here are many varieties of climbing plants, all of which have one crucial trait in common: they lack firm stems or trunks to support themselves as they grow.
In lieu of this support, they utilize various adaptive features, such as twisting leaves, modified stems, or adhesive pads, to attach themselves to a suitable object to climb.
In this way, they’re able to reach light and avoid predators.
Their “hosts” may take many forms: other plants or trees, arbors, arched tunnels, pillars, trellises, fences and walls.
We can take advantage of this natural inclination of vines and other climbing plants in order to adorn our walls and fences and beautify our yards or hide other unattractive features.
Climbers can form screens on the borders of our properties and thus afford us privacy. Because they grow upwards, they don’t require much space. What’s more, they can provide us with colorful blooms, beautiful evergreen foliage (and decorative seed heads, which offer visual interest even during the winter months), and an array of fragrances.
Different plants have different strategies for making their upward climbs. Some twine their stems around the branches of trees and shrubs. Some less hardy varieties require a lot of coaxing, as well as man-made supports to help them along.
Some climbing plants that do well against walls and fences, without the aid of other supports, include clianthus, bomareas, cissus, jasminum, Chilean glory flower, hydrangea, and various types of climbing roses.
When choosing what kinds of climbing plants to cultivate in your yard, consider the climbing method each particular plant makes use of and how high it will ultimately grow. There are many hardy plants that can thrive under diverse soil, moisture, light and wind conditions.
For best results, however, you should check the soil and exposure in the area in which you plan to plant and then seek out varieties that will thrive under those conditions. Look for bushy plants not yet in flower.
Their leaves should be in good condition, with no yellow, and exhibiting signs of new growth. Avoid pot-bound plants, whose roots will be grown around the outside of their containers.
Weeds and grass will compete with your plants for nutrient and water, so your next step will be to remove the existing turf from the area where you’ll be planting. A strip that spans two feet from a fence or wall will be sufficient. Scaling a lawn back in this manner will also help to insure that you don’t damage your plants when you mow.
The actual planting time will depend upon your plants; you can obtain more information about this at the nursery or garden center where you purchase them. Generally, hardy climbers are planted in autumn or early spring and partially hardy ones in spring or early summer.
Most soils, regardless of type, will benefit from the addition of organic matter like compost or manure. Mix this in well, and then water the area thoroughly. You’ll then want to dig a hole about 3 times the width of your plant, and about 28 inches deep.
Mix more manure or compost into this hole and then place your plant at an angle towards the wall or fence. The top of its root ball should be at ground level. Fill in the surrounding hole, tamp firmly, and then water until the whole area is damp.
Your fledgling plant will need some support in its early stages. Spread out its stems and gently tie it to 2 or 3 evenly spaced stakes. After the stress of being transplanted, it will benefit from a spray of water mixed with liquid fertilizer. Do this in the morning to avoid the full heat of the sun.
Adding some mulch around your climbing plants will deter weeds and pests and help the ground retain moisture.
This can include gravel cover, lawn clippings, or chipped bark. Be careful, however, not to pile mulch at the very base of your plants.2014-07-12