Climbing plants Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

For Faster Coverage, Mix Annual and Perennial Vines

Let annual climbers like this morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’) fill in while you’re waiting for your permanent climbing plants to start to take their place. Source:

Most perennial vines, that is herbaceous and woody climbing plants such as clematis, honeysuckle, or Boston ivy, grow slowly at first and can take 3 or 4 years (even longer in the case of climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) before really giving you the effect you’re looking for.

That being the case, while you’re waiting for them to perform, why not sow annual vines between the permanent ones: morning glories, sweet peas, runner beans, thunbergias, etc.? Annuals will reach their full height (often 10 feet/3 m or more) during a single summer. When the permanent vines reach an interesting height and size, just stop sowing the annuals!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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