Being a plant enthusiast in a northern state like Iowa can be a bit tough. While you do get to enjoy the beautiful spring and summer blooms, winter and fall can be somewhat dreary.
Fortunately for you, there are some hardy flowering vines that can bring a bit of color and life into your garden.
So, today we’ll share with you the 10 best Iowa flowering vines as well as some tips on how to care for them.
Let’s get started!
1. American Wisteria
Fast, aggressive, and a bit heavy, the American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is a perennial climbing vine famous for its cascading, pea-like flowers.
You can find it adorning pergolas and walls in lilac, purple, and white throughout zones 5–9. American wisterias can grow up to 30 feet and usually start blooming in early summer until August.
Caring for this plant is an easy task. Wisterias are notorious for being hardy and only require moist soil and total sunlight exposure.
Regarding watering, they’re drought-tolerant and prefer getting watered only during dry periods.
2. Sweet Pea
Ironically enough, sweet pea vines don’t smell as sweet as their name suggests. Instead, when the vines fully bloom, depending on when they were pinched back, you’ll get an aromatic mix of spicy and floral notes.
Sweet peas don’t grow as tall as other vines and only reach around 3–7 ft in height. They also thrive in zones 3–8, where you can see the flowers in shades of blue, red, pink, white, and lavender.
To get your sweet peas to bloom, place them under direct sunlight in rich, moist soil and only water them about once weekly.
3. The Trumpet
This time, you’ll actually get what the name promises!
The trumpet vines bloom with a beautiful trumpet-shaped flower that comes in many shades of orange and red.
This vine mainly blossoms in the summer, but some plants can start early in the spring. It can grow up to 40 ft in zones 4–9, with just a little maintenance.
All you’ll need to get it to thrive is slightly acidic sand, loam, or clay soil. Moreover, there’s no need to constantly water this vine as it’s drought-tolerant, and the occasional rainfall can keep it happy.
4. Scarlet Clematis
Also known as the scarlet leather flower, the scarlet clematis is an excellent addition to your garden if you want to add a little flare.
The scarlet clematis grows dense, bright foliage with a bell-shaped flower that can be found in various shades, such as deep red and orange.
They usually start blooming in late summer and continue until the start of fall. You can find the scarlet clematis in hardiness zones 4–8, where it can thrive and grow up to 15 ft high.
To grow clematis in your garden, place it where the vines and flowers can get plenty of sun, but the roots are shaded. Moreover, ensure to water it twice a week and keep it in acidic, well-draining soil.
5. Climbing Hydrangea
The climbing hydrangea vine is one of the most magical vines on your little list. This is because it has rather dark foliage that contrasts strongly against the white clusters of the flowers it produces.
What’s more, it can grow up to 40 ft, with its aerial roots allowing it to grab onto walls, pergolas, and basically any structure.
Climbing hydrangeas bloom from late spring until late fall in hardiness zones 4–8. They require full sun to partial shade with moist soil and good drainage.
6. Climbing Rose
Generally, roses are a classic for any garden. So, when you add that they can climb up your pergola or fence, it becomes a must-have for any garden.
Climbing rose vines are beautiful plants with lush foliage and brightly colored flowers. You can find them in various colors, like blue, orange, and pink!
These vines can grow up to 12 feet long and spread to 4 feet wide in hardiness zones 5–9. Climbing roses bloom in early summer until fall and produce a sweet scent that can fill your garden.
If you want to plant some in your garden, do it in moist, well-drained soil under the full sun.
7. Morning Glory
The morning glory vine offers you a different-looking flower. It’s not trumpet-shaped, nor does it look like a many-petaled rose.
Instead, you’ll have a single, dainty petal that spreads outwards in a circular shape against the green background of the vine.
This plant grows in zones 2–8 as an annual vine, where it blooms from early summer to the first freeze of fall. Morning glory vines can grow up to 8 feet and spread as much as 20 feet.
They love neutral soils, sun exposure for at least 6 hours daily, and weekly watering sessions.
8. Virginia Creeper
While the Virginia creeper vine only offers you green, inconspicuous flowers, you can’t deny its foliage’s beauty! Its elongated and jagged-edged leaves turn to fiery shades of red and orange during fall.
The Virginia creeper can climb up to 40 ft or more and tends to spread outwards. The vines bloom in hardiness zones 3–9 in the early summer.
You can get a Virginia creeper vine to cover your entire garden wall if you plant it in moist soil with good drainage and partial sunlight exposure.
9. Common Honeysuckle
When planted in your garden, Honeysuckle vines can provide a magical scenery that looks like tiny pixies dancing on green leaves.
The white or pink flowers of the vine have an odd trumpet-like shape that attracts bees and butterflies. It’s a fantastic, heat-tolerant plant that can grow up to 20 ft tall in hardiness zones 5–9.
The flowers usually bloom in mid-spring through summer, with some varieties blooming in fall. Honeysuckle vines love organically-rich soil and full exposure to sunlight.
If you’re thinking about planting some, water them once weekly in summer unless there’s been some rainfall.
10. Five Leaf Akebia
If you want your garden to have a sweet, chocolate aroma mixed with a tropical vibe, then you should consider planting the five-leaf akebia vine.
Also known as the chocolate vine, the five-leaf akebia is a beautiful perennial vine with deep-purple flowers that contrast perfectly with the rich green leaves.
This vine grows up to 40 ft in hardiness zones 5–6 and blooms from April to May. Chocolate vines love moist, loamy soil and partially shaded spots.
So there you have it—the 10 best Iowa flowering vines. Some like total sun exposure, others like a bit of shade, and some can thrive either way.
But the best part about all these plants is that they can thrive in Iowa! Plus, they’re super pretty!
So go ahead and plant some—you won’t regret it.