Climbers Aftercade Advice

Climbers are versatile plants that easily cover a wall, pergola or shed. Some climbers need support, others are self-clinging. Climbers need little care in the first years, but once they have been supported the right way, they become very attractive, covering a wall effectively and remaining easy to maintain.

Sun exposure: Full sun to semi-shade

Most climbers love a sunny spot in the garden. The sunnier the location, the brighter the flowers. Consider planting your climber on an east- or south-facing wall. This is vital to growth. 

Soil: Neutral and well-drained 

Improve the soil by mixing in organic matter. If you have sandy soil, mix in organic compost. If you have heavy clay soil, enrich it with sand. This will increase the drainage and makes the water reach the roots well. We also recommend applying an organic mulch over the top of the planting area and around the base of your climbers each year in spring. 

Watering: Medium

Climbers prefer less frequent but thoroughly watering. Apply watering in the early morning, so the water can be soaked up when the sun comes up.

Climbers aftercare - Garden Beauty

How to take care of Climbers?

Climbers are suitable for almost any garden or balcony. Climbers don't take much space but give your garden texture and a fantastic look.

There are two types of climbers:

  1. Self-clinging varieties naturally adhere to the climbing surface using aerial roots or aerial pads, like Ivy (Hedera), Hydrangea Petiolaris and Campsis. These climbers won't need any support from a trellis or wires.
  2. Twining varieties such as Honeysuckle, Clematis, Jasmine and Wisteria grow by wrapping themselves around poles, wires or trellis. These climbers will need support by a framework to climb up.

Location climbers

Climbers have different needs when it comes to the perfect location. Some climbers prefer the site to be warmer—others like it colder. Keep in mind that east-facing walls or fences are much cooler than south-facing walls or fences. Please check the plant label to make sure you choose the correct location. Most climbers prefer full sun. Climbers like Ivy (hedera) can tolerate shade.

Soil climbers

Before you start planting your climber, please make sure the area is free of weeds and rocks. Climbers prefer moist, well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline in pH. Mix your native soil with well-rotted organic matter before you backfill the plant hole.

Space climbers

Spacing is crucial by planting climbers. You need to plant at least 30-45 cm away from the base of the wall or fence. This will help rainwater reach the roots and allows enough space for root development. Dig a plant hole that is twice as deep and 1.5 times the depth of the root ball. If you have heavy clay soil, break up the sides and bottom of the hole so that the roots can grow into the surrounding soil easier.

Watering climbers

Watering is one of the most important aspects that can negatively or positively influence your climber. Take the weather into account; after much rainfall, wait until the soil slightly dries out. If the weather is dry and hot, apply more watering. After planting, climbers need much water to develop their roots.

  • Water early in the morning
  • Water less frequently but more thoroughly
  • The water around the base of the plant

Fertilizing climbers

Many climbers will benefit from regular annual feeding. Especially when your climber grows in poor lighting or soil, fertilizers are needed. You can apply fertilizer in spring or summer, during the growing season. Scatter the fertilizer around the root of the plant and slightly ford it up into the soil.

Pruning climbers

Most climbers don't need actual pruning, but cutting back some old branches will keep them in check and encourages vigorous growth and reflowering. Prune spring and early summer-flowering climbers when their blooms fade in autumn. Climbers that flower in late summer usually grow on the current year's growth, so encourage this by pruning late winter or early spring. Please note that clematis has special prune needs.

Pests and Diseases climbers

Mealybugs and aphids are common pests. They absorb the sap from the leaves, causing yellowing and deforming leaves. You can spray these pests with soapy water. Caterpillars use your climber's leaves as their meal. Remove caterpillars by hand, or,  if the problem is too large, use natural pest control.