Climbing Plants: The Lowdown

If you’re looking for ways to create boundaries or hide fencing or structures, you may, like many, be looking at climbing plants to do this for you but may be slightly cautious that they’ll take over or even damage your property. In this blog we’ll squash the myths and help you to understand how to use climbers the right way as well as give you our favourites.

First of all, let’s look at what a climbing plant actually is.

A climbing plant is literally that. It is a plant which uses taller objects such as trees or trellises to grow upwards.

Not all climbing plants are the same, and in fact are split in to two groups; bines and vines.

Usually, bines need another object to twine their stems around for support. Whereas vines can support themselves using tendrils or specialised stems.

Because of this, if you use the correct type of climbing plant, you are more likely to minimise any damage caused.

If you’re looking for plants to grow alongside buildings such as an office or your home, you may want to opt for bines. In this scenario, you would create a structure such as a trellis to encourage the growth of the plant. By opting for bines instead of vines you will help to avoid structural damage to the property.

Vine on the other hand, probably aren’t the best solution for buildings. These climbers can grow quickly and self-support, often grabbing on for dear life, clinging to any gaps in your walls, which is what sometimes causes structural damage. However, if you’re looking for plants to cover fences or pergolas, vines are perfect as they can self-support and can add beautiful colour to your garden.

Many climbing plants grow rapidly and abundantly, which is why they’re a popular choice with gardeners. They need little in the way of attention once they’re established and can be left to do their thing. However, if they are continuously left without pruning, they can take over your garden. Climbers do need trimming, and how often and when depends on the type of climber. Some will need it very little, some even being done every few of years, whereas others should be done every year in winter.

Expert tip: if you are using a mixture of plants, it’s a good idea to tie vines at certain points as they grow to try and prevent them from wrapping around other plants.

Finally, here’s a few of our favourites:

  • Honeysuckle – Yellow to bright red blossoms, with a sweet fragrence
  • Morning glory – annual climbers with slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and trumpet-shaped flowers of pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white.
  • Wisteria – blooms in spring with large, drooping clusters of lilac or bluish-purple flowers.
  • Climbing roses – Slender stems and a vast array of colours to choose from, often blooming from spring to autumn.