They grow vigorously and will be all over the place in no time. They render the best of the aesthetics to the structure they lovingly embrace, even if it is an electricity pole with ungainly conductors. Trained properly over balconies or trellises or even walls, they give vitality to inanimate concrete structures. Yes, they are climbers, also known as ramblers or creepers depending on their growth.

These are plants which do not have strong stems, and hence need some support. If provided none, they will crawl on the ground or even trail down from higher points. Nature has endowed them with various mechanisms to climb over whatever little support they get. Some have aerial roots to support themselves, some have tendrils to hold on to the structures, and some more help themselves with thorns or hooks.

Flowering, non-flowering

Like any other plant variety, climbers too have flowering and some non-flowering types.

Flowering seasons also differ with some of them blooming throughout the year. Some are to be grown in sunlight and some others will need protection from the sun for their survival.

It is relatively simple to propagate these plants through seeds or cuttings or layering.

A lot are fragrant as well and these are usually white or off-white in colour .

Climbers can be grown on any structures. They can be trained over a wall or supported by strong wires (mainly Galvanized Metal Wires) or even by a strong mesh. People can have even steel frames over the walls along with a network of wire to train the climbers.

There are other ways like training them over the arches, trellis or even on lamp posts or shaped structures. Climbers of smaller sizes can be grown in large sized pots also if ground is scarce.

They suit even roof-top gardens and can be made to trail from the parapet walls of the terrace.

Some climbers such as Ficus pumila repens (often wrongly referred to as Ivy) attach themselves to walls through tiny roots.

They offer a pleasant façade to rough walls, but at the same time, should not be preferred for structures of architectural importance.

Most of the climbers need sun to grow and flower, but there are some which can be grown in shade as well. However, these are not the usual flowering types.

Plants like Clematis gouriana, Jacquemontia violacea, Lonicera japonica (Honey suckle), Lonicera sempervirens, Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Bleeding Heart), Hoya carnosa, Hoya australis, Tristellateia australis, Stephanotis floribunda, Passiflora Var. (Passion Flower or Passion Fruit), Aristolochia elegans (Duck Creeper), Ipomoea horsfalliae, Senecio confusus, Combretum comosum etc., can be grown in pots as well.

m.m.hussain