Ellie’s Garden Advice
Not all climbing plants climb automatically, because there are self-adhesive climbers and vining climbers. Vining creepers make long vines that they twist around. These species therefore need some support from, for example, a climbing frame. It is also possible to combine a vining climber with a self-adhesive climbing plant, so they climb up together. For example, choose ivy ( Hedera ) as an evergreen base and combine it with a beautiful bloomer such as Clematis . Plant them in rows next to each other to prevent the ivy from spreading
Ivy ( Hedera )
Ivy is a self-adhesive climber that does not need support to climb a wall or fence. Because it is evergreen, it provides color in the garden all year round. Ivy can also serve as a fence itself: if you use a large-leaved ivy ( Hedera hibernica ) through a steel fence, you will have an extremely strong and green shield in no time. Plant a flowering climbing plant, such as Wisteria or Clematis , for a surprising effect.
You can prune ivy all year round, even in winter (on frost-free days). Cutting away excess old leaves stimulates the growth of young, fresh greenery. Also prune shoots from places where they should not grow (on paintwork and under eaves).
Virginia creeper ( Parthenocissus )
There is no more beautiful autumn color than that of the Virginia creeper . This climbing plant can grow up to twenty meters long, covering entire walls or fences. Pruning is not necessary, but can be done all year round. Avoid growing over glass or wood, as it is difficult to remove from it.
Honeysuckle ( Lonicera )
Honeysuckle blooms for a long time, smells delicious and the flowers are very beautiful to see. Most species are deciduous, but there are also evergreen specimens (such as Lonicera henryi ). If you let it grow for too long, honeysuckle can become a mess, because it clearly pulls towards the light. Therefore prune it occasionally in March.
The Clematis is the best known climbing plant, but did you know that there are so many species? There are even evergreen specimens, for example the Clematis armandii with fragrant cream-white flowers. And there are early flowering varieties that bloom as early as March ( Clematis montana ‘Rubens’), but most bloom in the summer from June to August.
Clematis needs pruning. It differs per species when and how you do that. You prune most large-flowered clematis after winter in February or March. Cut them 20-25 centimeters above the ground. Prune small-flowered and evergreen varieties only a little after flowering.
Passion Flower (Passion Flora )
The passion flower is very decorative thanks to its beautiful flowers. It blooms profusely and long from June to November. The Passiflora caerulea is the most hardy. It is also almost evergreen, because the leaves can remain in mild winters until well into December. Passion flora always need a climbing support and can be pruned in the spring. Protect the plant (especially young specimens) when it freezes against the cold east wind.
For those who love roses, climbing roses are a feast for the eyes. They need some help with climbing, so tie them to a climbing frame, pergola or rose arch. A strong and beautiful strain is Rosa ‘New Dawn’, it blooms for a long time and even thrives on the north. When to prune differs per species, usually in March. In the fall, you can cut back very long tendrils a little to avoid damage caused by wind
Wisteria ( Wisteria )
Wisteria is a beautiful climber with an abundant bloom of long, short or filled clusters in blue, white or pink. Some varieties have flower clusters up to half a meter long. It is important with this plant that you prune it well. The varieties bloom every year and only become more beautiful and fuller! Wonderful to grow over a pergola as a natural parasol; the sunlight is filtered through the leaves and the flowers hang like clusters under the foliage.