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How to Grow Climbing Houseplants?

Climbing houseplants can be a real decorative treat in kitchens, bathrooms or living room walls. Set against a white backdrop, they inject life and a touch of nature into your home.

Vining houseplants need a bit of guiding to grow where and how you want them to. In this, trellises and other structures can be helpful in elaborating a creative and interesting display.

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Plant Index

If you’re considering growing climbing houseplants, this guide I’ve put together will help you pick easy-to-grow vining plants and offer practical suggestions of the support systems you can use.

Why do Some Plants Climb?

Some of the climbing plants we grow indoors are originally from tropical rainforests, where they grow on the forest floor and climb up on trees.

They do so to better reach light, without having to invest much energy into creating self-supporting systems.

In other plants, the trailing growth pattern allows the plants to colonize large areas without necessarily growing high.

Because of the speed at which they grow, many climbing, vining or trailing plants are considered invasive species.

Luckily, in your home, you can keep their growth under control and even train them to grow or climb on structures of your choice.

There are also different ways that plants climb. Some curl their stems, others adhere to surfaces, while some will have tendrils that help them climb upwards on different support systems.

Easy to Grow Climbing Houseplants

If you need inspiration for which climbing plants to choose for your home, here is a list of my favorite vining plants that adapt easily to growing indoors:

– Heartleaf Philodendron

With heart-shaped leaves and adaptability to low light, this philodendron is usually grown in hanging baskets, but you can train it to climb on a structure as well.

It requires moderate watering and plenty of humidity, making it a perfect plant for a kitchen or bathroom.

– Peperomia

What I love most about peperomias is the many varieties they’re available in; from variegated to oval and round shaped leaves, there’ll definitely be one to your taste.

Check out the Peperomia rotundifolia ‘Trailing Jade’ variety for cute, button-like foliage or check out the Peperomia ‘Frost’ for glossy grey, oval leaves.

Peperomias enjoy bright light and little watering due to the succulent-like nature of their leaves.

– Maidenhair Vine

Another excellent indoor vine with small, lacy leaves, the maidenhair vine grows bushy and has a thick appearance due to its tangled growth pattern.

You can use this plant to cover surfaces or allow it to cascade down from a hanging basket. But you can also train it to climb up on a trellis or moss pole.

Pick a sunny spot for your maidenhair vine as the plant enjoys bright light.

– String of Pearls

One of the most beautiful trailing succulents, the string of pearls features green, pearl-like leaves on thin stems that create a waterfall effect.

They’re suitable for hanging baskets but require plenty of light and only little watering.

– Arrowhead Plant

The arrowhead plant is another climbing plant that does best in brightly lit rooms. The plant features arrow-shaped leaves and a creeping growth habit.

Depending on the variety, leaves can be variegated, or they can be a darker shade of green. Varieties with darker leaf colors can adapt to low light conditions as well.

Ways to Help Houseplants Climb

Now that I’ve given you a few ideas for climbing plants you can add to your home, let’s see some of the support systems available for vining houseplants.

– Stakes

You can use bamboo or wooden stakes for plants that you want to grow upright or in a rounded pattern. You can also use non-rusting metal.

– Moss Poles

Moss poles are another popular support system for climbing plants. Plants can curl their stems around the moss pole or use their tendrils to climb upward.

–  Trellises

If you want to cover a wall or a larger area, trellises made of wood or non-rusting metal or wire are perfect for allowing your vining plants to cover bigger areas but still have a robust support system in place.

These are the most common support systems, but you can easily create your own out of wood or wire if you want something custom made for a bright corner in your home.

Do You Cut Back Climbing Plants?

Pruning climbing plants can be a way to keep vigorous growers under control. Cutting back can also help these plants grow bushier and fuller.

Usually, you should prune back overlong shoots or dead or diseased shoots. New growths or side shoots should be tied in to fill spaces that are empty.

Depending on the variety, you can prune in spring or late winter, but also throughout the growing season when needed, especially when climbing plants seem to be growing uncontrollably.

Always check when it’s best to prune your respective vining plants so as not to damage them or interfere with their development.

Do You Repot Climbing Houseplants?

Occasional repotting is needed for climbing houseplants either because the current pot is starting to be too small for the roots or simply because the potting medium requires a bit of freshening up.

Usually, you should schedule repotting to late winter or spring, when you would otherwise cut back the plant.

That said, climbing houseplants don’t need frequent repotting, so you won’t need to spend too much time on repotting these plants.

Wrap Up

Climbing plants are common in indoor spaces because of their low maintenance and the adaptability of some to low light conditions.

If you have a good eye for design, you can certainly incorporate vining houseplants into the design or a kitchen, bathroom or living room wall.

Training them to grow in a pattern that works for you requires a bit of foresight and the involvement of various support systems, but once you manage to find a support system that works for you, it’s not difficult to convince these plants to climb onto something.

Most climbing houseplants have few requirements in the way or watering or fertilizing, so you won’t be spending too much on their maintenance.

Updated: April 15, 2021

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