Types of Climbing Plants

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated December 6, 2023)


Everyone has seen at least one kind of climbing plant sometime in their lives. Typically the most often type of climbing plant seen is some form of ivy. However, there are actually several different types of climbing plants that you can choose from for your garden or landscape. These different types go beyond the general species that the plant may belong to. Rather, they can be summed up by saying how the plants perform their climbing action.

You don't always want the same kind of climbing plant for your garden. In fact, depending on the look you are going for your landscape, you may actually prefer to use one type of climbing plant over another. There are four basic types of climbing plants that you can choose from. By understanding what makes these plants different from one another you will be able to make a better decision. All you need to do is keep in mind these simple guidelines.

  • Tendrils. When most people hear the term tendril, they often think about some type of creeping vine, or tentacle, that is slowly reaching out to grasp hold of something. In regards to a climbing plant, tendrils are actually slightly different. In this specific case, tendrils are actually a type of modified leaf which twists itself around thin objects to get support. Many types of vigorous plants are this type of climbing plant, at least when they are young. Some of these plants are things like mutisia, vitis, and even the sweet pea.
  • Aerial roots. These types of climbing plants are also described as plants that have self-clinging sucker pads, and are some of the toughest climbing plants around. Simply put, these types of climbing plants can "stick" to just about any rough surface. When firmly established, and they have begun to climb, they will not require any additional support other than what they are stuck to. Some of the most commonly seen of these types of climbing plants are ivies as well as the Virginia creeper.
  • Scandent plants. A scandent plant is one that is particularly fast-growing, and produces shoots which will grow through other woody plants or materials, and use them as a basis for support. Most often, these plants can be identified by the thorny shoots that they produce. Some examples of these types of climbing plants are things like roses, rubus, and clematis.
  • Twining stems. Most often, these types of climbing plants are ones that have thin young shoots which will twist around another item for support. Usually this support is going to be very thin, only about one inch across, though a few plants such as the wisteria can use supports that are as wide as two inches.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 3 - 0?

2012-10-22 09:18:04

gay lyle

Are there any climbing aerial roots climbers that could be grown in a large pot?


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