Guest Column

Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Climbing Flowers and Plants


The burst of color from a climbing flower is a stunning addition to any landscape. These plants provide a vertical design element with minimal space requirements. The plants listed below are perennials, but they are tropical — be sure to cover them when temperatures drop below 38 degrees. Visit us at the nursery to explore these beautiful climbers:

  • Allamanda is an evergreen vine that produces trumpet-shaped, bright yellow blooms. This plant prefers exposure to morning sunlight but can adapt to an area of full sun. As a tropical plant, allamanda loves moist, but well-drained soil. Although it is a beautiful vine to have around a patio or pool, allamanda can be poisonous to animals if ingested.
  • Bleeding heart is a tropical vine that thrives with full shade or morning sun. This evergreen plant has dark green leaves and clusters of white flowers with red accents. Bleeding heart prefers consistently moist, but not soggy, soil and can be pruned into the shape of your choice.
  • Bougainvillea is a woody, tropical plant that loves the Florida heat! This vine can grow up to 40 feet long and produces beautiful flowers in pink, purple, red, white, orange and yellow. Bougainvillea will climb quickly on a trellis or arbor. Beware of thorns when working with this climber and look for an area of full sun to encourage blooming throughout the season.
  • A Carolina jasmine vine is an evergreen climber with fragrant, yellow blooms. Barring extensive cold temperatures, these plants bloom late winter through spring and thrive in Northeast Florida. Also known as Carolina Jessamine, the Carolina jasmine prefers areas of full sun. Prune when the plant finishes flowering to maintain a controlled shape and encourage fullness in the lower areas of the stem.
  • Confederate jasmine is easy to grow in partial to full sun. Also known as star jasmine, these plants produce small white, star-shaped blooms. Confederate jasmine can grow to more than 20 feet long if left unpruned! With a bit of attention, however, it can be shaped, and pinching off the tips of the vines will encourage fuller growth.
  • Mandevilla vines grow quickly and produce red, pink or white flowers from spring through fall. These fragrant blooms have five petals and sometimes feature a yellow center. Mandevilla loves the Florida sunshine but may need shade during the hottest part of the day. Add these plants to your landscape to encourage hummingbirds to visit.

Use climbing flowers and plants in your landscape to incorporate height and color. Not only are climbing plants helpful for privacy and shade, but they can also add interest to a fence or wall. Prune your climbing plants and flowers when they are not blooming to maintain your desired shape and keep their growth under control. As always, be sure to note the sunlight requirements for your climber as you select the perfect location for these decorative plants.

Happy planting!

Flower of the Week: Bougainvillea

Please email Kathy at for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information & ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.