Climbing plants have now become a trend on most fences. They are not only used for fences but also the compound, and indoors to add beauty and a cozy feel to a home.
Depending on the homeowner, these plants can be trimmed or left to grow wild depending on the kind of personality you want to reflect or where you want the climbing plant to grow.
Ethel Nambowa, a gardener and landscaper at Green Gardeners Nature and Beauty Compound Designers, says creepers should be planted close to the walls or trees to ensure they creep on the walls and not the ground. For proper growth, they should be watered regularly. When planting a climbing plant, dig a hole that is at least 50cm deep and wide.
She says: “Creepers prefer permeable and clay garden soil, which is slightly humid. That is why you should put some clay and water in the hole if necessary. After that you can plant it in the soil, filling in the hole and pressing it.”
Creeping plants use tendrils or specialised stems that have thorns to support themselves. They should continually be trimmed and aligned with the structure of the perimetre wall or tree near which they are planted unless you want a wild look for your home.
The heart leaves philodendron is also known as cordatum philodendron. It is better for indoors in a pot. This does not need a lot of water to survive like many other indoor plants because it does not lose a lot of moisture when indoors.
Nambowa says: “If you are choosing it for outdoor, it should be placed in a bright but indirectly lit place. For good and proper care, cut off the longest of the cordatum vines occasionally to encourage new growth and prevent the wild growth. Also, remove any leaves that become discoloured or faded.”
Also known as a creeping or climbing fig, this plant is often used as either a ground cover or, as a wall and fence cover.
Rose Nakiwala, a gardener at A and M gardening Services, says the outdoor ficus pumela grows best in the shade with well drained soils. Therefore, ensure that its roots remain moist by watering it during dry seasons to avoid drying out.
Nakiwala says: “This plant is a fast growing vine that comes in different types and they can either be trimmed or left to grow wild. However, ficus pumela has very strong roots that can damage walls. It is therefore important that you keep trimming the roots.”
Some people believe having the money plant at home brings good luck. Themoney plant can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
The money plant with smaller leaves is perfect for indoors while that with big leaves is good for outdoor.
Nakiwala says outdoors the plant can be placed under a tree. This vine is almost impossible to kill and it stays green even when kept in the dark. Some people mistakenly call it a species of philodendron but it is not.
Ivan Nkata, a freelance landscaper, remarks that rose plants also climb and do better along wall fences.
According to Steven Sempala, a florist, to care for a climbing rose, it is recommendable that you first remove dead, diseased or dying branches. If the plant is congested, cut out any really old branches from the base to promote new growth and prevent growth beyond the fence that is likely to give it a wild look.
“Roses, because they are scramblers, can adapt to many kinds of soil, but they grow better in loamy soil. Creeping roses grow tall and give your foliage a beautiful colour. The climbing rose can transform your outdoors into a beautiful place and can act as a centre of attraction in your compound,” he says.
In cases where you do not want the fence to be noticed at all, Bougainvillea is the best option. This creeping plant is another scrambler and it blooms in several colours such as pink, purple, yellow, white and red. It has long, flexible stems that look like vines but do not climb on their own. They have thorns that help them grip neighbouring stems. They can also be tacked into place by tying them with a sturdy string.
“Ensure to keep bougainvillea trimmed all the time but also remember that their flowers grow uncontrollably many, so you may need to keep cleaning the place all the time,” Nkata says.
Golden shower creepers
Also known as the orange trumpet creeper (Pyrostegia venusta), is a good climber for outdoor and more so for the fence with magnificent trumpet shaped and orange coloured blooms.
However, the fruits, foliage flowers and sap are toxic and can cause severe skin rashes.
Other climbing plants for your outdoor include ballerina plant, allamanda, split leaf philodendron and yellow leaf philodendron.