HOW TO FIX CLIMBERS IN PLACE
It helps to know how different climbing plants hoist themselves up.
HOOKS & THORNS
Bougainvillea and climbing roses attach and grow up using hooks and thorns, so wear gloves when pruning. They need support to start their climb, like flexible ties or strips of old stockings. Training those vigorous upright growths (water shoots) to go horizontal will encourage many more flowers.
Many climbers, like wisteria, jasmine and even beans, twist and turn as they grow, wrapping themselves around a post or each other. They need small sticks, stakes or fine mesh, like chain wire, to start their journey. So if you’re covering a Colorbond fence you’ll first need to install wires or lattice for them to grow onto.
These corkscrew-like features, on plants like passionfruit, clematis, sweet peas and climbing edible peas, are used to hoist plants upwards and latch onto a support. You’ll need to give these climbers a “leg-up” with smaller sticks or wires if you’re looking at covering a solid fence.
SUCKER PADS AND AERIAL ROOTS
Plants like Boston ivy, Virginia creeper and English ivy stick to walls. These self-clinging climbers are very vigorous, leaving behind suckers or roots when removed. But they’re great to use as a green screen on an ugly brick wall. The deciduous vines produce a stunning autumn colour show.