We’ve talked in the plant about plant physiology and the different parts of the plants including roots, stems and leaves. In this week’s tip, we’ll be explaining more about climbing plants and the different ways in which they can climb and be properly supported.
Climbing plants can be both herbaceous like sweet peas, or they can be woody like grape vines. Generally speaking, they fall into three categories: scramblers, twiners, and clingers
Scramblers use hooked thorns (ex. climbing roses) or rapid elongation of shoots such as potatoes to keep them secure and supported against an existing support system. Often the support needs to be relatively strong and robust in order to properly support the plants and ensure they don’t fall over.
Clingers grab onto nearby surfaces by way of aerial roots or self-adhesive sucker pads at the end of their tendrils. These can include ivy and some varieties of climbing hydrangeas. As they grow, they attach themselves onto an existing support system and don’t need any additional or supplementary supports.
Twiners typically curl or use leaf tendrils to attach themselves onto a supplementary support. These include clematis, pole beans peas, and honeysuckle. A more specialized support system like a trellis is typically needed to give the plants enough support to grow vertically
Climbing plants can be training to grow on a variety of surfaces including fences, arches, and arbors. They can add colour and interest and enhance the visual appeal of a garden.