Clematis 'Black Prince'

Climbers for a shady wall or fence

Got a shady wall or fence that faces north or east? We recommend climbers that will thrive in shade.

Walls and fences in a shady spot are easily covered if you know what to plant.

Discover 10 shade-loving perennials.

North and east-facing boundaries can be transformed by a surprising amount of attractive climbers. Some will do better on an east-facing boundary which should get sun for part of the day. Others will cope in full shade.

Here are our recommended plants for north and east facing walls and fences.


Rosa 'Wedding Day'

Rosa 'Wedding Day' is a fast-growing and fragrant rambler rose, perfect for covering a house wall or boundary in partial shade. It tolerates poor soil and a north-facing aspect, but likes moist, well-drained soil and plenty of space.


Ivy will cope in the deepest shade. The native form, Hedera helix, has beautiful dark green lustrous leaves. The variegated forms will help to lighten up dark corners in the garden.


Honeysuckles such as Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina' (pictured) climb over walls and fences and many are happy in shade. They offer wonderful scent and great for wildlife.

Star jasmine

Although tiny, the flowers of star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, are highly fragrant. It is happy on an east -facing wall that is shaded for part of the day, but gets some sun.

Clematis viticella

Viticella clematis such as 'Black Prince', pictured, are tough varieties that can cover walls and fences fast. Like all clematis, they do best with their roots in cool, moist shade.

Chinese Virginia creeper

Turning rich crimson as soon as the frosty nights arrive, Parthenocissus henryana is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber, ideal for a north- or east-facing boundary. Its colour will be more vibrant with a bit of sun during the day.

Clematis alpina

Despite its dainty appearance, Clematis alpina is pretty tough, and tolerates a fair degree of shade, as well as cold temperatures. Plant it cascading over a fence or a low wall for graceful spring flowers. It doesn't need pruning.

Clematis x durandii

Enjoy indigo blooms all summer with this shrubby clematis, which has stems that are more likely to scramble than climb. To cover a boundary, tie stems to supports as they grow. Clematis x durandii likes shade for some of the day, so copes in most aspects.
North and east-facing boundaries can be transformed by a surprising amount of attractive climbers.


When planting in shade, be sure to prepare the soil well. Here are our five tips for planting in shade.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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