Getting A Climbing Vine Off To A Good Start

Vines can play a special role in your garden, especially those that are climbers. Here are a few tips on how to get your vine off to a good start. If  you invest a little time in your plantings you will reap the rewards of having a healthy, thriving plant. I have a fence covered with honeysuckle.

It serves as a backdrop to my picnic bench table, or bench picnic table as it is sometimes referred to, that is located near the fence. If you have a blank wall or fence, I would suggest planting a climbing vine or rose bush in that space.

Climbing Vines Add Beauty

Many varieties will come back year after year and you will no longer have to worry about that space again. Nurseries sell many types of vines such as clematis, honeysuckle, and other vines as young plants. They sometimes come with a single stem fastened to a stake. To plant them, remove the stake and cut off the stem right above the lowest pair of healthy leaves, usually about 4 to 6 inches above the soil.

This forces the vine to send out new shoots low to the ground. As soon as those new shoots begin to develop, usually in a month or so after planting, cut them back to their first pair of leaves. After this second pruning, the plant will become bushy at the base. As the new shoots form, use sticks or strings to direct them toward the base of the support they are to climb.

Engleman ivy, for example, will not need any further attention. It can climb any trellis or support, because its stems form special rootlets that cling to the surface. Once they're started, both clematis and honeysuckle will easily scramble up a lattice trellis, although it helps if you tuck in any stray ends from time to time.

The plants can not climb a smooth surface. To help them cover a fence with wide vertical slats or a porch post. You have to provide something the vine can wrap around. Try putting in a few eye-bolts to the top and bottom of such a support and stretch wire, nylon cord, or polyethylene rope between them. This will give the vines something to cling to.

Climbing roses don't really climb at all by themselves , you will need to fasten them to a support. Twist ties are handy for this job. Roses grow fast, so you'll have to tie in the new shoots every few weeks from spring to fall. Climbing roses add fragrance and color next to a garden picnic bench.

After the first year, you will probably only need to remove any dead, damaged, or straggly stems whenever you see them. If vines grow too long, you can cut them back any time during the season. They will branch out from below the cut. I hope this has been helpful and will encourage you to try adding a climbing vine or climber of some type to your garden landscape.

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