By: Heather Rhoades
When they are young, climbing plants don’t really show off their beauty. At first, they tend to grow rather bushy. It’s cute, but in a hanging basket it’s really nothing to speak about. They develop long shoots as they get older. Once this happens, depending on the kind of plant, you can either let them hang down or set them on a table and place a stick or small trellis in the pot. Then they can climb up instead of hanging down. Don’t be surprised that some plants can be both climbing and hanging. Regardless, they all need some type of plant support to keep them looking and behaving at their best. Read on to learn more about managing vining plants inside the home.
Wood, wire, rattan and bamboo all make great supports for climbing houseplants. You can get a trellis, spindle and even round arches. If you’re skilled enough, you can always make your own with a little wire coated with plastic or non-rusting wire. Whatever you use, be sure the supports for climbing plants are inserted into the pot at the time of planting. Thick stakes poked into the planting mix later will pose a threat to your established roots.
The soft shoots of climbing plants can be trained around the supports. Depending on the structure of the support apparatus you use, you can shape the plant into an orb, a pyramid, or even a heart. If you want the shoots to have better hold, you can fasten them loosely with string to the support.
Different vining plants require different types of support, so choosing a vining plant support will depend on the type of vine you are growing. Below are a few examples that can be used as a guide.
For round arch type supports, the following plants work well:
For trellises or spindles, you can plant:
If you plant with moss poles or stakes, you can tie the tendrils of these plants up with wire lightly. These plants work best:
These are just a sampling of vining plants and some of the ways to support them in the home. As you study what is available commercially in your area, and you find what works best for your circumstance, you may find even more choices for supporting vining houseplants.
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Read more about General Houseplant Care
Above: See more of this neon pothos in Jamie’s Jungle: At Home with Houseplants in London. Photograph by @Jamie Song.
When we talk about “houseplant vines,” we’re describing a category of twining, trailing, and climbing plants that includes a lot of species that may not be true vines.If we were being strict about the definition of “vine,” we’d be limited to draping a bookshelf or framing a kitchen doorway with about 70 species of Vitis in the Vitaceae family, which which cling and climb via means of tendrils.
True vines include chestnut vine (Tetrastigma voinierianum), which isn’t the easiest plant to get your hands on but makes a vigorous houseplant. It’s good for covering larger spaces speedily. Grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) and miniature grape ivy (Cissus striata) have beautiful compound leaves of a more modest size than the chestnut vine, and are far more widely available. They are happy in lower light areas, as is kangaroo vine (Cissus antarctica) another old favorite that will tolerate a wide range of conditions without turning up its toes: just keep it out of direct sunlight. Begonia vine (Cissus discolor) is the diva of the group, requiring similarly high humidity to the rex begonias who it resembles (but is not related to).
Each species of indoor plant has its specific needs and care, but all plants share basic needs: irrigation, light, temperature and substrate. The first three are always very specific to each plant species, while the substrate can be more of a more general aspect, but with some exceptions.
Taking into account an irrigation of the appropriate frequency, the necessary contribution of light, a climate according to which the plant needs and a good substrate, your indoor plants will always show an enviable health. Therefore, we recommend you take into account these aspects to take into account when caring for indoor plants :
Botanical Name: Philodendron hederaceum
You can grow common heartleaf philodendron or for its stylish cultivars like ‘brasil’ or ‘micans.’ All are extremely easy to grow and great for beginners and need a moderate amount of light to thrive.
Botanical Name: Hedera helix
Ivy is one of the best indoor vines. It can easily adapt to many light conditions. This fast-growing vine has evergreen foliage that remains green even in winters. Plant it in a container that is wide and shallow rather than narrow and deep. Keep the pot in a spot that receives bright indirect sun.
Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
Plants of the pothos family are easiest to grow, and most of them can even grow without direct sunlight. They become great houseplants for beginners. Attractive and hardy vine prefers bright indirect light and a draft-free place. It can grow in low light and needs moist soil.
Botanical Name: Cissus rhombifolia / Cissus striata
Both the grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) and miniature grape ivy (Cissus striata) are easy to grow vines but these indoor vines can’t tolerate low light as better as pothos and when it comes to watering, you’ll need to be cautious by avoiding overwatering to prevent root rot.
Botanical Name: Piper betle
Betel leaf plant is very popular in South and East Asia, especially in the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. This vine from the pepper family is a herb with many culinary and medicinal uses. It can be tried indoors if space, where you want to keep it, receives part sun, and remains slightly humid. All the other information is available here.
Botanical Name: Jasminum
Many jasmine varieties can be grown indoors. If you keep this most fragrant vine in a bright spot where it receives some hours of direct sunlight daily, it’ll grow. The selection of jasmine varieties indoors depends on the climate you live in. For colder regions, Jasminum polyanthum is the one you can try, whereas in tropics most of the plants from this species will grow. You can also try Madagascar jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda).
