Care of climbing plants - planting, cutting and propagating

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Wild Wine - Vitis vinifera

Climbers look decorative and serve primarily as a garden ornament or for landscaping facades. Most climbing plants are easy to maintain, but require regular pruning and professional fertilization. With the right care the plants delight with the lush growth and longevity.

Special features and variety

The most important feature of these plants is the absence of supporting structures, which is why the plants need external support. Basically, two groups of climbing plants are distinguished, namely the self-climbers and the scaffold climbing plants. The former include e.g. Ivy or climbing hydrangea, the facades or walls can climb themselves thanks to their tendrils or tassel roots. The second type includes i.a. Clematis, climbing roses or vines. These plants need special climbing aids. The annual climbers include morning glory, nasturtium or passion flower, the latter only because they can not tolerate the Central European winter. Among perennial plants, e.g. Ivy, winter jasmine or clematis. Alone from this overview follows that under the name "climbing plant" several very different plant species are united.

Use and location

Climbers serve primarily as a garden decoration. These plants can not only decorate facades or house entrances, but e.g. for greening of privacy screens or archways. In addition, a climbing aid with the magnificently flowering plant can form an effective optical center in the front yard or on the terrace or adorn a bare wall. Climbers also look effective as a traffic light plants. With the use of these representatives of the flora, the gardener's imagination knows no bounds. When planting the plants, it should be noted that many species come from southern countries and therefore prefer a sunny location. South side of the house, sheltered from the wind, lots of sunshine - such conditions are an advantage for most climbing plants. One of the more modest plants in this respect is ivy (Hedera), which likes to grow in a bright location, but is satisfied with just two to three hours of direct sunlight per day. In contrast, flowering plants need direct sunlight for several hours a day.

Planting plants

As a rule, climbing plants are sold in plastic containers. The planting hole should have twice the volume of the container. A layer of garden or compost soil is placed on the soil of the planting hole and appropriate fertilizer is added. The plant should not be planted deeper than in the container. Around the young plant, the plant hole is filled with garden soil, the earth is festgetreten for the stable sand of the plant. For all freshly planted plants, extensive watering is important. The best irrigation water is soft water from the rain barrel. Young plants are still weak and can use a stick as a support before they can attack the wall or the climbing aid. Tied to a stick, the plant is safer from the wind. As a planting season for most climbers is autumn (September-October) or spring (April-May) recommended.

Fertilize and water

Each type of these plants needs a special fertilizer. Long-term fertilizers have proven very good. Humus, rather loose soils with sufficient drainage provide a foundation for the thriving of most climbing plants. Ivy can be fertilized with the fertilizer for hedge plants, often only regular loosening of the soil and addition of compost soil is sufficient. There are special fertilizers for roses; Clematis has a very positive reaction to fertilizers for flowering plants and to the addition of horn shavings.


Morning Glory - Ipomoea

Without regular pruning ivy, wild wine or other climbing plants can completely overgrow facades or gazebos. It is not excluded that these plants cause significant structural damage. In addition, green areas are home to many insects and spiders. If the gardener does not want to have these roommates in his (her) living room, then cutback is announced. Another reason to cut back these plants is that they can collapse under their own weight. If the plant is too heavy and the plaster is a bit cracked, this happens despite the strong adhesive roots. Tip: Since ivy contains toxins, it is worthwhile to wear gloves when cutting the plant. The best time to cut most climbing plants is autumn (from the end of August), the best tool - manual hedge trimmer. Fast growing plants, such as Ivy or wild wine can also be cut in summer when needed. The remnants of the adhesive roots look rather unattractive, but are difficult to remove.Tip 1: A wire brush or spatula combined with the very patience bring the desired result. Flame helps too, then the wall should be repainted. Tip 2: With Clematis it should first be determined to which cut group the variety belongs, it depends on whether the plant should be cut annually or less frequently and at what time of the year.


The easiest way to increase the ivy probably. There are not yet selected woody shoots without anchoring roots. The cut shoots are placed in a container of water in such a way that no leaves protrude into the water. After just one or two weeks, new roots form, and when they are about three cm long, the shoots can be planted. Clematis can be propagated with the help of offshoots, which are buried and fixed flat in potting soil. Only after the young plant has taken root, the shoot is separated from the mother plant. Climbing roses can be easily multiplied by cuttings, important are loose soil and regular watering.
Care of the climbing plants in the near future:
  • Planting time in autumn or spring;
  • Mostly sunny or partially shaded (except ivy);
  • Loose humus-rich soil and long-term fertilizer;
  • No waterlogging, fertilize regularly;
  • Especially with ivy and wine pruning is necessary;
  • Propagation by cuttings or offshoot.
Climbing plants are a beautiful and easy way to decorate the garden and the house in a natural way.

Worth knowing and planting tips

Climbing plants, which can directly overgrow areas such as walls and facades, are called self-climbers. Plants that need a climbing aid are called scaffold climbing plants.
Climbers make an important contribution to building greening.
Among the creepers there are some crops. They include vines, blackberries, kiwis, beans, peas, cucurbits, as well as spice and medicinal plants such as pepper, vanilla and schisandra.
Among the climbers there are Ranker, Selbstklimmer, Spreizklimmer and Schlinger.
The most famous climbing plants in Germany are:

  • trumpet flower
  • Clematis
  • climbing hydrangeas
  • winter jasmine
  • Wild Wine
  • Wisteria
  • ivy
  • Pfeiffenwinde
  • Clematis
  • Climbing roses.
One-year climbing plants are used primarily if you want to achieve short-term accents or if you want to try the effect of such a plant first.

Climbing ivy - Hedera helix

Years ago, many people took the view that climbing plants damage the walls of houses. Experiences confirm rather the opposite. Climbers protected house facades need less repair because they are not exposed to the constant change of moisture and drought, high heat and extreme cold. Climbers keep water away from the facade and have a temperature-balancing effect. The prerequisite is, however, that a trellis is attached or the greening is applied only to a faultless, non-cracking or crumbling façade.
Green house walls, however, increasingly attract insects and other microorganisms. But they also offer ideal nesting possibilities for songbirds.

Video Board: Propagating Hydrangea Cuttings the Easy Way.

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