.

Cat’s claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cat) features large, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. Throughout the rest of the year, it retains semi-evergreen foliage. Once you’ve established this vine, watering can be widely spaced. After it finishes blooming, cut the vine back. You can encourage it to branch out over the top of your pergola by snipping the ends of the vines. Cat’s claw creeper prefers full sun but also grows in areas with partial shade. One warning: Cat’s claw creeper, a plant native to Central America, grows fast, meaning it can become invasive. If it does become invasive, it’s hard to eliminate.

Crossvine, specifically Tangerine Beauty crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), is, like cat’s claw creeper, semi-evergreen. It produces orange, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom mainly in the spring, but flowers also appear throughout the summer and fall. Once established, it requires only moderate watering. It will grow in partial or filtered sunlight as well as full sun. Unlike cat’s claw creeper, crossvine is native to the United States. Specifically, it hails from Texas and the Southeast, so it’s regarded as a noninvasive, native plant. It extends 30 to 40 feet when mature.

Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is a deciduous vine that produces 3-inch-long, red-orange, trumpet-shaped flowers that hummingbirds love. Hybrids of this vine bloom with yellow or salmon-red flowers. Trumpet creeper is native to the Eastern United States, where it blooms in the summer. However, in Las Vegas and the Southwest, it blooms from spring into the early fall. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow before dropping from the vine. It requires moderate watering with more watering in the summer. But watering it thoroughly but infrequently will do.

You should lightly fertilize this vine in the spring. Spring also is the time to give this fast-growing vine a severe pruning. Additional pruning throughout the summer prevents it from becoming invasive. It regrows rapidly, and flowers will appear on the new branches. When mature, this vine can cover 20 to 40 feet, and it can cover that much space in a single year. Trumpet creepers require substantial support. The attached patio covers supplied by Las Vegas patio builders are necessary if you want these vines covering your pergola.

Tendril Vines for Pergolas

Grapevine varieties, such as Alden, Thompson seedless, Red Flame seedless and Golden Muscat adapt well to the hot weather of Las Vegas. Golden Muscat vines require some shade, however, because their leaves tend to sunburn. All these vines need gravelly, fast-draining soil. If you want them to produce an ample supply of grapes, supply them with consistent soil moisture in the spring. The vines grow faster when they receive more water. So if you want grapes, prune the vines to encourage fruit rather than vine production. Throughout the rest of the year, you’ll only need to water your grapevines infrequently but deeply. Grapes are resistant to drought, so if you only want to water them infrequently and forego the fruit, you can.

You should feed your grapevines a 21-0-0 blend of ammonium sulfate very early in the spring. After that, apply a complete tree, shrub and vine fertilizer every six to eight weeks throughout the spring, summer and fall. If you notice caterpillars feeding on your vines, treat them with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), or spinosad.

Queen’s wreath (Antigonon leptopus) is known as sandpaper vine for the rough texture of its leaves. It’s also known as coral vine for the color of its flowers. The vine features bright green, heart-shaped leaves and sprays of small, delicate flowers. Light pink petals surround dark coral pink centers. Other varieties have white or pale pink flowers. It takes two to three years for these vines to mature and bloom. When they do, they bloom several times a year between spring and fall. The flowers are most abundant between February and June, and this flowering may be so intense that the vine produces no leaves. The leaves will appear later, however. When the flower petals drop off, they leave behind the calyx, the base of the flower.

For most plants, the calyces are green, but the calyces of Queen’s wreath are purple, extending the colorful display of the flowers. Bees and butterflies both love these flowers. This vine is native to Central America, Mexico and Baja California. It’s deciduous in cooler climates but keeps its leaves in Las Vegas. It may die off to the ground during the winter months, but it grows back quickly from underground tubers. It requires the strong support of attached patio covers, such as the Alumawood patio covers provided by Las Vegas patio builders. With enough support, the vine can grow to 20 feet wide and 40 feet high. Florida, however, lists it as invasive species because of its rapid growth. Queen’s wreath has few problems with pests, and once it’s established, it needs only infrequent watering and occasional pruning.

Trellis Vines for Your Patio Covers in Las Vegas

Beautiful, fragrant honeysuckle remains popular among the climbing vines selected for pergolas. Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) and Hall’s honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) offer two possibilities. In fact, Cape honeysuckle, a native of South Africa, is a favorite for Las Vegas pergolas, and hummingbirds flock to honeysuckle vines for the nectar. Hall’s honeysuckle, also known as Japanese honeysuckle, is native to Eastern Asia, specifically Japan, Korea and China.

Cape honeysuckle blooms with wonderfully scented, trumpet-shaped, orange-red flowers amidst an evergreen vine with luxurious foliage. Hybrids offer blossoms in shades ranging from orange to yellow. Varieties include Salmonea for pink or orange flowers, Aurea for golden-yellow flowers, and Coccinea for scarlet or bright red flowers. Cape honeysuckle is native to South Africa from an area near the Cape of Good Hope. This vine prefers full sun and produces fewer flowers when grown in the shade. It can be damaged by frost. Any frost-damaged branches should be removed in the spring.

For the first year, Cape honeysuckle requires weekly watering if it’s grown in full sun. Then after the first year, the root system develops enough to provide tolerance to drought. If you’re growing it in the shade, you’ll only need to water the vine once or twice a month. As a vine, Cape honeysuckle grows to lengths of 25 to 30 feet. Since it can grow as either a shrub or a vine, you will need to train it to grow on a trellis and the posts and roof of your pergola.

Hall’s honeysuckle produces semi-evergreen leaves and white or yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. The fragrant flowers bloom from the spring into the fall and attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. This vine prefers full sun and about 1 inch of water per week. Growing it in shade or reducing the amount of water limits flower production but also halts the vine’s rapid, invasive growth. Invasive growth is more of a concern when Hall’s honeysuckle is grown as a shrub, however.

When it’s grown as a vine, it can grow to 25 feet in length. You should prune it back close to its trellis or the posts and roof of your pergola in January, February or March. It will grow back in the spring. The vine does produce berries that resemble blackberries, but the berries are mildly toxic if large quantities are eaten. The same is true of the leaves and branches. So this vine is not a good choice to plant where children can reach it.

Lady Banks’ rose (Rosa banksiae) produces outward arching, nearly thornless branches. It blooms in the spring with masses of fragrant white or yellow double roses that last for about six weeks. In Las Vegas, it’s an evergreen vine that grows in light conditions ranging from full sun to filtered shade. During the summer, it requires moderate watering but only deep, infrequent watering throughout the rest of the year. A plant that’s native to China, Lady Banks’ rose has few problems with diseases or pests. It grows to rapidly cover an area measuring 20 feet by 10 feet, and it only needs to be pruned once a year after it is finished blooming. This ease of care makes this one popular vine.