The thought of a climbing plant indoors may put some off, but there is a wide range of climbing plants that are very suitable for all types of situations - from darkest corner to brightest windowsill.
There are two basic 'indoors' - being the normal living accommodation, and the conservatory type room with a lot more natural light. For this article, we talk of living space - rather than conservatory-type environment.
For indoor climbing plants, we are not normally talking about the rampant creepers that are often used in the garden - though if you want, they are available!
Even the Ivy group has a number of smaller growing varieties that will do little more than trail over the edge of a pot, or perhaps climb up a small frame.
There are also some that will grow to several feet tall as well, so the right choice is important.
Many normal garden climbing shrubs can be bought indoors for a short time during the flowering period - if grown in a pot outside. Clematis and Passion Flowers are two that can be used as a short term spectacular room feature.
Judging by our mailbox, and visits to the website, it seems that the most popular climbing plant for use in the house, is the Jasmine Vine. Many of the queries we get, are because of the wrong choice of Jasmine! Though many of the plant names we see on 'outdoor' plants are similar to those we can buy for indoor use, too often they are different members of the same family, but not the particular one that should be tried indoors.
Summer Flowering Jasmine. The jasmine used for indoors - Jasminum polyanthemum - is a specific type which is suitable for the purpose. The normal outdoor Summer Jasmine - Jasminum officinalis - is not suitable for indoor use. It is pink budded opening to pure white flowers.
The normal outdoor grown Jasminum officinalis can be bought indoors if pot grown outdoors. It makes for a spectacular display, but should be placed in light place, and taken back outdoors within two weeks
Indoor Ivies - Hederas are well suited to growing indoors, being evergreen -providing you choose the right type. The smaller leaved varieties are best suited, and these are available in either plain - but attractive - foliage, or variegated types. The smaller leaved varieties are generally less vigorous than the larger ones, but again, the most popular one for indoors is the Hedera Goldheart. Outside, this can eventually grow to around 10ft - 3m. But this is not normal when restricted in a pot inside the house.
Devils Ivy - Epipremnum - are sometimes known - wrongly - as Scindapsus. They have attractive heart shaped leaves and are tolerant of most situations indoors. There are green leaved and several variegated forms. Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen - has silver marbled effect to the foliage, and is one of the more attractive.
Monstera - Swiss Cheese Plant. Easy to keep and not always realised that this plant is actually a climber. In its native tropical habitats, it is quite happy to clamber up any support to a height of several meters. The large leaves and sliced foliage are the main attraction. Normally green, but there is also a variegated form available.
Monstera can get quite large, and have what some perceive to be troublesome aerial roots, which can be removed if desired, with no harm to the plant.
Philodendron - Heart Leaf Plants are in the same family as the Devil's Ivy group, and quite similar in habit and appearance. There are a wide range of leaf sizes and types, with the characteristic 'heart' shape and also those with larger leaves, which are normally better if treated as a large pot plant rather than climbing plant.
Choose your Philodendron well, for the larger leaved varieties, can take up a lot of space - outwards as well as upwards. they are normally happy in tropical situations, so will need a good heat source and a humid environment.
There are several related evergreen vines with good foliage - being Cissus antarctica, Cissus discolor and Cissus rhombifolia - The Grape Ivy. The latter is probably the best climbing plant for an area lacking good light.
Hoya carnosa - the 'Wax Flower - Plant' (Hoya bella is smaller and more of an arching pot plant.) would be a good general choice, but careful where to site it, as the maturing flowers tend to exude and 'drop' a sticky honeydew. But if you can get over that, then this is a good indoor climber that will give years of interest. watch out for mealybugs in the leaf joints.
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