Climbing plants are a great addition to any garden. Many of them produce beautiful flowers and fruits, some have lovely scents and others have wonderful foliage. They can be used to form screen walls and fences, provide shelter from the sun and most of all they add interest and height to your garden. Our blog Grow Up! looks at the benefits of vertical gardening.
Many climbing plants are commonly grown from seeds or cuttings but of course you can always buy a young plant from your local nursery. The best cuttings are taken from the young growth which is just starting to harden. Most cuttings of climbers produce roots from the nodes, so a clean cut below the node will generally promote good root development. Otherwise climber cuttings can be treated in the same way as cuttings from any other woody plant. When growing from seed, the best results come from fresh ripe seeds.
Most climbers and scramblers grow well in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Improve clay soils by adding gypsum and for sandy soils add compost and other organic material. Evergreen climbers can be planted at most times of the year.
TIP: Add mulch around the plant to help keep the roots cool and moist, and it will also limit weed growth.
There's a wide variety of options for supporting your climbers. Wire mesh, trellis, arches, walls, fences and pergolas are popular, and highly effective, supports for climbing plants. Many climbers also look wonderful when trained on tree trunks or wigwams. Light climbers can be grown in beds amongst shrubs, where they provide added interest and texture to your garden.
Popular choices for climbing plants include:
There are so many more wonderful climbing plants available, there is bound to be the right one out there for you garden and hopefully this brief insight into climbing plants will help you to get started on growing up!
N.B. This article has been written for Australian gardens. If you're reading this from around the world, we do hope you've found it a useful stepping stone for your own further research.