How to plant a climber

Plants that grow up vertical surfaces are great for greening up fences and walls. Some, like clematis, grow by twining and need support (such as mesh or trellis). Others, like ivy, cling to walls directly so don’t need any physical help.

Time required
30 minutes
Level of expertise needed
Beginner

Equipment


  • Climber in a pot
  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Mulch (organic matter like chipped bark)
  • Canes
  • Growing support: trellis, mesh or wire, string or ties

Top tip!

Choose a climber that will grow to the right size for the space you need to fill in height and width. Check the label - it will also tell you if sun or shade is needed.

1
Step 1

Step 1

Buy a sturdy plant with lots of shoots at the base and roots reaching to the edge of the pot. Before you plant it, give it a good water.

2
Step 2

Step 2

Ideally, before you get started make sure you have your plant support in place, whether it's mesh, wire or a trellis.

3
Step 3

Step 3

Dig a hole 30-60cm (1-2ft) from the wall that's wider but only a little deeper than the pot. Break up hard soil with your spade and dig in some compost.

4
Step 4

Step 4

Ease the plant out of the pot. Use the pot to check the depth of the hole. The rim should be at ground level - use a cane across the hole to check this.

5
Step 5

Step 5

Tease out the roots before planting. Plant your climber at the same level as it was in the pot.

6
Step 6

Step 6

Refill the hole around the plant adding a feed such as growmore or blood, fish and bone meal.

7
Step 7

Step 7

Tread the backfilled soil around the rootball firmly with your heel and water thoroughly so that all the soil around the plant is moist.

8
Step 8

Step 8

Mulching the ground around the plant will hold in moisture, keep the roots cool, and prevent weeds.

9
Step 9

Step 9

Tie your climber (here a clematis) shoots to the original canes, and fan these out until they reach your support.

10
Step 10

Step 10

Keep a regular check on your plant and as it grows, guide or tie in the stray shoots to the support.

11
Step 11

Step 11

Alternatives to mesh and trellis for smaller climbers are hooks and wires, which are much less noticeable.

12
Step 12

Step 12

Keep watering your new plant - approx half a can twice a week. It will soon start growing, greening up an otherwise plain area of wall.