Which are the best climbing plants for yard fences?

Written by amy shelleby
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Which are the best climbing plants for yard fences?
The sweet smell of honeysuckle blooms fills the air in summer. (Honeysuckle image by StylezInk from Fotolia.com)

A climbing plant can add colour and interest to a fence with flowers, fruit and/or foliage. It can also provide a privacy screen along a chain link fence. Choose climbing plants that do not require a lot of maintenance. Quick-growing plants provide almost instant colour or privacy, but it may become invasive if not pruned regularly.

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Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a vine that grows 15 to 30 feet by twisting itself through objects. A wooden or chain link fence is a possible support for honeysuckle vines. Honeysuckle grows in bright sun or shade, and it tolerates poor soil conditions. Honeysuckle vines produce flowers in the summer, usually between June and September, depending on the variety. Honeysuckle is not susceptible to insects or disease. Cut vines that outgrow the planting area back to 6 to 8 inches from the ground. The vines come back during the growing season. Trumpet honeysuckle blooms with red flowers and the fruit attracts birds.

Clematis

All types of clematis can grow on a fence. Clematis vines have twining stems that wrap around a structure such as a fence. Some varieties of clematis only grow 8 feet high while others can reach 30 feet. The size, colour and bloom time of the clematis vines differ according to the type of clematis plant. Clematis does best when the flowers are in full sun and the soil is in the shade of the fence. Sweet Autumn is a hardy type of clematis that grows up to 30 feet high. It blooms throughout August and September with white blooms.

Bittersweet

American bittersweet is hardy and has a twining growth habit. It can reach a height of 20 feet. This plant produces an interesting fall fruit. Cut the fruit off the vine and hang it upside down to dry in a cool area. Use the dry fruit in flower arrangements. The Chinese or Loesener varieties of bittersweet produce more fruit than, but are not as hardy as, the American bittersweet.

Roses

Climbing roses do not wrap around structures like vines. They grow on long canes that need a support. Climbing roses left unsupported lie on the ground as a groundcover. Tie canes to the support with pieces of nylon. Everblooming climbing roses grow slowly, but produce many flowers in the spring and often bloom again later in the season. Rambler climbing roses can grow as much as 20 feet of cane during one growing season. The flowers of the rambler are smaller and grow in a cluster. Ramblers are susceptible to mildew.

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