Climbing plants and vines can add beauty and visual interest to your garden landscape. Flowering plants growing up the side of a pergola or climbing an arbor create a colorful focal point for garden displays. Vining plants can turn a shed or garage wall into a floral canvas. When planted to climb a fence, climbing plants can create a beautiful living privacy screen.
Climbing plants and vines can be trained to grow up nearly anything; but they need proper support to display effectively. (Note: Do not train climbing plants to attach to trees or allow vines to grow up trees. They can damage and even kill trees by cutting off needed nutrients.) Different types of plants require different kinds of support structures. The type of structure required depends on how the plant attaches itself to objects when climbing. If you want to add climbing plants to your garden, the primer below will help you match climbing plants to the proper structures.
- Aerial roots are commonly used by woody vines like English Ivy (Hedera), climbing hydrangea and wisteria to attach to objects. Hair-like roots easily attach themselves to brick or stone walls and wooden fences but need to be tied to open lattice work until they become established.
- Tendrils are springy spiral stems that curl around objects, allowing Clematis, grape vines, pole beans and sweet peas to climb fences and trellises. Occasional tying may be required to help bridge gaps or direct growth.
When shopping for climbing plants at your local garden center or home store, look for the Green Circle Growers tag; your guarantee of quality.