Climbing vines can be a wonderful asset in the garden. Sometimes we are motivated to grow them because we are trying to hide an eye sore or fill in a bare spot quickly. A climbing vine can turn a run down shed into a romantic hide out, provide shade in a hot sunny exposure, and provide privacy from neighbors and street action. Others are just plain beautiful to grow.
Many climbing plants are trouble free and low maintenance but others can be quite fussy. The main thing is select the right vine for the spot and job you have in mind. It’s when we plant over zealous vines in small spaces that we run into trouble and cause ourselves a lot of unnecessary work.
Types of Vines
Vines can be annual or perennial, soft stemmed or woody. Some are quite delicate and others are hardy even in cold winters. Some vines grow slowly while others run rampant in one season. There are vines that twine, vines that cling with tendrils and others that cling with holdfasts. All vines however have long weak stems that must be supported for proper growth and effectiveness.
Tips for Growing Vines
When growing vines on fences insure the fence is strong and stable enough to support the mature vine which in some cases can become very heavy. This also applies to any other structure such as arbors or trellises. Vines growing on a house can be very attractive but be careful what you plant on what. Some vines can damage the wood siding of your home or your roof shingles and even harm vinyl and masonry. The best approach is to supply a trellis for the vine to grow on leaving a 1 foot gap between the trellis and your house. This way you keep the vine from attaching directly to your siding and window frames.
You will have to spend some time training your vines and tying them on to their support. Attach ties loosely as not to damage the stem as it grows. If you are in need of a ground cover some vines will scramble over the ground just as well as they will climb. An example is Virginia Creeper.
Vines to Grow with Caution
Vines can go from aggressive to invasive, depending on where they are growing and how well their growing requirements are met. A few vines that fit this category are:
Silver Lace Vine
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Other energetic vines include: Trumpet Vine, Wisteria, English Ivy, Porcelain Berry Vine, Virginia Creeper, Bougainvillea, Clematis Montana
Most problems with vines occur by planting the wrong vine in the wrong spot. Make your selections carefully and knowledgeably.
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(Photo of Wisteria by Pixabay)