Passion Flower

Plants That Can Cover A Chain Link Fence – Part I: Annual Flowering Vines

It is not uncommon for homeowners to include a fence to separate their property from the neighbors. Of course, some fences look better than others. It all depends on how much money you want to spend. If your budget is tight or you just don’t want to put a lot of money into a fence, then you might choose a chain link fence to designate where your property ends.

It is true that such a fence is not that pleasing to the eyes. But you can change that with plants that cover it.

You may not realize it, but there are a number of plants that can be used to cover a chain link fence. You actually have options. For example, you can select flowering vines or foliage vines, evergreen vines or deciduous vines, annual vines or perennial vines. You can actually base your choice on what you want to accomplish.

If you are looking for fast growing plants to cover a fence, then you may want to consider annuals. Some ideal annuals for this purpose include:

· Hops
· Hyacinth Bean
· Black-Eyed Susan
· Passion Flower
· Morning Glory

Hops are a vine plant that comes in male or female, but only the female produces the hop cones. Five petaled flowers on the vine identify the male. It is suggested that you pull these out. They are not productive and it is recommended that only the female plant be used because it will produce non-fertilized seeds.

(Courtesy: Kate Ter Haar at

As with any plant, there are three basic factors that influence how well it will grow –- soil, sun, and space.

As far as the soil is concerned, hops thrive in sand or clay. However, it is suggested that the soil be rich, loamy and well-drained for the best results. Hops also flourish in soil with a pH range between 6.0 and 6.5. So you may have to add lime to prep the soil. It is also advised that you include 3-tablespoons of all-purpose fertilizer into the soil at a depth of 6-8-inches to help give the plant a starting boost. After that compost and supplemental nitrogen should be introduced each spring.

Hops grow well in partial shade, but they also need a lot of sun to produce a lot of hops. It is said that a south-facing location is ideal.

Keep in mind that hops need a lot of space. They should be allowed to grow to heights of 15 to 20-feet and then they grow side shoots that produce the cones that can grow as high as 30 to 40-feet.

The Hyacinth Bean plant exhibits pinkish-purple blossoms and reddish-purple pods. This plant seems to thrive in any type of soil, but require full sun. It grows to at least 10 to 15-feet high and is ideal for covering a fence. Seeds can be sown directly outdoors when there is no longer a threat of frost. However, you can start the seeds indoors if you desire several weeks before warm weather comes. it is advised that you transplant this plant when it is still small. Once planted, Hyacinth Bean needs very little maintenance.

Hyacinth Bean.
(Courtesy: Jer*ry at

Black-Eyed Susan.
(Courtesy:gwiegand at

Black Eyed Susan is commonly grown in temperate and cooler zones. It can grow as much as 8-feet high. You can start with a seed and grow it indoors for about six to eight weeks and then transplant after the last frost. You can also start with the seed in warm 60°F (16°C) soil. It may take the plant as much as 20 days to emerge in cooler zones. An alternative to seed is to grow the plant from a cutting. Cut several inches from a terminal end of a healthy plant; remove the bottom leaves and place in a glass of water to root. Be sure to change the water every couple of days. Once the root thickens you can plant it in a pot with potting soil. The pot should have good drainage. Grow the plant until spring and then transplant outdoors when the temperature warms up. The plant needs full sun and afternoon shade or partial shade. The vine does best in zones 10 and 11 identified in the USDA Plant Hardiness map. The plant will flourish in well-drained soil but will wilt if the soil becomes too dry. Keep it moderately moist, but not soggy.

There are more than 400 species of tropical Passion Flowers and they grow from ½-inch to 6-inches across. It is probably best to start growing the plant indoors in a big pot and next to a window that offers bright light. Plant the vine in rich commercial indoor potting soil and keep it uniformly moist, but not wet. Move the plant outdoors when there is no longer a threat of frost. Be aware that the tops of the plant will die during the winter. However, if you mulch deeply, the plant returns with new shoots in the spring. The plant can grow as much as 20-feet tall in a single season.

Passion Flower.
(Courtesy: Carol at

Morning Glory.
(Courtesy: csjdim at

Morning Glory can actually tolerate poor, dry soils. In fact, it has been known to thrive in any disturbed area including on the edges of a garden, on a fencerow, and on roadsides. Although it will grow in poor soil, it favors well-drained soil that is moist, but not soggy. Start with a seed planted directly into a garden after the threat of frost has passed and the soil is warm. You can also start the seed indoors. If you prefer to do that, then start about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Keep in mind that Morning Glory has relatively hard seed coat, so it is advised that you soak the seed in water overnight or nick them before sowing. Sow the seed about ½-inch deep and give them about 8 to 12-inches of space. Once the plant is established that require little attention. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Water it during dry periods about once or twice a week. Remove spent blooms as they fade or all the dead vines after the first frost in the fall to reduce re-seeding and to control spreading.

(Next time: Perennial Flowering Vines For Fences)

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.

Leave a Reply