How to Train Climbing Plants and Wall Plants

Training Climbing Plants / Wall Plants

training climbing plants Some form of support is necessary for all climbers and wall plants except ivy and Virginia creeper which are self-clinging — though even these need help at first.

The cheapest support can be made by stretching galvanized wire horizontally between vine eyes fixed into the wall or fence. Place the first wire about 1m (3ft) from the ground, and repeat every 23-30cm (9-12in) upwards.

When fixing the wire, first twist it around one vine eye then cut it to the length required. Secure the free end in the chuck of a hand drill and give it a few turns, at the same time pulling the wire taut —this will straighten out any kinks in the wire. Feed the free end through the other vine eyes and secure it to the last one by twisting it back on itself several times.

For really strong wires suitable for supporting heavy climbing plants and wall plants, use tensioning bolts in conjunction with the vine eyes. Tie the climbing plant to the wires using the same techniques as for tying to a stake or bamboo cane.

Special wall cleats are available. These consist of a toughened metal spike — which is hammered into a mortar joint — with a lead or plastic collar strap for bending or tying round the plant stem. They should be positioned at random wherever needed on the wall.

Other suitable types of support for wall plants include wooden trellis, panels of plastic-coated steel mesh, and all-plastic mesh. Fix all supports 2.5-5cm (1-2in) away from the wall on battens. Twining plants will then weave in and out. Others, such as clematis, will cling by twisting their leaf stalks around the supports.

Many wall plants, however, must be tied to their supports. Any of the ties mentioned previously will be suitable, depending on the diameter of the branches and the ultimate weight of the plant when fully grown.

Never plant close to a wall — the soil is usually too dry. Instead, plant 30-45cm (1 – 1-1/2ft) away from the wall and lead the young stems to the wall with one or more canes. Position the canes in front of the stems to protect them against accidental damage until established. Alternatively, protect young, soft stems with a cylinder of wire mesh or chicken wire.

How to Train a Weeping Rose

For a really unusual and pretty effect, a standard rose can be trained into a weeping umbrella like shape by fixing a specially shaped framework over the head of the plant. Tie in each branch to the underside of the frame — you may need to hard prune the rose to encourage new, malleable stems. Flowers and foliage will grow through and around the trainer.

08. November 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Climber Plants, Garden Management, Plant Supports, Plants & Trees, Roses | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How to Train Climbing Plants and Wall Plants


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