EXCEPT from having weak stems, climbers are strong in all other areas. They grow fast, need minimum maintenance, highlight. Architectural plus-points and hide unwanted patches. Their flowers, too, are beautiful.
Climbers can be grown anywhere. They have modified stems, leaves, roots and other modified structures that help them climb and reach even inaccessible places. Climbers like ivy, ficus repens etc provide the much-needed green relief. Climbers are an excellent substitute for hedges. Besides needing minimum maintenance, they provide a spray of bright flowers.
For growing climbers,
first of all see whether the place where they are to be grown is
sunny, semi-shady or shady. Climbers grown in semi-shady or shady
places are valued for their foliage. Asparagus plumosus that has
spine-like shinning and attractive foliage is one example. Other
climbers, that suit such locations are monstera, money plant, various
kinds of ivy, clerodendron etc. The latter also bears showy clusters
of crimson flowers. Monstera, money plant or ivy can also be grown
around the trunk of trees. Such climbers use aerial roots which emerge
from their nodes as aids to climb up. Such climbers should, however,
be kept under control.
It is, however, essential to not let
climbers go astray. Given a proper direction to grow they follow it
obediently. The climbers should be given training and direction right
from the day of planting. Usually, they grow properly for a few years
and then their tendrils extend to reach overhead wires from which point
there is no stopping them. This not only hampers power supply and
disrupts telephone services but is also dangerous. Similarly, sometimes
vines, e.g. vines cucurbits like ghia etc.,cover trees like mango litchi
or even grape vines. This deprives the trees of sunlight which is
essential for photosynthesis and result in a poor crop.