Plants are a great way to enhance your fence, whether you’re looking to add some flair to your yard or add a little extra privacy between yourself and your neighbor.

Type of Plants

When considering the kind of plants you’d like for your fence, there are several factors to think about such as what kind of plants you’d like and the maintenance that goes with them.

Annual vs. Perennial

Annual plants can be a gorgeous addition to your fence with longer bloom seasons and more flowers. However, they tend to last only one year, which requires you to replant next year. Perennials require less maintenance since they only need to be planted once.

It is possible for annuals to grow back from the seeds they leave behind or for perennials to die out because it is not suitable to grow in the plant zone in which you live.

Evergreen vs. Deciduous

Evergreen plants keep their leaves year-round which is great if you want a permanent cover for your fence. Deciduous plants lose their leaves in the winter, meaning their leaves will change color in the fall.

Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to see what plants are compatible with your zone.

Flowering vs. Foliage

Flowering Plants:

Flowering plants are a great way to beautify your fence. They can add a pop of color to your yard and, depending on the type of flower, a unique scent. Not all flowering plants are annuals though and will only bloom during certain seasons.

Chocolate Vine

Akebia Quinata – Perennial

The chocolate vine gets its name from the dark purple-brown color of their flowers and slight chocolate scent. This vine requires a bit of pruning because of its fast growing nature. You will also need to train it to climb your fence by tieing it where you’d like it to grow.


Humulus lupulus – Annual

For a unique choice consider hops. Hops are commonly known as a staple ingredient in beer and is a terrific choice for a home brewer. You can acquire both male and female vines, but the female variety are the ones that produce the cones needed for hops. Hops need loamy soil, plenty of sunlight, and lots of space to grow.


Lonicera – Perennial

If you’re looking to attract some wildlife to your garden, Honeysuckle is the way to go. It produces a sweet fragrance and nectar that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Honeysuckle can be invasive so give it a good pruning once a year.

Foliage Plants:

Foliage Plants can be used to add privacy to your fence. You could also use foliage plants to add some texture and color to your yard. If the plant is deciduous, there will be added color to its leaves in the fall.

English Ivy

Hedera helix – Perennial, Evergreen

This vine is an easy to grow, low-maintenance plant that can be used as a privacy screen. English Ivy takes a few years before there is a noticeable amount of growth. The first two years there will be growth, but the vine won’t start to spread out until the third year.

Purpleleaf Grape

Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ – Perennial, Deciduous

This vine will add a lovely bit of color with its purple leaves that will redden in the fall. The purpleleaf grape also produces an edible fruit that has a bitter skin but sweet flesh. Be sure to prune once a year to ensure the stems do not weep sap.

Training Plants to Climb

The type of training a vine will need to climb your fence will vary depending on the plant. Some vines have small tendrils that will latch onto a surface and will only need to be wrapped around where you’d like them to grow. Other vines will need to be tied in place with twine while they grow.

Chain link fences give your plants an easy path to grow. For wood fences, you may need to add a length of wire strung across the wood planks to give your vines a place to hold.