Flowering tropical vines do double duty by enhancing privacy with their vigorous foliage and drenching the space with colorful blooms.
Compact varieties can be grown in containers and can be brought indoors to escape winter cold snaps or flooding rains. Vines such as mandevilla and bougainvillea are especially easy to grow in pots outfitted with a sturdy trellis.
The ideal site for a flowering vine provides shade for the roots while the plant’s top basks in the sun. In many home landscapes, this is near fences or where part-day shade cast by buildings creates a dream home for tropical vines.
Try These Fabulous Flowering Tropical Vines:
1. Mandevilla. These vines, known also as dipladenia, come in a range of warm colors and are easy to grow in containers so they are ideal to use as vertical accents near entryways or in outdoor living areas. These well-mannered climbers quickly twine their way up a trellis, so they make great vines for lampposts or mailboxes. The plants’ top growth can be killed by cold weather, but frost-damaged mandevillas usually grow back from their roots.
2. Allamanda. The perfect vine for turning a plain fence into a privacy screen. Also called golden trumpet vine, allamanda stems need help finding their way up a trellis, but then they spread into a cascade of glossy leaves studded with fragrant yellow flowers that attract hummingbirds. Prune back established allamandas by half their size in early spring to shape them and control size. Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when trimming back the vines because some people are allergic to allamanda sap. All of this plant’s parts are considered poisonous when ingested.
3. Bougainvillea. Another great container vine, the showy bracts provide big bursts of color off and on all year. Pot-grown plants can be protected from freezing in a cool garage. Where cold damage is not a worry, long-lived bougainvillea vines can blanket a fence with color, and the thorny branches may deter intruders.
To promote strong blooming, fertilize vines growing outdoors in spring and fall using a balanced organic or time-release fertilizer. Vines grown in pots benefit from monthly feeding with a liquid plant food. Water vines well after planting.