North-facing walls can be some of the trickiest areas to plant – the combination of dry soil and shade make it a difficult place for many plants to grow.
However, with the right choices, you can transform a north-facing wall or fence into valuable part of the garden. Before you plant, be sure to prepare the ground carefully – read our five tips for planting in shade.
If you also need inspiration for a north-facing border, check out our recommended plants for a north-facing border.
Discover five plants for a north-facing wall, below.
Chaenomeles x superba
These supremely tough shrubs are matched in beauty, making them ideal plants for a north-facing wall. Pretty spring blossoms are followed by fragrant fruits in autumn. Will happily grow in a wide range of different soils.
Clematis alpina is native to the mountains of central Europe and northeastern Asia, so it’s no wonder it can cope with growing up a benign north-facing wall. Lovely flowers and foliage, and pruning isn’t essential to boot.
This sumptuous climber is commonly known as the chocolate vine, alluding to the intensely-coloured, aromatic blooms. Can grow quickly once established, so be prepared to keep it in check.
Ivy copes extremely well with dry shade. To make a splash against a shady fence, try growing one with variegated leaves. Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’ (sometimes sold as ‘Paddy’s Pride’ has large leaves that are splashed with yellow – perfect for brightening a shady spot.
Turning rich crimson as soon as the frosty nights arrive, Parthenocissus henryana is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber, ideal for a north-facing boundary. Its colour will be more vibrant with a bit of sun during the day.