By Heather Rhoades
When they are young, climbing plants don’t really show off their beauty. At first, they kind of grow bushy. It’s cute, but in a hanging basket it’s really nothing to speak about. They develop long shoots as they get older. Once this happens, depending on the kind of plant, you can either let them hang down or set them on a table and place a stick or small trellis in the pot. Then they can climb up instead of hanging down. Don’t be surprised that some plants can be both climbing and hanging.
Supporting Vining Houseplants
Wood, wire, rattan and bamboo all make great supports for climbing houseplants. You can get a trellis, spindle and even round arches. If you’re skilled enough, you can always make your own with a little wire coated with plastic or non-rusting wire. Whatever you use, be sure the supports for climbing plants are inserted into the pot at the time of planting. Thick stakes poked into the planting mix later will pose a threat to your established roots.
The soft shoots of climbing plants can be “trained” around the supports. Depending on the structure of the support apparatus you use, you can shape the plant into an orb, a pyramid, or even a heart. If you want the shoots to have better hold, you can fasten them loosely with string to the support.
Choosing a Vining Plant
For round arch type supports, the following plants work well:
- Passion flower (Passiflora)
- Wax flower (Stephanotis floribunda)
- Wax plant (Hoya)
- Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum)
- Climbing lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana)
For trellises or spindles, you can plant:
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Canary Island ivy (Hedera canariensis)
- Chestnut vine (Tetrastigma voinierianum)
- Grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia)
- Plush vine (Mikania ternata)
If you plant with moss stakes, you can tie the tendrils of these plants up with wire lightly. These plants work best:
These are just some of the ways to incorporate plants and types of plants to incorporate into your decor. As you study what is available commercially in your area, and you find what works best with your own personal green thumb, you will find you have virtually endless choices.