Vines are a garden essential. Why? They solve problems such as smothering unsightly fences, adding warmth and romance to blank walls, taking the edge off pergolas and pillars, and as most are fast-growing, they do this in record time. Finally, because they’re so impressive once they get growing, they’re attention-getters, too. Vines basically fall into three categories–twiners, those that grip by tendrils, and others that adhere by rootlets. Here’s what you need to know about each, and some spectacular choices.
Vines That Twine or Scramble
Vines in this category don’t attach themselves with tendrils, but rather, scramble along and wind themselves through and around their support system without needing much outside help. These can be vigorous vines (think wisteria, bougainvillea, rambling roses) so use them on sturdy fences and structures.
Vines That Grip By Tendrils
Tendrils are small gripper-type stems that grow straight until they contact something they can grasp–wire or cord, another stem on the same vine, another plant–then contract into a spiral and wrap around the support. Excellent choices for latticework supports such as chain-link fences and lath trellises.
Vines That Adhere
Climbers such as Virginia Creeper use adhesive pads to attach themselves to flat surfaces, while others, such as English ivy and climbing hydrangea, adhere by aerial rootlets. Removing them can damage paint work and mortar, however, if you’re looking for a near-forever solution, they’re a good choice.
Vines that Twine
Yellow Lady Banks Climbing Rose
Zone: 6 – 9
A vigorous climber with rich green foliage on thornless, slender branches. Double yellow blooms have a slight fragrance. Prolific bloomer for a lovely spring display.
Vines That Grip
Vines That Adhere
Training a Vine
- Plant all vines at least four to six inches away from its support system so its roots have a place to expand.
- Get vines going in the right vertical direction by attaching them loosely to the structure you want them to climb.
- You may need to keep tying up vines as they grow higher and higher on a structure.
- Other vines require very little training, other than at planting time.