Annuals That Climb

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I imagine most of us think of woody plants like roses and clematis when we think of growing climbing vines. They are of course fabulous, but there is another group of climbers that can be very beautiful and useful in the garden. Annual vines are very useful as they are temporary, growing just the one season. You can use them to fill in a weak spot or brighten up a dull corner. Annual vines are available in many colours and they flower profusely the whole season.

Usually started from seed in the early spring, flowering annual vines grow quickly to mature flowering size. They can be grown in most zones and in milder regions may even live for a few years. Grow them on walls, fences, trellises and arbors. If you wish you might even apply these flower vines as a ground cover.

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As in any other plant selection be sure to choose the right climber for your situation. Consider your soil, site, climate and most of all size requirement. By choosing the correct climber you will save yourself a lot of work by not having to cut back an aggressive grower several times throughout the season.

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Some of the easier climbing annuals to grow are nasturtium, morning glory, black eyed susan, potato vine, canary vine and of course every ones favourite sweet pea. Sweet peas have the added benefit of a wonderful fragrance and an extremely wide choice of colours. Morning glories will bloom  very well in a large container with a wire cage for climbing up.

Black eyed Susan vine at Sensible Gardening

Most nurseries will carry a wide selection of seed packets to choose from with all the plants needs and growing instructions provided. Try Thunbergia or Bell Vine. If your gardening season is a long one you could try cup-and-saucer vine, climbing snap dragons or cypress vine.

Thunbergia climbing vine at Sensible Gardening

Bell Vine at Sensible Gardening

Annual climbers are not restricted to just flowers, many vegetable vines when flowering are equally attractive and also very productive. Try scarlet runner beans for a fast climbing red flowering screen. Pick the beans when they are still small, about 2 to 3 inches. This is when they are tender and tasty. If you don’t like beans grow them anyways, the hummingbirds will thank you. Another climbing bean is the hyacinth bean. Fragrant purple flowers are followed by deep blue-red beans. When cooked the colour fades but the beans are tender and tasty. Lots of to grow, try gourds.

Scarlet Runner Beans at Sensible Gardening

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Annuals that climb with Sensible Gardening. Easy annual vines to grow.

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