How to choose climbing plants

Written by karen ellis
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There are several reasons to choose a climbing plant in your garden or yard. A trellis may be used to enhance and outside wall or to acquire privacy from a neighbour‘s yard. A lovely arbor over the garden entrance is plain and bare without entwined green tendrils. Perhaps the most important consideration is the location of the arbor, trellis or fence in order to choose the climbing plant that will flourish. Other things to think about are your preference of leaf, flower and scent as well as the plant growth rate.

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    Choose climbing shade plants. Carolina Moonseed will tolerate an environment of sun to partial shade. It blooms bright red berries in July to August and will climb to a height of 14 feet. It is a perennial climbing plant that enjoys an average to moist soil.
    Climbing hydrangea has heart-shaped leaves making for a very appealing plant even when not in bloom. It boasts lacy white blossoms at the end of June. If it has the support of a tree, it can grow to 50 feet. This climbing plant will take several years to establish itself and then growth will improve.
    Star Jasmine has small, dark, shiny leaves blooming fragrant flowers in the spring and early summer. This plant works well in a small space, more for ornamental use than as a privacy barrier. This climbing plant could also be listed in the fragrant category.

  2. 2

    Choose fast growing climbing plants. Clematis Montana blooms huge pink flowers April to June, flourishing in a sunny or partial shade location. This rapidly growing climbing plant can grow 16 to 30 feet in height.
    Honeysuckle has twining vines with very fragrant flowers and will serve as a hummingbird and butterfly attractor all through the summer months. Although they prefer full sun they will tolerate partial shade at some time during the day. Honeysuckle is fast growing and should not be planted to grow up a tree as it can strangle it.
    Virginia Creeper will give you a warm red and burgundy leaves in the autumn months. And in fact, this plant is usually purchased for it’s rich fall foliage. This is a strong, fast growing climber.

  3. 3

    Choose fragrant climbing plants. Climbing rose is a plant that does double duty with its lovely rose scent and beautiful full roses. This is a good choice for a wall or fence as it will be covered in blooms. There are many varieties such as Buff Beauty, Lavender Lassie or Kathleen which are all shade tolerant. Belle of Portugal, Kiftsgate and Lady Banks are long season bloomers letting you enjoy the roses through to autumn.
    Wisteria blooms large fragrant white or blue-purple hanging flowers. Besides the enjoyable scent the blooms alone will make passing neighbours stop in their tracks to admire them. If you live in an area where wild life abounds, it’s good to know that it is also deer resistant. This is a beautiful plant hanging from a garden gate arbor. Sweet Peas, with their delicate scent, are available in an array of colours. Picking the blooms for indoor use only encourages a greater number of them to grow on the climbing plant. They will grow to a height of six feet and can easily be seed grown.

Tips and warnings

  • A north facing wall or trellis will experience ground soil that is damp and lacks sun.
  • A south facing wall or trellis will get lots of sun so be sure it also gets enough water and the plant does not dry out.
  • An east facing wall or trellis will lack sun and may get some cold winds.
  • A west facing wall or trellis are the best choice for climbing plants.
  • The Virginia Creeper’s sap contains oxalate crystals that can cause a skin rash in people that are sensitive.

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