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Mixed Greening with Climbing Plants

Several climbing plants on one wall – is that possible? Can we create a multi-coloured wallgarden? Absolutely, as long as the plants like the same conditions and thrive side by side. It gets a little more complicated when the plants are to grow intertwined with each other on the same support system. Here we describe a few possible combinations.

 

Clematis and roses on a wooden trellis

Side by Side and Intertwining

Having plants grow side by side is definitely possible, be they woody perennials,  herbaceous perennials or annuals. We know such combinations from display gardens, where for example various kinds of wine grapes and roses or similar grow happily next to each other.

However, one has to be aware of the growth vigour of all the plants, as some vigorous plants (Silver Lace Vine (Fallopia baldschuanica), Wisteria, Clematis vitalba) will easily overgrow and blanket others which are less vigorous. Also, pruning back the different plants with their individual requirements becomes a bit more tricky when their shoots have become intertwined. It is favourable to plant the plants in separate planting rings or well separated from each other in a planting strip. If there is only one planting hole available, it is best to keep the rootballs of the individual plants separated by root barriers.

Various climbing plants
Various climbing plants
Akebia and wild grapevine (unknown Vitis vinifera sp.)
Akebia and wild grapevine (unknown Vitis vinifera sp.)
Botanical display wall with climbing plants
Botanical display wall with climbing plants
Firewall greened with silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii') and Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) in autumn
Firewall greened with silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii') and Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) in autumn
At left Wisteria, at right on the gable Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii'), woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea, with autumn colouring) and Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia)
At left Wisteria, at right on the gable Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii'), woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea, with autumn colouring) and Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia)

Foliage Plants and Flowering Plants

Some climbing plants have the most stunningly lush and dense foliage, yet their flowers are rather insignificant. For these climbers it makes sense to combine them with  flowering plants. Favourites are the ivy (Hedera helix), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii'), woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea), Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) or the grapevine (Vitis vinifera), which are combined with flowering annuals. These can be grown in separate pots, watered and fertilised separately, removed yearly in late autumn and brought out again in spring for some new planting. Where large façades are greened with self-clinging climbers, flower boxes can add charming colour accents.

Mixed faҫade greening with ivy and honeysuckle
Mixed faҫade greening with ivy and honeysuckle
Grapevine and Clematis 'Jackmannii' climbing along a housewall
Grapevine and Clematis 'Jackmannii' climbing along a housewall
Ivy and shrub rose
Ivy and shrub rose
Not a densely foliaged AND flowering climbing plant in one, but grapevine and annual morning glory in combination
Not a densely foliaged AND flowering climbing plant in one, but grapevine and annual morning glory in combination
Mixed greening with ivy and annual Thunbergia (Black-eyed Susan)
Mixed greening with ivy and annual Thunbergia (Black-eyed Susan)
Clematis intertwined with a climbing plant
Clematis intertwined with a climbing plant
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii') and flower boxes
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii') and flower boxes

Various Flowering Plants

A much loved though not undisputed combination pair are the Clematis and climbing roses. However, annual climbers lend themselves very well for combinations. Here, the art lies in combining them so that their spectacular floral displays appear either at the same time or at different times...

Clematis and roses on a freestanding climbing trellis
Clematis and roses on a freestanding climbing trellis
Annual morning glory (Ipomoea indica) and scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
Annual morning glory (Ipomoea indica) and scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
Small façade greening with ivy and various flowering plants in a planter box
Small façade greening with ivy and various flowering plants in a planter box
Annual climbing plants (Black-eyed Susan and blue morning glory) in combination
Annual climbing plants (Black-eyed Susan and blue morning glory) in combination