Vines Are Not All The Same - The Different Ways That Vines Climb


Knowing how vines climb is vitally important in choosing the right vine for your garden, and in picking a correspondingly correct support system, as depending on the inherent climbing mechanism of a particular vine, a tree, a wall, an arbor, a trellis, or a fence may or may
not be suitable.

Twining Vines - As they grow, the stems of twining vines wrap themselves around their supports. Vigorous, powerful perennial twining vines can strangle shrubs or even trees. These vine species should thus be provided artificial supports, such as a fence, a trellis, or an arbor. You must, however, guard against fast-growing, powerful twining vines growing beyond your own property and into neighboring yards, especially if the support provided is a fence bordering property owner by others. A popular example of a fast-growing, powerful tendril vine, is the Honeysuckle.

Tendril and Leaf Stock Vines - A common climbing mechanism of vines is the tendril, and in some, a tendril-like leaf stock, both of which coil around slender supports. While many of these vines can be happy coiling around shrubs or trees, and without doing damage to their living host, there are
best suited to be planted next to wire fences or trellis nets. Many of the 300 species of the genus Clematis are the best known and most popular examples of vines that use the leaf stock to climb.

Holdfast Vines - Vines that produce clinging rootlets, or holdfasts, can and do climb any vertical edifice with which they come into contact, be it brick wall, stone fence, or otherwise. They do so quickly and easily by growing roots that adhere to any surface. The good
news is, though, that only new holdfasts adhere, and once a holdfast is pulled loose, it cannot re-attach itself. New roots, however, quickly do so. Planting holdfast vines adjacent to wooden structures is not advised, as the moister in the vines can damage the wood, and removal of the vines for re-painting would mean starting over with new vine growth. A popular examples of this type of vine is the Sub Zero Ivy.

Pseudo Vines, the Sprawlers and Ramblers - Not true vines, they act like vines, climbing ever-upward by virtue of sharp thorns growing from strong canes. Roses fall into this category, as does the Bougainvillea, which more closely resembles a vine. The Winter Jasmine, a prime example of the Rambler, features long, trailing stems, that weave in and out through whatever object it can grow near, through, and around. For garden success with any Sprawler or Rambler, tying to garden supports would be the best practice to follow.


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