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Plant Types : Climbing Plants

Climbers and creepers are woody plants that use trees, rocks or buildings for support. The most vigorous kinds can reach twenty five metres.

Climbers, such as wisteria(as shown), ascend by twining their stems, leaves or tendrils around an object. These cannot climb a flat surface like a wall without additional support. Creepers climb by clinging apparatus such as aerial roots or special tendrils. They can climb a wall without extra support.

Climbing plants can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to soften walls and fences, and to hide ugly objects such as dead stumps. They can also be grown over the branches of living trees and shrubs to provide extra foliage interest, or additional flower colour.

More unusually, climbers can be used to trail down over retaining walls; if they cannot climb, they trail. They can also be allowed to trail on flat surfaces. Ivy, honeysuckle and clematis are especially suitable for these purposes. Ivy is often used as ground cover in shade.

Being native to woodland, many climbers are shade tolerant. However, many climbers fail to flower well unless they reach the light. The ideal is to start them in a shaded spot and allow them to climb into the light. Most climbing plants dislike exposure to strong wind – ivy and virginia creeper(as shown) are reasonably resistant.

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