HOW TO FIX CLIMBERS IN PLACE

It helps to know how dif­fer­ent climb­ing plants hoist them­selves up.

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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.

TWINERS

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.

TENDRILS

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.

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