Guide to Planting and Caring for Climbing Plants


Climbers are one of the most versatile of plant groups, and can be used to add a vertical dimension to even the smallest garden. There are climbing plants to suit every situation, and they are particularly useful for covering unsightly garden features, such as garden buildings, fences, walls or tree stumps. Their heavily scented flowers can be used to perfume the garden and they can also be used horizontally as weed-smothering ground cover.

In this section, we take a look at the different methods that climbers use to support themselves, as well as the ways the gardener can help support them. There's also some handy tips and advice on buying climbers and planting them in containers or in the ground, as well as some maintenance information so that you can make sure your climber looks great all year round.

If you're searching for the right type of climber, take a look at the handy planting guide, where you'll find suggestions for choosing climbing plants for use in different situations, such as those that will thrive in clay soil, those suitable for growing in containers, and those that are particularly useful for adding scent to the garden.

Climbing Methods
Discover the variety of ways climbers attach themselves to supports; including self-clinging plants, twining plants, and climbers with tendrils or hooked thorns.
Buying Climbing Plants
Find out how to choose a healthy climbing plant.
Positioning Climbing Plants
Your guide to siting a climber: Wall or fence? Sun or shade? Ground cover or against a support?
Supports for Climbers
A look at using trellis, mesh and wires to support your climbing plants.
Planting Outdoors
A step-by-step guide to planting a climber outside, with advice on positioning, securing and mulching.
Planting in Containers
Some handy tips for planting a climber in a pot or other container.
Climbing Plant Maintenance
Find out how to feed, water and re-pot the climbers in your garden.
Pruning Climbing Plants
Everything you need to know about pruning climbing plants such as clematis.
Choosing the Right Climber
Learn which climbers can be planted in shade, acidic soil, and other conditions, along with varieties that are scented, fast-growing or evergreen.
The Gardening Year
A schedule of work for pruning and planting deciduous and evergreen climbers.