Do Pergola Climbing Plants Attract Wildlife & Which Type to Choose…

Do you have a new pergola or maybe you’re about to buy one and want to know if it will attract wildlife?   Then, yes, a Pergola with climbing plants will attract wildlife!

A beautiful screened structure such as this can really turn into something special with some decorative climbing plants weaving through the beams.

Hedgerows give off an amazing scent that draws in all sorts of bugs – from bees on flowers for pollination purposes, to butterflies looking for eating opportunities near their natural habitat…

Even little critters like earthworms who love snacking away happy!

Popular Pergola Climbers to Attract Wildlife

  • Java Fern
  • Dracaena Marginata
  • Schefflera Arboricola
  • Pothos Ivy
  • Philodendron Selloum
  • Ficus Alii
  • Honeysuckle (Bees, butterflies, and birds)
  • Clematis Tri-Colour (Butterflies, insects, and bees)
  • Climbing Hydrangea (Insects, bumblebees, and insects)
  • Firethorn-Pyracantha (Birds)
  • Dog Rose – Rosa Canina (Aphids, ladybirds, birds)



Honeysuckle is perfect for training up a wall or pergola.  It can be easily grown in well-drained soil with access to partial or full sun.

You can expect it to grow anywhere from 1.75 metres right up to 20 metres tall.


This plant extends by entwining itself through the beams of the pergola and one established it provides a very nice scent that isn’t overpowering.

The flowers are available in lots of different colors including green and yellow, orange and red.

The flower itself has 10 insects that exclusively feed on it and is well known for attracting bees, butterflies, thrushes, warblers, and small mammals.

Honeysuckle should be pruned in later winter or early spring and some variations are evergreen whilst others are deciduous.

Clematis Tri-Colour

The Clematis can add a splash of color to any pergola.

This beautiful climbing plant is ideal for pergolas due to its climbing ability and can add an uplifting feel with the beautiful colours available.


Due to the rapid expansion of the plant, you can spread each plant 2/3 feet apart for best coverage.  The soil type you need is average to rich but one that is moist but well-drained.

The clematis is especially well known for attracting butterflies, insects, and bees to your garden and can be planted in early winter like most climbing plants they must grow into the sun.

Climbing Hydrangea

This heavy vined climbing plant will require a trellis to support the weight of this climber.

Due to the sheer size of the vines and flowering areas, it gives a great shelter for insects and attracts small bumblebees and hoverflies.


For those of you looking around for choice, you’ll be pleased to know that there are 70-75 different species and they can literally grow everywhere.

Climbing hydrangeas will flourish in the right conditions that have rich, moist soil that is well-draining.  The vine grows equally as effective in full or partial sunlight.


Firethorn can grow are large shrubs that need minimal maintenance.  They are very easy to cut back and produce white flowers from May to June and red berries in autumn.

Birds are especially partial to the red berries and if your pergola is in a quiet space, the birds can easily strip back the berries before Christmas time.


Firethorns are very hardy and can be grown in shady and exposed areas of your garden.

This climber grows quite thick and is ideal to use up the side of a pergola should you wish to block out a neighbour tp provide more privacy.

Dog Rose – Rosa Canina

The dog rose that has a height and spread of approximately 3x3m and is a hardy and soil versatile climbing plant.

There are lots of cultivated varieties and their flowers can be singular or multi-petalled in design.  There are over 200 species of insects that feed on this climber.

rosa canina

Should your pergola cover a pond then as long as this dog rose is kept controlled and not directly over the pond then it could be a good source of insects for your fish.

The flowers are an important source of nectar and during the winter the berries feed blackbirds, redwings and waxwing birds.

The above plants are important climbers that can help transform a pergola into a spectacular garden feature.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general