Vines can add a dramatic improvement to a blank wall. Vines can be trained to make a pattern or left to grow a little wild. It is important to supply support with a wall, trellis, or fence of any kind. Vines come in two main classes: twiners and climbers. Twiners wrap around anything they touch and climbers adhere to the surfaces that they connect with.

Choice of Vines

Common backyard vines are ficus pumila, star jasmine, bower vine, morning glory and ivy. There are many more that you can choose that will help you create the look you want. Greenery or flowing flowers will give you a different feel, look and even scent. The scent of star jasmine on a sunny wall is great under an open bedroom window. There are vining flowers like sweet peas, bougainvilla, mandevilla, and delicate wysteria that look absolutely gorgeous on an arbor or on a trellis over a porch. If they die back, like these do, you will want to keep them trimmed and maintained. Then there are vines from fruits and vegetables: grape, potato, pumpkin that can be directed and enjoyed in various ways in your garden.

Beauty and the Beast

Beyond thoughts of Tarzan swinging from your trees, vines can be beastly to your structures. Though vines can offer insulation, they can also cause some problems. If you are shopping for a vining plant–flowering or not–here are some things you should think about before you head to the nursery.

Vines on walls can:

  • Remove paint;
  • Deteriorate stucco;
  • Acts as a ladder for rodents;
  • Creates a nest for insects and rodents;
  • Cause moisture damage, and
  • Weaken roofs or wood structures.

You can protect your home by only growing vines on brick or cinderblock and by keeping your vines well-manicured.