If you’ve ever possessed the desire to lounge beneath the awning of your pergola, bearing little more than a royal toga, as servants feed you grapes fresh off the vine, while the sun pours its warmth and rays upon your body, you wouldn’t be alone. But seeing as how mankind rarely does this anymore, you probably won’t get the chance. Just know you can still relax on your heroic divan under the growing vines that span the length of your pergola. You’ll just want to make sure that you choose the right vines, as some are better than others for adorning your pergola.

Vine for Pergola

(Pixabay / Ray_Shrewsberry)

Following is a list of vines that can do quite well on your Colorado pergolas.

Grape Vines

Grapes are a delicious fruit, and the best part is the berry isn’t the only part you can use. For example, if you enjoy dolma (stuffed grape leaves), this vine will give you the leaves you need for your wrappers.

But before you make a decision on this plant, grape vines can grow up to 115 long, but their fruit production won’t be much at that length. If you want the grapes, pruning is a must. For the first couple years of their lives, a grape vine will need about an inch of water a week, depending on rain. But older vines rarely need to be watered. They also do best with a full day of sun and will produce less fruit with less light.

Sweet Autumn

Sweet Autumn is one of the many vines from the Clematis genus. It blooms in the late summer/fall and has little white flowers.

Like most Clematis vines, Sweet Autumn likes having cooler roots, so make sure the sun doesn’t hit that spot directly by covering it with plants or using mulch.

Growing upward, Sweet Autumn will reach 20 feet in height and 24 inches in width. However, its height does depend on how much sun it gets, but it still prefers a full day. Like many plants, it needs about an inch of water a week, except during the rainy seasons.


While it’s name is Jackmanii, many call it Jackman for short. This is another Clematis, but it grows in late spring/early summer and has dark purple flowers.

Jackmanii should be watered to a depth of three inches each week, but make sure the top two inches are dry before watering it again. In extreme heat, it may need to be watered twice a week. Again, when it rains, stop watering. They need full or partial sun to survive and thrive.

They can grow to be about 10 feet tall and 24 inches wide.

Polish Spirit

Similar to the Jackmanii, the Polish Spirit has dark purple flowers, but it will bloom from summer through fall.

It’s a low maintenance plant that has average water needs, just like many others in this list. Again, this plant needs full/partial sun exposure.

This Clematis also grows to be about 10 feet tall and 24 inches wide.

Comtesse de Bouchaud

This vine is a pink-flowered gem that will bloom all summer long.

Again, this one has average water needs, about an inch a week, twice a week during extreme heat, but you should stop watering during the rainy season. It also needs full or partial sun exposure.

This star-shaped flowery plant can grow anywhere from six feet tall, to 10 feet tall.

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses come in a variety of colors, just like their bushy cousins. They can be seen in white, pink, red, yellow and more!

Climbing roses may need about two inches of water a week, but during hot months, probably more. They also do best with full sun but will work well with a little shade.

Most of these colorful plants will grow anywhere from six to 12 feet in height and three to four feet wide.

Summer Cascade Wisteria

As the name suggests, these lavender -colored plants bloom in the summertime.

These plants need average water and full sun. However, to get full bloom, you may need to prune them three times over the course of the summer.

The Summer Cascade Wisteria grows to be 15 to 20 feet tall, and the width depends on the structure holding it up.

Trumpet Vine

As per usual, these orange (sometimes found in yellow or red) plants bloom in the summer.

They’ll do best in full sun. Just be wary because they grow a lot when it gets hot and can burrow underground and cause damage to patios and planters. Thus, it may be best to plant these away from a building. Also, they require about an inch of water a week, except during the rainy seasons.

They can grow to be 20 to 30 feet tall and six to eight feet wide.

Just know that these aren’t the only options for your custom pergola. This is a just a handful of vines that will do well.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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