How to Grow Climbing Plants
If you want to add a truly unique touch to the outdoor landscaping of your home, think about adding in some climbing plants.
Climbing plants can serve a variety of uses. You can use them to camouflage walls, sheds, structures or fencing. Use climbing plants with trellises, arbors, obelisks and other supports to create privacy screens and block unwanted and unsightly views. Most climbing plants grow quickly offering an almost instant solution depending on your need and your desired effect.
Most of all, climbing plants can add character and soften the appearance of your home and garden while creating a beautiful and unique touch that’s all your own.
Many plant groups offer a climbing variety so they’re not hard to find. Among the more common are: clematis, wisteria, honeysuckle, morning glory, sweet pea, climbing and rambling roses, and various ivies.
Just make sure you choose the plants that match the sun and shade, rainfall, and soil of your garden. And be sure you provide proper support. Most climbing plants will grow rapidly if they are near a solid object or structure.
You need to know that there are five categories of climbers: tendrils, twiners, scramblers, stickers, and stem roots. Some require vertical support, others need horizontal support, and some require none. Look at the nature of the plant and learn how they are designed to climb. Match to the right support and you’ll soon have a structure, a wall or an architectural element covered with foliage.
Here are a few short definitions: Tendrils have slender wiry growths extending from their stems and need narrow horizontal supports such as netting. Twining leaves and stems require vertical structures with horizontal supports for twining such as trellises, arbors and other architectural elements. Scramblers like roses and bougainvillea must be secured in place to the structure of your choice with gardening wire or string. Stickers with adhesive tendrils, like Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy, need no support other than a vertical structure on which to cling and climb.
When planting, support the stems by tying them to the lowest part of your support framework. Any stem that is weak or damaged should not be used, Trim away unused and excess stems with pruners to encourage growth of the tied stems.
Thoroughly water the soil surrounding the plant. Mulch the area to help the soil to retain moisture, promoting root growth and keeping weeds at a minimum.
Different climbers will thrive under differing conditions of location, sun, shade and soil. For success, it’s best to match your climbers not only to the structure, but also to the conditions at your home.
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