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Transforming a plain fence into a vibrant and lively part of your garden can be easily achieved by using plant covers. The right selection of climbing and creeping plants can add beauty, privacy, and even ecological benefits to your outdoor space. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the best plant cover fence. Each plant has its unique characteristics, from fragrant blooms and evergreen foliage to rapid growth and seasonal color changes. 

This guide explores the top 10 popular plant cover fence options, highlighting their distinctive features and benefits. Whether you desire a lush green backdrop, a colorful floral display, or a fragrant garden retreat, these plant covers can help you achieve your garden goals. Read on to discover the perfect plant to enhance your fence and elevate your garden’s aesthetic appeal.

What is Plant Cover Fence?

The best climbing plants for fencing | Jacksons Fencing

A plant cover fence, often referred to as a living fence, is a boundary or structure covered by climbing or creeping plants that create a natural, green barrier. These plants grow over and around the fence, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits. Visually, a plant cover fence can transform a plain, utilitarian structure into a beautiful garden feature, adding vibrant colors, interesting textures, and seasonal variety.

Depending on the chosen plants, this type of fence can offer year-round greenery or a succession of blooms, enhancing the overall appeal of the outdoor space. Popular choices include evergreen plants like English ivy for continuous coverage, or flowering vines such as clematis and jasmine that add bursts of color and fragrance at different times of the year.

In addition to its visual benefits, a plant cover fence can also enhance privacy and security while contributing positively to the environment. The dense foliage creates an effective privacy screen that blocks the view from the outside, making it ideal for urban or suburban areas where houses are close together. Some plant cover fences, especially those using thorny plants like roses or bougainvillea, can act as a deterrent to intruders. Environmentally, these living fences help improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, and they provide habitat and food for wildlife, such as birds, butterflies, and bees.

Best Materials For Plant Cover Fence

Selecting the right materials for a plant cover fence is crucial to ensure durability, support, and compatibility with the chosen plants. The materials need to withstand the weight and growth of climbing plants while also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your garden. 


Wood is a traditional and versatile material for plant cover fences. It provides a natural look that blends seamlessly with garden landscapes. Cedar and redwood are particularly good choices because they are naturally resistant to rot and insects. Wooden trellises, lattice panels, and fences offer excellent support for climbing plants like roses, clematis, and ivy. However, wood requires regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, to prevent weather damage and prolong its lifespan.


Metal fences, including those made from wrought iron, aluminum, and galvanized steel, are durable and low-maintenance options. They provide strong support for heavy climbers and are resistant to weather and pests. Wrought iron fences, in particular, add an elegant and classic look to gardens. Aluminum fences are lightweight and rust-resistant, making them suitable for various climates. Metal fences can be customized with decorative designs, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the plant cover fence.


Vinyl fences are an excellent choice for those seeking a low-maintenance and durable option. They are resistant to rot, insects, and weather damage, requiring only occasional cleaning to maintain their appearance. Vinyl fences come in various styles and colors, including options that mimic the look of wood. However, vinyl can be more expensive initially but offers long-term savings due to its minimal upkeep.


Composite fencing combines the benefits of wood and plastic, offering a durable and low-maintenance solution. It is resistant to rot, insects, and weathering, making it ideal for long-term use. Composite fences come in various designs and colors, allowing homeowners to match their fence with their garden aesthetic. They provide strong support for a wide range of climbing plants and are particularly good for creating a uniform and polished look in the garden.


Chain-link fences are practical and cost-effective options that provide excellent support for climbing plants. They are durable, easy to install, and require minimal maintenance. While not the most aesthetically pleasing on their own, chain-link fences can be quickly transformed by covering them with lush, fast-growing plants like Virginia creeper or trumpet vine. This combination provides both functionality and greenery, creating an effective plant cover fence.

Top 10 Popular Plant Cover Fence

English Ivy

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English Ivy, scientifically known as Hedera helix, is a versatile evergreen vine often chosen for its dense foliage and ability to cover fences with ease. It adds a classic, elegant look to garden landscapes while providing excellent privacy year-round. English Ivy thrives in various light conditions, from full sun to shade, and adapts well to different soil types. Regular pruning is necessary to keep it tidy and prevent overgrowth. Its resilience and ability to withstand harsh conditions make English Ivy a popular choice for both aesthetic enhancement and functional privacy in plant cover fences.


Clematis on White Picket Fence by Tom Brickhouse

Clematis is a versatile and popular flowering vine known for its stunning blooms in a variety of colors, including purple, pink, white, and blue. It thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun for optimal growth and flowering. Clematis is an excellent choice for covering trellises, arbors, and fences, adding a touch of elegance and color to any garden landscape.

Regular pruning and support are necessary to encourage healthy growth and abundant flowering. With its ability to bloom at different times depending on the variety, Clematis offers continuous visual interest throughout the growing season, making it a favorite among gardeners for enhancing plant cover fences.

