Making a Stable Base: Providing Support for Climbers

Want to plant a climber but not sure how to support it? Look no further. We'll walk you through all the options here, whether you need something large or small, free-standing or attached.

Excerpted from Garden Design
  • Horizontal Wires Offer Good Support for Climbers

    Horizontal Wires

    Climbers and wall shrubs scale vertical surfaces in a variety of ways, and the support you provide depends on their vigor and methods of climbing. Some, such as jasmine, honeysuckle and wisteria are twiners; clematis have coiling leaf stalks; and sweet peas, passionflowers andn vines cling with tendrils. Horizontal wires offer the most adaptable support for climbers, wall-trained shrubs and fruit trees. Training stems horizontally increases flower and fruit production.

  • Encourage Rambling Rose to Climb Tree on a Rope

    Trees and Other Host Plants

    To encourage a rambler rose to clamber up into a fruit tree, plant it 3 feet away from trunk and give it a rope - pegged to the ground and run to the lowest branch - to climb.

  • Tie Climbers to Trellis Against a Wall or Screen


    Wooden trellis can be used against a wall or as a screen. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis and passionflower may secure themselves, but tying them in also helps.

  • Garden Obelisks Provide Support for Large Climbers


    These provide ideal support for large-flowered clematis, jasmine and climbing roses, and annual climbers, such as sweet peas, morning glory and runner beans.

  • No Support Needed for Climbers Like Boston Ivy

    No Support Needed

    Plants such as Boston ivy have tendrils that adhere to walls without support. Ivy and climbing hydrangea have self-clinging roots on their stems. Some initial support is useful.

  • Trellis Fan Added to Container to Support Climber

    Planting in Pots

    Large containers, especially glazed ceramic pots or oak half barrels, create the opportunity for covering walls, fences and screens, even without a bed or border. Some pots and troughs come with freestanding trellis support, but you can also add a trellis fan as shown here. Try small- to medium-sized species and cultivars, such as Alpine clematis, and annual climbers like Chilean glory vine and morning glory.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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