Climbing plants

Climbers and wall shrubs are a brilliant way to liven up dull walls, fences, obelisks and supports throughout the garden, especially when planting space is limited. There are many different types to suit all locations, and they provide shelter and food for wildlife too.


These plants clothe walls and supports in foliage and flowers. Climbers cling on using tendrils, twining stems, stem roots or sticky pads, while wall shrubs need to be tied to supports. Plants can be large and vigorous or neat and compact, some are evergreen retaining their foliage all year, while others are deciduous and lose their leaves over winter. 


Climbers love to grow upwards, and like sturdy supports to help them on their way. Wall shrubs are happy to be trained and pruned closely against a wall. There are planting options for every type of soil and growing location. 


Most don’t like to dry out, but when growing close to a wall they're often sheltered from rainfall, so you may need to water regularly. Some dislike shade, others dislike sun, so check plant labels and put the right plant in the right place.

Did you know?

Growing plants on house walls makes your home more energy efficient. Wall plants, especially evergreens, provide an extra layer of insulation that keeps homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Evergreen plants can also protect against rainfall and other harsh weather conditions eroding brickwork

Growing guide

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.