Fragrant Climbers: Our 6 Favorite Plants for Pergola and Arbor Cover

To maximize interest and make best use of your arbor or pergola you should consider training climbing plants with fragrant blooms to climb the structure. That might require some Garden Paving first, but all of it is worth it. Not only do fragrant climbing plants provide additional protection from the sun, they also provide sweet to heady fragrances that can be enjoyed from late spring to mid-August, depending on the variety. In no particular order, here are six favorite plants for pergola and arbor cover.

How to Train Climbing Plants to a Arbor or Pergola | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia


  1. Climbing roses. Traditional and providing a sweet scent, climbing rose varieties offer shade and fragrance. They are a top choice for more traditional gardens. These, however, shed a lot of leaves, in which case, one’d need a leaf blower from
  2. Honeysuckle. This twining climber will quickly move its way up your arbor or pergola. It provides ample shade once established and offers a sweet smelling bloom that will thrive in semi-shaded areas. Honeysuckle can also thrive when trained with other climbing plants like climbing roses.
  3. Jasmine. This fragrant climber comes in several varieties and is a top choice due to its ability to grow quickly, thrive when trained with other climbing plants, and sweet scented blooms which flower from mid-summer to early fall.
  4. Sweet peas. This sweet smelling fragrant climber produces a beautiful purplish bloom when in season. When in bloom they are potent and can also be cut to be brought in the home so that the sweet smell can fill a room.
  5. Clematis Montana. This climbing plant is very vigorous and will quickly cover the trellis wall of your arbor or pergola. It begins producing beautiful blooms in late spring that have an almond scent.
  6. Wisteria. This cross between a vine and a shrub takes longer to cultivate but it produces beautiful cascading clusters of flowers in a variety of colors that provide a sweet scent and ample coverage for your arbor or pergola. If you select Wisteria you will need to monitor it closely as it can become invasive and heavy, causing damage to your outdoor structure.

When deciding which climbing plant (or plants) to use to cover your arbor or pergola you will want to consider how rapidly you want it to cover your structure, which color blooms you prefer to compliment your outdoor area, and if you prefer a sweet or heady fragrance. You will also want to think about the hardiness of the plant and the amount of sun available.

Now all that’s left is deciding on your favorite plants for your new pergola and arbor cover. Have fun!

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