Virginia Creeper

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Virginia Creeper is a versatile and fast-growing vine that provides excellent coverage for fences with its lush, green foliage. One of its standout features is its striking transformation in the fall, when its leaves turn a brilliant red, adding vibrant seasonal interest to any garden. This hardy plant is low-maintenance and adaptable, thriving in a wide range of soil conditions and tolerating both sun and shade. Virginia Creeper is particularly valued for its ability to quickly cover large areas, making it an ideal choice for creating privacy and greenery. It also benefits wildlife, providing shelter and food for birds and insects. However, regular pruning is necessary to keep it in check and prevent it from spreading too aggressively. 


I Love Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler' aka Major Wheeler Honeysuckle  |

Honeysuckle, renowned for its sweet fragrance and attractive tubular flowers, is an ideal choice for enhancing plant cover fences. This climbing vine, available in shades of yellow, orange, and red, not only adds a charming aesthetic but also attracts essential pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. It thrives in both sunny and partially shaded areas with well-drained soil, adapting well to diverse garden settings. Regular pruning is essential to manage its growth and encourage continuous blooming, ensuring that honeysuckle maintains its role in beautifying and supporting biodiversity in plant cover fences.


Bougainvillea on fence. | c00lsh0ts | Flickr

Bougainvillea is a tropical plant known for its vibrant, papery bracts that come in stunning colors like pink, purple, red, and orange. It thrives in warm climates and requires full sun and well-drained soil to flourish. This drought-tolerant vine adds a striking visual impact to any plant cover fence, creating a bold and colorful display. Bougainvillea needs occasional watering and fertilization to maintain its vibrant appearance. Its vigorous growth and ability to bloom profusely make it a popular choice for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a plant cover fence.

Climbing Roses

Plant Spotlight: Peggy Martin Climbing Rose - Louisiana Nursery

Climbing roses are revered for their timeless beauty and ability to adorn garden fences with cascades of colorful blooms. These vines, which include varieties like ‘New Dawn’ and ‘Cecile Brunner,’ are known for their resilience and ease of cultivation. They thrive in sunny locations with fertile, well-drained soil, where they can reach impressive heights.

Regular pruning is essential to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering throughout the growing season. Climbing roses not only add vertical interest to plant cover fences but also fill the air with their delightful fragrance, making them a favorite choice for enhancing outdoor aesthetics.

Trumpet Vine

Trumpet Vine Is a Beautiful But Invasive Vine | HGTV

Trumpet Vine, with its vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers in bright orange-red hues, is a robust climbing plant that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It serves as an ideal choice for enhancing the charm of a plant cover fence. Its vigorous growth rate enables it to swiftly transform an ordinary fence into a verdant and flowering boundary, adding both aesthetic allure and a touch of natural privacy. Regular pruning is essential to manage its growth and ensure the trumpet vine continues to complement the overall appearance of your plant-covered fence beautifully.


Wisteria. - Napa Master Gardener Column - ANR Blogs

Wisteria, celebrated for its cascading clusters of fragrant flowers, is a captivating addition to plant cover fences. This vigorous climbing vine blooms in shades of purple, blue, white, and pink, creating a spectacular display. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, requiring sturdy support to showcase its stunning floral curtains. Wisteria’s rapid growth rate allows it to quickly cover fences and pergolas, adding a touch of elegance and romance to outdoor spaces. Regular pruning in late winter or early spring helps maintain its shape and promote abundant flowering, ensuring a breathtaking spectacle each blooming season.


Passiflora, Passion Flower - uploaded by @bloomwhereyoureplanted

Passionflower, known for its intricate and exotic-looking flowers, adds a unique charm to plant cover fences. This vine, scientifically known as Passiflora, comes in various species with flowers ranging from white and pink to purple and blue. It attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees, contributing to garden biodiversity. Passionflower thrives in sunny to partially shaded areas with well-drained soil. Regular pruning helps manage its growth and promotes more flowering. With its striking appearance and ecological benefits, passionflower is a captivating choice for enhancing the visual appeal and ecological value of plant cover fences.


Star Jasmine - Plant Growing & Care Guide | Young House Love

Jasmine, with its aromatic scent and clusters of dainty white or yellow blossoms, offers a delightful choice for embellishing plant cover fences. This resilient climber flourishes in a variety of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade, and thrives in well-drained soil. Jasmine’s vigorous growth enables it to swiftly cloak fences and trellises, creating a verdant backdrop accentuated by sporadic bursts of fragrant flowers. Regular pruning post-blooming helps maintain its neat appearance and encourages consistent blooming, ensuring jasmine remains a charming and easily-managed addition to any outdoor setting.


Enhancing your garden with plant cover fences offers more than just aesthetic appeal; it transforms your outdoor space into a thriving ecosystem. Each plant, whether it’s the vibrant blooms of clematis or the lush greenery of English Ivy, contributes to a healthier environment by providing habitat for wildlife and improving air quality. Beyond their ecological benefits, these fences create privacy, add seasonal interest, and enhance the overall beauty of your property. 

By selecting the right plants and maintaining them properly, you not only create a visually stunning garden but also contribute to a sustainable and vibrant landscape that you can enjoy for years to come. Whether you prefer the colorful blooms of climbing roses or the year-round greenery of ivy, plant cover fences are a versatile and rewarding addition to any outdoor setting.

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