“What climbing plants for trellis” would seem to be the obvious question to ask when setting about a little bit of vertical gardening by way of a few trellis plants or so? There are however, many things to consider in this seemingly easy task, not least the decision – if it’s not too late – as to what type of trellis to use.
That subject matter obviously has to be another article quite soon -for the choice of trellis for climbing plants arguably matters as much as the type of plant to use! Image shows a well supported wall trellis which is ideal for most climbers.
Here painted white, which could be a future problem as far as maintenance is concerned, but it makes a nice feature on which to grow flowering climbing plants.
For brevity in this article, we will simply place trellis in two very basic categories; lightweight and sturdy. This again will be determined – as will the choice of climber – by whether or not the trellis will be a screen-type free standing panel, or one that is to be affixed to a wall or fence.
Many plants for trellis are not automatically suited to growing on pergolas, though some would suit either. Trellis is mostly used as screening or dividers of space – verticals, whereas pergolas are akin to archways or overhead screens – horizontals.
Plantings such as this can cool a sunny wall and noticeably make the room indoors more comfortable.
Light trellis for the sake of this article is that type of trellis normally fastened to a wall; not being rigid enough to be free standing – such as a fence panel type. As a general rule, climbers that cling to their supports by way of twining stems are not best suites to light trellis, simply because if they have to be removed or unraveled there is a risk of damaging the trellis battens. This is particularly so with climbing vines such as honeysuckle, which often outgrow their temporary home on a trellis.
It is far better to use plants which – though they are classed as climbers – need to be tied in to the support to remain upright. Those that climb by way of tendrils or curled leaf stems are less problematic.
Kiwi Fruit flower; Variegated Ivy; Schisandra; Purple foliage Grape; Wisteria:
‘Sturdy trellis’ being that type which will require support only on the outer framework - often used for stand-alone units, screening, or enhancing boundary fences.
The majority of climbing plants are suited to growing on sturdy trellis – some being self supporting with others needing training and possible tying-in to the trellis framework.
Be aware of the growth statistics of all climbers and avoid such climbing plants for trellis such as Russian Vine, which will outgrow the trellis in the space of a single year. Where it wanders off to after that is dependent upon what is nearby to swamp with growth!
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