Botanical Name: Ficus pumila
It’s a slow-growing creeper with small, leathery dark green foliage. Vigorous-growing, clinging, dense branches adhere to any surface and look enchanting. Be careful not to overwater creeping fig. Let the soil dry out before watering.
Botanical Name: Syngonium podophyllum
This elegant vine-like houseplant prefers to be in a spot that is bright, needs moderate watering. Allow the soil to dry out between watering spells and make sure not to overwater it, as it may lead to root rot.
Botanical Name: Cissus antarctica
A dense climber, the plant is going to grow really well in bright light, charming you with its copper-colored leaves that take a dark glossy look when they age.
Botanical Name: Hoya spp
Beautiful waxy foliage and fragrant flowers, hoya looks stunning when grown indoors. The plant has low watering needs and doesn’t mind if you forget to water it occasionally. The trailing stems of this plant are approximately a foot in length along with clusters of aromatic waxy flowers.
Botanical Name: Senecio rowleyanus
Growing string of pearls is not as easy as other indoor plants because it’s very delicate needs to be handled gently. This succulent tolerates prolonged drought and does well in a bright light position.
Botanical Name: Thunbergia alata
Black-eyed Susan vine can be grown indoors. Depending on your climate, this annual or perennial flowering plant can add a dramatic appeal to your rooms. Keep it near a window, where it receives a lot of sun.
Botanical Name: Cissus discolor
How about having the attractive heart-shaped leaves of Rex begonia in a climbing variety! It will truly look spectacular with its frosty silver patterns and red undersides.
Botanical Name: Tradescantia zebrina
Also called “Wandering Jew” or “Purple heart”, this wonderful houseplant has beautiful trailing stems with attractive zebra-patterned foliage that look stunning. Grow it in a pot or hanging basket, it’ll thrive. You can also keep this plant in dim light, but the markings on the foliage will fade.
Botanical Name: Senecio macroglossus
This evergreen climbing variety of senecio looks the same as English ivy but this vigorous grower is succulent and looks quite smashing with its flexible stems with pointy, glossy foliage!
Botanical Name: Lepismium bolivianum
Native to the Bolivian forest, this unique spineless cactus makes for quite a striking houseplant, thanks to its thick and spilling stems in a bright shade of green. It also grows pink or white flowers!
Botanical Name: Dischidia nummularia
The reason why it earned this name is because of its beautiful and round, coin-like leaves on the cascading vines. The fleshy foliage looks awesome in hanging baskets!
Botanical Name: Peperomia ‘Pepperspot’
The tiny leaves of the plant have a unique shade of red on the backside, that contrasts beautifully with the red-brown stems. There are other peperomia varieties as well that you can try.
Botanical Name: Pilea
Plants from the pilea genus make for a great houseplant, thanks to its charming leaves and dangling nature. Gray Baby Tears, Creeping Charlie, and Baby Tears are some great vine varieties!
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The Spruce / Anastasia Tretiak
The sago palm is a slow-growing cycad that fits well into modern decorating schemes. It produces no flowers and rarely sheds its leaves, making it a tidy choice for the bright bedroom or living room. Got curious cats or nibbling toddlers? This plant is very poisonous and should not be around pets of kids that might give it even a cursory taste.
The thought of a climbing plant indoors may put some off, but there is a wide range of climbing plants that are very suitable for all types of situations - from darkest corner to brightest windowsill.
There are two basic 'indoors' - being the normal living accommodation, and the conservatory type room with a lot more natural light. For this article, we talk of living space - rather than conservatory-type environment.
For indoor climbing plants, we are not normally talking about the rampant creepers that are often used in the garden - though if you want, they are available!
Even the Ivy group has a number of smaller growing varieties that will do little more than trail over the edge of a pot, or perhaps climb up a small frame.
There are also some that will grow to several feet tall as well, so the right choice is important.
Many normal garden climbing shrubs can be bought indoors for a short time during the flowering period - if grown in a pot outside. Clematis and Passion Flowers are two that can be used as a short term spectacular room feature.
Judging by our mailbox, and visits to the website, it seems that the most popular climbing plant for use in the house, is the Jasmine Vine. Many of the queries we get, are because of the wrong choice of Jasmine! Though many of the plant names we see on 'outdoor' plants are similar to those we can buy for indoor use, too often they are different members of the same family, but not the particular one that should be tried indoors.
Summer Flowering Jasmine. The jasmine used for indoors - Jasminum polyanthemum - is a specific type which is suitable for the purpose. The normal outdoor Summer Jasmine - Jasminum officinalis - is not suitable for indoor use. It is pink budded opening to pure white flowers.
The normal outdoor grown Jasminum officinalis can be bought indoors if pot grown outdoors. It makes for a spectacular display, but should be placed in light place, and taken back outdoors within two weeks
Indoor Ivies - Hederas are well suited to growing indoors, being evergreen -providing you choose the right type. The smaller leaved varieties are best suited, and these are available in either plain - but attractive - foliage, or variegated types. The smaller leaved varieties are generally less vigorous than the larger ones, but again, the most popular one for indoors is the Hedera Goldheart. Outside, this can eventually grow to around 10ft - 3m. But this is not normal when restricted in a pot inside the house.
