10 of the best plants to cover a shed – inspirational ideas to make planting (not timber) the focus of attention


Choosing a rapid-growing climbing plant such as a vine is an easy way to cover your shed fast so that it blends seamlessly into the garden. 'Star jasmine, is a true gem in the world of climbing vines,' says Alex Kantor, owner of Perfect Plants Nursery in Monticello, Florida. 'With its skinny, pliable stems, star jasmine is a breeze to train and guide up a shed.'


If you're looking for a dramatic foliage plant to enhance your shed and live in zones 10-12, bloodleaf (iresine herbstii) is the one for you. It will provide a spectacular show of color throughout the season in shades of crimson, dark purple and magenta. Even the stems are electric pink, and its tropical good looks are a real conversation piece.


'Clematis flowers come in a variety of colors and bloom right through to fall,' says horticulturalist Gail Pabst, who works for the National Garden Bureau. 'A natural choice to cover a shed, clematis prefers shaded roots but full sun for the plant, so if you're looking into how to grow clematis it's recommended to add a groundcover to keep the roots cool.'


Taller varieties of cosmos can grow up to 6 feet and make a lovely hazy screen of flowers and feathery foliage to disguise a shed. They can be grown either in the ground or in pots. They need lots of sun, and staking or growing up through pea netting when they get taller otherwise, they can flop. Growing them against a shed wall is ideal as it can also provide the necessary support they need.


Deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen, climbing honeysuckles (also known as Lonicera) have flexible stems that twine around a support making them one of the fastest-growing flowering vines. Train them to climb up and over your shed, and the foliage and flowers, as well as the scent, won't disappoint.


Training one of the best climbing roses or a rambling rose to cover a shed is easy and the result is always beautiful. Roses around a shed works whatever the style of your yard, but are particularly fitting if you love the look of cottage gardens.


'American Beautyberry (also known as Callicarpa americana) is a North American native deciduous shrub with arching branches that is a great way to add interest in front of a shed,' says Shubber Ali, CEO of Garden for Wildlife, based in Bethesda, Maryland. 'It adds stunning color to the autumn garden when its leaves turn chartreuse and clusters of bright purple fruit form along its stems.'


Easy evergreen shrubs and trees are some of the best plants to cover a shed year-round. The American Arborvitae has a columnar, narrow growth habit, making it an ideal choice for shed screening. The foliage is soft to the touch and a vibrant shade of green, enhancing the overall beauty of your landscape.


'Black-eyed Susan vine is an annual that gives color all summer long,' says Gail Pabst. 'The plants are long-blooming, and heat tolerant. They also do not need to be deadheaded to keep flowering. One plant can easily cover 5 feet of trellis on the side of a shed.'


Fast-growing and resilient wisteria will quickly transform a shed into a thing of beauty to delight in. Indigenous to the eastern half of the US, American wisteria produces lilac-blue flowers in spring that are even more beautiful than its more familiar Asian cousin, which the USDA considers invasive for its tendency to crowd out native plants.

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