The best climbing plants for pergolas to create a beautiful living canopy

A wooden pergola at the end of a garden with beautiful planting
(Image credit: Future)

Pergolas are the perfect support structure for climbing plants – creating a stunning garden feature with beautiful blooms and lush green foliage.

Many of the options will grow happily in containers, so regardless of where your pergola is positioned, it's possible to cultivate a coverage of flowers and greenery. It's possible to go for a combination of these climbers, and even opt for choices that will give you successional displays throughout the different seasons.

Sarah Raven headshot
Sarah Raven

Sarah’s love of gardening extends to all areas, from growing cut flowers and delicious vegetables from seed, to designing stunning gardens packed full of variety, colour and scent. Always with a focus on helping the environment and biodiversity, Sarah’s gardens are havens for birds, bees and other pollinators.

Fragrant Evergreen Star Jasmine - Trachelospermum jasminoides - 140-160cm Specimen Plant | Was £59.99, now £29.99 at Gardening Express

Fragrant Evergreen Star Jasmine - Trachelospermum jasminoides - 140-160cm Specimen Plant | Was £59.99, now £29.99 at Gardening Express

If you aren't already familiar with the scent of star jasmine, prepare yourself to fall in love. This option currently has a whopping £30 saving.

Jamie Shipley headshot
Jamie Shipley

Jamie Shipley is currently a Managing Director at Hedges Direct Ltd - a position he has held since 2018 - and has a robust skill and extensive knowledge of the Horticulture and Landscaping industries.

Graham Smith MCIhort headshot
Graham Smith MCIhort

Graham Smith MCIhort is a horticultural expert at LBS Horticulture. He has extensive knowledge in the horticultural and gardening industries, and prides himself on using this to help gardeners of all skills create their perfect outdoor space.

Teresa Conway
Deputy editor on Homebuilding & Renovating

Teresa was part of a team that launched Easy Gardens in 2018 and worked as the Editor on this magazine. She has extensive experience writing and editing content on gardens and landscaping on brands such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Living Etc magazine. She has developed close working relationships with top landscape architects and leading industry experts, and has been exposed to an array of rich content and expertise.

In 2020 Teresa bought her first home. She and her partner worked alongside architects and builders to transform the downstairs area of her two bedroom Victorian house in north London into a usable space for her family. Along the way she learned the stresses, woes and joys of home renovation, and is now looking to her next project, landscaping the back garden.