8 Evergreen Flowering Vines for the South

PamPenick
Published on September 6th 2020
4
White Potato Vine
Blessed by a long growing season and short, mild winters, we Southern gardeners often expect plants to remain green all year. When flowering shrubs drop their leaves and perennials die to the ground after a freeze, the resulting bare spots can offend our eyes when we’re puttering about on warm winter days. Heaven forbid we lose the green screen of a climbing vine that’s hiding our neighbor’s trash cans or screening our patio from prying eyes! Of course, we want that vine to flower too.
Okay, year-round flowering may be too much to ask for all but tropical locales. But Southern gardeners are lucky to have many evergreen flowering vines from which to choose. If you’re looking for a beautiful vine that remains a lush green or semi-evergreen all winter while providing a display of gorgeous blossom in spring, summer, or fall, give one of these a try.

Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Carolina Jessamine
In late winter, golden trumpet-shaped flowers blanket this well-behaved vine, heralding spring and attracting pollinators when little else is blooming. Native to the Southeast, Carolina Jessamine loves full sun and moist to average soil. It grows by twining, so provide it with support: a few wires strung vertically on a fence or up a pergola post will do the trick. The best part? An intoxicating fragrance from those yellow blossoms, which sweetens the chilly air. Glossy, narrow leaves remain evergreen or semi-evergreen through winter. All parts of the vine, including the flowers, are poisonous if ingested, but it's beautiful to look at none the less.
USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10

Butterfly Vine (Mascagnia macroptera)

Butterfly Vine
© Pam Penick
Flowering in late summer and into fall, Butterfly Vine puts out clusters of acid-yellow flowers that look as if each petal were cut into its dainty shape with pinking shears. As the flowers fade, butterfly-shaped, bright-green seedpods appear. These eventually turn papery and brown and can be used in crafts as floral butterflies. Unfazed by extreme heat, butterfly vine also takes drought in its stride. A sunny position ensures prolific flowering and a healthy plant can climb 15-20 feet. Deep or prolonged freezes cause it to die back to the ground, but it’ll return from the roots in spring.
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Star Jasmine
With creamy white flowers resembling twirling stars and glossy dark-green leaves, Star Jasmine is a popular vine of the South. In late spring, deeply fragrant flowers suffuse the garden with non-cloying sweetness. Star Jasmine thrives in sun or partial shade, climbing to 20 feet and easily trained over an arbor. It can also be used as creeping groundcover. When cut, the vine exudes a milky white sap.
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Coral Honeysuckle
Tubular, coral-red flowers dangle in clusters from this well-behaved, woody, native vine. While the flowers lack fragrance (thankfully, the vine also lacks the invasiveness of Japanese honeysuckle), they bloom for weeks in spring and attract hummingbirds galore.
Rounded, blue-green leaves contrast nicely with the flowers and remain semi-evergreen in mild winters. While it lacks the density which would make it useful for screening purposes, it looks pretty trailing up an arbor or a fence. Coral Honeysuckle thrives in full sun and needs regular watering.
USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9

White Potato Vine (Solanum jasminoides)

White Potato Vine in front of a trellis
© Pam Penick
A dainty vine that thrives in shade or sun, White Potato Vine has linen-white, parachute-like flowers which billow around yellow-yolk centers. Its leaves are semi-evergreen in mild winters and it will bloom off and on from spring through fall. You can expect it to grow to around 20 feet so it's rather adept at covering an ugly wall, though bear in mind that its twining habit needs lots of support. It is fairly drought tolerant but flowers best with occasional water.
USDA Hardiness Zones 8b-10

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

Crossvine covering a fence
© Pam Penick
Native to the Southeast, high-climbing, vigorous Crossvine makes an excellent screening and shading vine that flowers in a burst of rich color in spring. Boasting brick-red-and-yellow blossoms shaped like blaring trumpets, Crossvine attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. The popular cultivar ‘Tangerine Beauty’ flowers in a softer coral-orange hue. Crossvine prefers sun but blooms even in part shade and climbs via curling tendrils. It’s easily confused with the invasive Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans), so be sure to check the botanical name before buying.
USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9

Evergreen Clematis (Clematis armandii)

Evergreen Clematis trailing up a fence
Starry, sweetly fragrant flowers froth like a white wave in spring, making this vine a showstopper when in bloom. At other times of the year, its long, dangling, leathery leaves make a good evergreen screen. It grows well in sun or bright shade and needs regular pruning after flowering to keep it in bounds.
USDA Hardiness Zones 7-9

Evergreen Wisteria (Millettia reticulata)

Evergreen Wisteria
© Pam Penick
Prepare to hear oohs and aahs from visitors when this unusual vine blossoms. Unrelated to the often invasive Chinese Wisteria, Evergreen Wisteria sports moody, gothic flowers of maroon-black from midsummer to fall. Long, narrow leaves remain semi-evergreen but may drop in the cooler parts of its range. This vine can grow large, rambling to 30 feet in full sun or part shade, so prune hard to keep it in bounds. Flowers are fragrant but with a touch of mustiness.
USDA Hardiness Zones 8b-10

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