Perennial Vines

Vines are a versatile group of plants that add a vertical dimension to the landscape. They are suitable for covering surfaces such as walls, banks, tree trunks, posts and trellises. Vines can be flowering or non-flowering. The flowering varieties require more sun to bloom well.

Types of Vines

Arctic Kiwi

A moderately fast-growing, self fertile vine. Very adaptable to most sites preferring full sun to part shade, benefits from winter mulching. Glossy, dark green leaves turn yellow in the fall. Produces small white, fragrant flowers followed by small, thin-skinned kiwis. Fruit has lime-green flesh and is sweet tasting.

Once established, kiwis need to be pruned annually to maintain shape, size and maximum fruit production. During the growing season remove any suckers growing from the base when they are a few inches long. Throughout the season thin out non-fruiting branches to reduce dense shading of the fruit. Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches.


A very tough, durable vine with a dense branching habit that is adaptable to most locations preferring full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Leaves are glossy dark green turning yellow in the fall, produces inconspicuous yellowish-white flowers in the summer. In autumn long lasting black fruit split and show yellow insides and red seed on the female plants.

Hercules - male plant needed to pollinate Diana (female plant)
Diana - female plant produces red berries

Pruning consists of the removal of dead, damaged or unproductive stems. Take out any tangled or errant stems. This will encourage new growth as well as promote good air circulation and light penetration.


There is a wide variety of Clematis available. They vary dramatically in flower shape and pruning methods. All clematis have the same general requirements:
full sun to part shade

  • organically rich soil—amend with well-rotted manure, compost or leaf mold
  • moist, well drained soil
  • cool roots—shade root system with plants, mulch, rocks……
  • avoid soils that dry out quickly
  • the addition of bone meal on a regular basis is recommended
Pruning Groups

Clematis can be divided into 3 different pruning groups

Group A - Early Flowering
Flowers on previous season’s growth and requires minimal pruning. Prune immediately after flowering to remove dead and weak stems.

Group B - Flowers in May/June and again in September
Flowers on previous season’s growth (May-June) and again in September on the current season’s growth. Prune lightly in early spring removing all dead and weak stems.

Group C - Late Flowering
Flowers on current season’s growth. Prune in late winter to early spring down to two strong sets of buds—as close to ground level as possible.
In Calgary Group A & C perform the best. Group B requires a little extra care.

Hardy Grape

Prefer full sun to light shade and moist, rich well-drained soil. New growth in the spring is covered with a whitish downy covering. Leaves are rounded and rich dark green. Plant in a sheltered site away from winds and mulch in the winter.

After planting, prune back to two or three strong buds. Next spring cut back last year’s growth to 4 or 5 strong buds. In subsequent years prune back all of the previous year’s growth, leaving no more then 30 buds on each plant.

Honeysuckle (Trumpet Vine)

A striking, adaptable flowering vine that prefers full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Will tolerate shaded conditions but may not be quite as floriferous. Foliage is rounded, dark and bluish-green. Produces bright, tubular flowers in red-orange from June through September. Attracts hummingbirds!

Prune while dormant to maintain desired size. Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches.


An extremely vigorous, fast growing vine with large deeply lobed leaves. Prefers a location with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil. Produces clusters of papery, cone-like structures called hops which have a distinct strong scent. A great vine for screening due to its dense growing habit. Hops have the capability of growing as much as 6 meters (20 feet) in one season!

Prune hops back to the ground annually.

Silverlace Vine

A vigorous, long blooming, adaptable vine that prefers full sun to part shade and moist well-drained soil. Very adaptable most sites and is drought tolerant once established. Leaves are tinged red maturing to bright green. Produces masses of fragrant, cream coloured clusters of flowers from mid summer through fall. 

Prune to remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches. Trim in the spring to maintain desired shape. 

Virginia Creeper

A fast growing, vigorous vine that adapts to almost any condition. Will grow in sun or shade in any soil, regardless of wind or pollution. Once established it requires no attention except the occasional trimming. Produces nice finger-shaped foliage that turns bright red-burgundy in the fall. Flowers are inconspicuous. Produces bluish-black berries that birds enjoy.

Prune to remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches.

**Engelmann Ivy is a self-clinging variety of Virginia Creeper that requires no trellis