Want privacy on your patio? These 6 fast-growing climbing plants are just the ticket

Shelter your space from the neighbours

Clematis climbing plant
(Image credit: Getty Images/Martial Colomb)

If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space of your own, then that’s likely where you want to be at the first hint of warmth and sunshine, but the feeling of being on display can quickly ruin the initial wave of enthusiasm. Luckily, with the help of some fast-growing climbing plants, you can transform your garden into a private paradise.

Covering your garden walls and fences with climbing plants is indeed one of the best patio privacy ideas. But if you want this to happen pronto, then opting for the fastest growing ones is your best bet so that by next year, your fences can be covered in beautiful foliage and pretty blooms.

So we’ve rounded up 6 of the best fast-growing climbers to adorn your trellis with, all of which come expert-recommended.

Clematis climbing plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/grafxart8888)

6 fast-growing climbing plants for privacy 

As far as garden fence ideas go, covering them in fast-growing climbing plants is one of the best since they double as a privacy screen and a decorative element for the garden. The one thing to keep in mind though is that since they grow fast, they will require regular pruning to not get out of hand.

‘With climbing plants, it's important not to let them grow too big and too overgrown,’ warns Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. ‘If they do, they can end up causing further problems in your garden and even in your home.’

‘Climbing plants will require support sticks, trellises or other structures to climb and grow on. Make sure to provide them with the right structure and keep growing the structure as the plants grow themselves.’

And lastly, keep in mind that most climbers prefer a sunny location.

Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

1. Sweet peas

Growing sweet peas in the garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/Eileen Groome)

‘There are lots of plants that climb quickly but some really fast growers are everlasting sweet peas,’ says Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk.

This plant with pretty, dainty flowers is especially favoured because one doesn’t have to do much to care for sweetpeas. And they’re one of the few climbing plants that doesn’t require a fully sunny spot in the garden.

‘Everlasting sweet peas are a cottage garden favourite because they’ll grow in full sun or partial shade and aren’t fussy about soil type,’ Fiona explains. ‘They just need the soil to be kept moist. All you really need to provide is something for them to grow up and in return you’ll have sprays of colourful flowers to enjoy.’

Steve agrees and adds, ‘Sweet peas are probably the easiest to look after due to their low maintenance needs. This makes them ideal for beginners as well as for those who don't have a lot of time to keep plants maintained. They also have lovely flowers and a nice scent which helps make your garden a nicer space to be in.’

Where to buy climbing sweet peas:

2. Wisteria

Wisteria hanging over a garden gate

(Image credit: Getty Images/emer1940)

Who doesn’t love the regal-looking, purple-flowering wisteria, made particularly famous by the Netflix show Bridgerton. It is also one of those plants that will increase your property value.

‘Providing flowers in the spring as well as being fast-growing, wisteria can quickly cover a fence or a screen to provide a good amount of privacy,’ Steve says. ‘Do make sure to keep it well-pruned though in order to prevent it from becoming overgrown and in order to make sure the flowers keep coming back.’

Spring is also the best time when to plant wisteria so you better get to it asap. Or you’ll have to wait until autumn if you miss the window.

Where to buy wisteria:

3. Clematis

Clematis climbing plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/DeepGreen)

Another fast and easy climbing plant is clematis, also known as the ‘queen of climbers’. The plant produces beautiful star-shaped flowers in white, pink or purple and like most climbing plants loves the sun.

‘An evergreen clematis will work well to cover a fence and provide screening from neighbours. Clematis ‘apple blossom’ is a vigorous climber and produces lots of almond-fragranced, pink-white flowers. So, it looks and smells great too. It’s capable of growing to a height of 3 metres and a spread of 5 metres, providing plenty of privacy,’ Fiona says.

‘It does need a sunny spot, so it works best in a south or west-facing garden. It also needs moist and fertile soil and benefits from a layer of mulch in winter to protect the roots from frost. Once established, it may need a little pruning after it’s finished flowering, but that’s about it.’

Where to buy clematis:

4. Climbing honeysuckle

Climbing honeysuckle plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/kazakovmaksim)

‘These are not only fast-growing climbers, but produce beautiful flowers that attract pollinators, helping to make your garden more eco-friendly,' says Steve. 

'These plants are easy to grow and look after, and provide a sunny or only partially shaded location.'

Where to buy climbing honeysuckle:

5. Rambling roses

Rambling roses on a fence

(Image credit: Getty Images/craig fordham)

Unlike climbing roses, rambling roses are quite aggressive growers. So you can be sure they will cover your trellis pretty quickly once planted. And some varieties can also grow in a shaded location if you don’t have the luxury of a sunny spot.

‘These roses can quickly cover walls and fences, and come in different varieties with some being suitable for growing in the shade,' says Steve. 'They need a lot of space in order to thrive, but will produce beautiful bushy foliage once established.'

Where to buy rambling roses:

6. Ivy

English ivy on a garden wall with a door

(Image credit: Getty Images/Grace Cary)

Enveloping your garden wall or fence in ivy is one of the best ivy garden ideas and uses of the notoriously fast-growing and often invasive climber. Just be careful not to let it grow on your house.

‘Ivy is a really popular plant when it comes to creating a dense privacy screen. However, Ivy can be invasive, which might put you off if you're not willing to keep on top of pruning and maintenance. Although many homes do have ivy growing on them, it can cause structural problems so I recommend keeping it away from your home,’ advises Steve.

Where to buy ivy:

And with these, no nosy neighbours will be able to catch a glimpse of you when in the garden. You’re welcome!

Content Editor

Sara Hesikova has been a Content Editor at Ideal Home since June 2024, starting at the title as a News Writer in July 2023. Sara brings the Ideal Home’s readership features and news stories from the world of homes and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more, focusing on all things room decor, specialising in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.