If you want to soften the look of garden structures like pergolas, walls or frames, or if you simply want to create privacy or shade, vines are the perfect plants to give that unique touch.
Vines adhere to a form and climb in different ways, depending on the species. Some use their roots to cling to a surface; fig vine, English ivy, Virginia creeper and trumpet vine are all commonly used for climbing walls.
Others use their stems as a trunk and require a structure to wrap their shoots around: Confederate jasmine, coral vine, grape, flame vine and, of course, wisteria are all suitable for trellises.
Always remember the first years will be critical. You must first get the new plant established and then devise guides to help the vine fill the new structure. Planting vines three feet apart from one another is recommended to avoid tangling.
Before choosing any plant, always take into account factors such as soil type, temperature, sun and shade, and of course the aesthetic. Also, decide what characteristics you’re desiring — foliage, flowers or fragrance. Knowing the nature of the plant and understanding its needs makes it easier to obtain the desired objective.
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About our expert
David Abrego is a conservation consultant for SAWS. David, a native of Panama, likes to spend his time surrounded by plants and fruit trees. So if you can’t find him at home, he’s probably working in a greenhouse. David is also an arborist and an irrigation technician.
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Our soil doesn’t freeze like northern soil, so planting during the fall and winter provides the absolute best opportunity for plants to grow, thrive and survive our very hot summers.