Devils Ivy - Epipremnum - are sometimes known - wrongly - as Scindapsus. They have attractive heart shaped leaves and are tolerant of most situations indoors. There are green leaved and several variegated forms. Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen - has silver marbled effect to the foliage, and is one of the more attractive.
Monstera - Swiss Cheese Plant. Easy to keep and not always realised that this plant is actually a climber. In its native tropical habitats, it is quite happy to clamber up any support to a height of several meters. The large leaves and sliced foliage are the main attraction. Normally green, but there is also a variegated form available.
Monstera can get quite large, and have what some perceive to be troublesome aerial roots, which can be removed if desired, with no harm to the plant.
Philodendron - Heart Leaf Plants are in the same family as the Devil's Ivy group, and quite similar in habit and appearance. There are a wide range of leaf sizes and types, with the characteristic 'heart' shape and also those with larger leaves, which are normally better if treated as a large pot plant rather than climbing plant.
Choose your Philodendron well, for the larger leaved varieties, can take up a lot of space - outwards as well as upwards. they are normally happy in tropical situations, so will need a good heat source and a humid environment.
There are several related evergreen vines with good foliage - being Cissus antarctica, Cissus discolor and Cissus rhombifolia - The Grape Ivy. The latter is probably the best climbing plant for an area lacking good light.
Hoya carnosa - the 'Wax Flower - Plant' (Hoya bella is smaller and more of an arching pot plant.) would be a good general choice, but careful where to site it, as the maturing flowers tend to exude and 'drop' a sticky honeydew. But if you can get over that, then this is a good indoor climber that will give years of interest. watch out for mealybugs in the leaf joints.
These structures can add distinctive flair to your garden, no matter what the season. Design and placement are critical. Spend some time in your garden determining what style and scale structure would be compatible with your house and landscape. These structures are most often made of wood, which can be painted or stained to resist the elements. Steel and plastic versions are also available, and are a smart choice if the style suits your garden.
These are often used to define a space or provide a sense of privacy. They may be freestanding, or can be anchored to a wall or posts. Sometimes permanently located, they are also relatively easy to move around the garden if you want to try out different effects. Examples of flat trellises would be wood lattice panels, metal trellises of various kinds, and those made of plastic mesh.
Both functional and decorative, these structures add a strong vertical element that can serve as a focal point in the garden. Like exclamation points, they're most effective when not overused. Make sure the structure is tall enough to support the type of plant you want to grow. Scarlet runner beans and vigorous varieties of morning glories, for instance, want a support that's 8 to 10 feet tall they'll quickly overpower a 4-foot tripod. Bamboo canes make inexpensive and attractive teepees for the vegetable garden.
Vegetable supports should be sturdy and made of durable materials, and tall enough for the plants they'll support. Choices include a traditional cage, a tower, a teepee, or a ladder.
Our new Vertex Lifetime Tomato Cage is available for both compact (determinate) tomato varieties as well as tall-growing (indeterminate) tomato varieties.
There are climbers to suit almost every type of fencing you can imagine—even chain-link fences. Climbing roses look beautiful draped over a post-and-rail fence. When they get a little help from strings or plastic netting, sweet peas look terrific growing against a picket fence. Porch railings and banisters can be wrapped with plastic trellis netting.
Not many of us have beautiful 10-foot-high walls of aged brick around our gardens. But you might consider growing plants on one wall of your house, the wall of an outbuilding, or the "wall" of a neighbor's fence. There are a couple options for training plants against a wall. Clinging plants like Boston ivy, can attach themselves to almost any wall with no other support necessary. Most other plants will need to attach themselves to a wall-mounted trellis or a system of wires and eye bolts.
Ubiquitous in Britain, where they are usually called "pea sticks" because they are ideal for supporting sweet peas. Collect some branches about 3 to 5 feet in length, and then simply push them into the soil. The more tiny twigs, the better. Branches from shrubs often work better than trees.
Why do the Brits love them so much? They're free! But they're also quick to install, almost invisible when covered with vines, and can be composted at year's end.Magna Carta Garden photographed by Rictor Norton and David Allen at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show
One last idea from England that's super-easy: Try growing a climber up through an existing shrub or tree. Clematis are ideal for this job. Years ago, I planted Clematis 'Henryii' at the base of a white birch. At first I had to help it up with some strings, but it quickly found its way into the branches above and every year, it puts on a stunning display with its huge white flowers. Clematis are also happy to thread their way through shrub roses and lilacs. Another plant that I often saw growing up through hedges was Tropaeolum, also known as canary creeper. If your climate is temperate enough, passion vines are also good weavers.
So don't let the Brits have all the fun. Try combining a couple of these supports with a some interesting climbing plants and let them take your garden to new heights.