Climbing Plants

Climbing Plants can bring strong verticality to any outdoor area, scaling walls, fencing and trellis with dense foliage and vibrant flowers. Full of charm and character, they’re perfect for enhancing arbours – especially those with a strong fragrance.

What are Climbing Plants?

There are countless different climbing varieties, from strong-scented roses to dense evergreen coverage. These make for excellent natural privacy screens to sperate parts of your garden. Some climbers can scale walls all by themselves by clinging on with aerial roots, whilst others will use twisting stems to cling to trellis or fencing. Other climbers can lack this ability and will need to be tied to trellis or walls – such as shrub climbers.

These versatile growers have varieties for almost any condition of soil, sun or shade! Here are some of the key types to cover a wide range of options:

Climbing Roses – Climbing roses are fantastic for bringing character to any garden structures. They bring the ever-iconic rose looks in a wide range of hues. You can find varieties with an incredible fragrance, making them perfect for arbours, pathways or near a resting area.

Clematis – One of the most popular climbers thanks to their incredible range of colours and sizes, expect flowers to range from vivid monocoloured petals to striped, bicoloured variants. They produce masses of show-stopping flowers rich in colour and with a delightful fragrance too. They can even be grown in containers, but these will need more regular care than ground growers.

Wisteria – Wisteria are a phenomenal choice for pergolas, arches and arbours as they produce masses of highly fragrant, lilac and white flowers. Wisteria are quite difficult to maintain, they require pruning and trimming at least twice a year. They are also surprisingly slow to develop, you might not see any flowers for a few years after planting.

Honeysuckle – An all time classic for cottage gardens, Honeysuckle have thin stems that twist and turn around their supports. They bloom with trumpet shaped flowers ranging from whites to reds and after flowering produce clusters of shiny red berries. These are irresistible to birds so be prepared for plenty of visitors – and some varieties bring a strong fragrance too.

Is my garden suitable for Climbing Plants?

Most climbers will need a partially sunny position, which can be hard to find against walls and trellis. If your garden lacks a consistently sunny spot, some varieties will prefer a shaded area. Typically they dislike being both excessively dry and wet, so finding the right balance is key.

You should try to avoid planting in spots with overhead coverage so rainwater can still reach the soil. Patches blocked by this become a “rain shadow” and cause the soil to dry out and kill your climber.

Always check if your plant prefers acidic or a more alkaline soil. Is your soil rich in nutrients, will you need to purchase feed to keep the plant thriving? If you are unsure, check out our Beginners Guide to checking your soils Ph.

When & what should I plant?

Hardy climbers can be planted in either spring or autumn, and their roots will settle for the colder months. For less hardy spring is your best bet to give them plenty of time to establish themselves.

 There are plenty of choices when it comes to climbers, if fragrance is a top priority then Clematis, Wisteria and Star Jasmine are some of the most popular. Fragrant varieties are great near arbours, arches and garden benches for maximum relaxation value.

Some perennial varieties can become a real staple piece in your gardens. Perennial evergreen climbers can grow to immense sizes for intense verticality to any outdoor space. These are perfect for privacy screens and can easily separate parts of your garden from the rest.

How to care for growing Climbing Plants

Climbers have a lot of specific requirements, you should always check your plant label and research its unique requirements. Typically, you should water any new climbers regularly throughout their growing season – just until they’re roots are settled. Be wary of “rain shadows”, if you have planted something in one they will need a lot of attention and plenty of watering.

Climbers are not fussy with food, but any extra soil nutrients will help with flowering. You for wall climbers they should be ok over frosty spells as the warmth of the wall will keep it cosy. But if you have a particularly tender climber you can wrap them up just before frost hits.

You will need to prune climbers in varying amounts depending on your specific variety. Some will need constant attention as to not overgrow, crack or damage their frame. They may be primarily hardy, but they’re still susceptible to pests. It’s best to find an organic pesticide that suits your garden. You can find plenty in-store or online.