Outdoor Patio Ideas

5 climbing plants for your pergola

Add shade and stunning colour over your entertaining area - by Better Homes and Gardens

If you’ve got a pergola that cops the heat, get shade the natural way with climbers. As a bonus, you’ll get an amazing display of flowers, and in some cases their sweet perfume. Here are 5 awesome climbers to help you keep your cool.


Wisteria has a dense foliage making them perfect for shading and long pendant blooms which occur in early spring. The flowers are mauve to violet and are highly scented, adding a fresh fragrance to your outdoor area. Wisteria are also deciduous, which means they lose their leaves in winter, allowing the warming sun to come through.

Pergola Plants | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Wisteria (Credit: Getty Images)


An evergreen climber, Hardenbergia is an Australian native with dark green leaves and a flush of dark purple flowers. The most widely grown cultivar is the ‘Happy Wanderer’. Prune around August or September to create denser growth, so more shade, and to promote flowering in the following season.

Pergola Plants | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Hardenbergia (Credit: Getty Images)

Ornamental Grape

Ornamental grape is similar to the wine growing variety, just without the fruit so it won’t make a mess of your entertaining area. Suitable for all parts of Australia except the tropical north, it has large green leaves over summer which turn to orange and red in autumn before dropping to let in the winter sun.

Pergola Plants | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Ornamental grape (Credit: Getty Images)

Star Jasmine

An evergreen climber, it has lush green foliage and delicate white flowers shaped like a star, hence the name. They’re also beautifully perfumed. It’s not an invasive grower but a light prune from time to time will keep it looking good.

Pergola Plants | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Star jasmine (Credit: Getty Images)


For a fast-growing climber with incredible flower colour, you can’t go past the Bougainvillea.  Pink, red, orange and white are just a few of the flower colours you will find. During flowering, keep in control by selectively pruning the thorny shoots as they appear. In autumn, tidy them up with a prune, which will also serve them well for the next growing season.

Pergola Plants | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Bougainvillea (Credit: Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.

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