Question of the Day: What Vine Should I Grow on this Tuteur?

When I installed the new tuteur in the Driveway Border I was very excited. However, it turned out to be a disappointment. Instead of standing out as a flowery vertical element, the tuteur was obscured  by all the giant plants surrounding it – Tithonia, Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum), etc.

The tuteur in its new home, and needing to be straightened a bit I see.
The tuteur in its new home, and needing to be straightened a bit I see.

What’s more, I had envisioned the tuteur covered with big blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor) blooms. This never happened. I got the Morning Glories to grow, but they bloomed sparsely, if at all. One problem was the shade from all those tall plants, but I also suspect that the soil is just too fertile to motivate the Morning Glories to flower abundantly.

So I moved the tuteur as part of this year’s spring clean-up. Its new home is a nice, sunny spot in the herb/cutting/vegetable bed.

What’s keeping me up at night now is: what do I plant on the newly relocated tuteur? I need something of modest size (the tuteur is about 7′ tall) with large flowers that can be appreciated from a distance. Blue or bluish flowers are a plus.

Morning Glory, not sure what variety.
Morning Glory, not sure what variety.

I could try Morning Glories again, which Judy would prefer. However, the soil may still be too fertile for good results with this plant.

The Clematis jackmanii against the house could use a friend on the tuteur.
The Clematis jackmanii against the house could use a friend on the tuteur.

Or perhaps some variety of Clematis. I have a very happy Clematis jackmanii against a nearby wall. Something that would complement the jackanii‘s big purple flowers would be awfully nice. A variety called ‘Ice Blue’ made itself at home in the back garden last year, but it’s too early to tell if it will be a success.

Another option would be training a rose up the tuteur, again not anything too rampant.

Any suggestions?

85 Comments on “Question of the Day: What Vine Should I Grow on this Tuteur?”

  1. I would recommend a rose called Ballerina. It’s very well behaved so far and it reblooms over the summer, at least here in Everett, WA.

    I like any of the Clematis vitiicella varieties. They are resistant to Clematis wilt and they don’t need as much pruning..

    Heavenly Blue Morning Glory is one of my favorites. Another one I like is Rhodochiton. I always start it from seed. Nurseries are just starting to carry it.

    Ramona Hensrude

  2. Clematis would be nice, but when you said it’s in the herb bed my immediate thought was runner beans! There’s a lovely pale blue Clematis called ‘Elsa Späth’ which is fairly often planted in Germany….

  3. It’s tricky — I have exactly the same tuteur and a Jackmanii clematis on it that is fabulously flowery but the size overwhelms the structure. You need a vine that is colorful and less than a 10 foot climber, if any bigger it just mounds over itself and looks congested. I love the suggestion of a rose and a clematis, but try to find smaller ones! Another idea is trailing nasturtiums trained up the tuteur– they don’t get too big.

  4. From the pic, it doesn’t seem to be close to a sitting area. Because I always like to use native plants, I’d recommend carrion flower. It is a herbaceous vine, so dies to the ground each year and never gets out of hand. Top height is about six feet so it is just the right size for a modest support. The spring flowers are nothing much, and do smell bad close up, but, hey, there’s lots going on in the spring. The big show is the large globular clusters of blue berries in the fall. Attractive leaves, too.

  5. Matt B’s suggestion of a rose and a clematis sounded permanent and wonderful until Laurrie pointed out the size. Reine des Violettes is a rose that can be kept in bounds: less a climber, more a pillar. .

  6. Take a look at the perennial sweet pea Lathyrus latifolia. The previously-mentioned Clematis viticella ‘Betty Corning’ or some other small, delicate clematis would be lovely – but my personal favorite idea is nasturtiums: I love them anywhere and while they might overwhelm the tuteur they would give you more consistent blooms. Keep us posted!

  7. For the first time I will be trying Mina lobata, a Morning Glory relative which I plan to grow on a new tuteur. That is a possibility. They are not blue though but yellow and red.
    Whatever you decide, good luck.

  8. If you are OK with an annual vine, I highly recommend Mandavilla, which now comes in white, pink, red and maroon, or Allamanda which is a bright yellow. For me, these are fail safe annual vines, flowering profusely all summer. At the end of the season, you just remove everything, and the tuteur is neat and clean all winter, as opposed to the chaos that clematis lcreates all winter.

  9. I don’t really have a suggestion, rather am reading with interest to get ideas also. Your Clematis jackmanii is amazing. I have one also (not as full), but it doesn’t bloom through the summer and even starts looking brown if the summer is too hot. Are you able to keep yours blooming all summer?

  10. If the tuteur is visible in the evenings, or at night if there’s nearby street lighting, a moonflower might be interesting. Of course that doesn’t help matters during the day. 🙂 What’s the nearby color scheme? Like Alain, I thought of Mina lobata for a quick dense cover but the colors might clash. Is Tweedia caerulea (aka Oxypetalum caeruleum) hardy for you? That’s my favorite twiner because I adore the color but it’s not hardy here.

  11. Oh how fun is this!!! I am growing some hyacinth bean vines over my arbor this year and I have just found an awesome clematis that is only grows to be about 4 feet high…but the blooms are red….rebecca clematis…..Whatever you grow…I know it is going to be stunning!!!!

  12. A rose or clematis would look great. I just planted a potato vine (Solanum jasminoides) this spring. It is already in flower and very pretty. They come in blue-purple or white and flower for most of the year. It wouldn’t be hardy in your zone but it could be treated like an annual. I like black eyed susan vines a lot. The yellow flowers might look nice against the dark colour of the tuteur. Apios americana might be a fun addition since the vine will be placed with herbs. I love all the suggestions I read above but maybe you could try the morning glory one more time …

  13. Climbing Rose – scented of course – Rosa “Teasing Georgia” will look great. Clematis will look too flimsy but the rose will clamber all over this and anchor it into the ground. Might have to check hardiness though. I have this rose and can’t recommend it enough.

  14. I see that no one is being hesitant about giving you suggestions 😉 I tried hyacinth beans on a tuteur last summer & found they were far too tall/wild/crazy/rampant for it (although I love the vine). I would do some sort of annual vine so you can do something different each year. That’s my 10 cents worth. I’ve done morning glories, cardinal climber, black eyed susan vine, etc. Do you have a long enough cool season to do sweet peas early and something else annual to follow? Have fun making a decision!

  15. Clematis – it will love the rich soil and they appreciate light afternoon shade. I disagree with Sunil about the clematis being flimsy. Several of mine are huge. That’s the only vine I know of that will give you big, blue flowers. Plus, there are some new varieties that are fragrant.

  16. I’ve had really good luck with Hyacinth Bean Vine (Dolichos lablab). Of course, the rabbits like it, too, so you have to protect the bottom with some chicken wire or something. It’s an annual, but you can collect the seeds for the next year. Perennial ideas: Passion Vine (Passiflora incarnata) or Kentucky Wisteria (W. macrostachya). All these vines grow well in sun or partial shade.

  17. Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x multifida) interplanted with any of the violet/purple Clematis cultivars is my suggestion. Polish Spirit is a favorite of mine. Look up Raymond Evison cultivars — AWESOME! Two years plants are best if you can find them. What fun! And good luck!

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