The pergola is an important part of the house that catches the eye of your guests upon entering your home. You can add a touch of decoration and aestheticism by planting a climbing plant that will create a green and flowered arch to accommodate your guests in a friendly atmosphere. The species of climbing plants can be used in combination to produce an original setting rich in colour and fragrance.

Clematis ‘Rubens Superba’ with its pink vanilla-scented flowers, the very floriferous clematis ‘Bees Jubilee’ equipped with tendrils for climbing, the Black-eyed Susan vine with its trumped-shaped orange flowers: many species that are particularly suitable for decorating your pergola. Decorating with plants that have flowers and foliage offers the advantage of providing a pleasant amount of shade upon the arrival of good weather.

Decorating with twining climbing plants

Wisteria, the trees’ arch-enemy, and kiwi are included among the twining climbing plants. By wrapping themselves completely around the support, eventually covering it entirely, the shoots reinforce the construction by becoming woody. However, the use of twining vines also has limitations. For example, they cannot be used to cover a vertical surface since they do not produce organs that adhere to the walls. With their rapid growth, these plants can also crush the gutters that evacuate rainwater from the roof. For plants with twining branches, the diameter of support varies depending on the plant’s vigour. If a stem with a one-inch (2 cm) diameter is sufficient for some species such as runner beans or morning glories, the diameter can reach 6 inches (15 centimetres) for wisteria.

Climbing plants with tendrils

Among the climbing plants with tendrils, we can include jasmine, ivy and climbing hydrangea. These plants grow by using their adhesive roots to cling to surface asperities. Their growth in height requires the establishment of a support, except at the beginning of planting when the roots have not yet developed strong tendrils. Ivy needs certain conditions to be met in order for its tendrils to form. This process requires the absence of light, a condition that can be found under thick foliage. Climbing plants such as ivy can be centenarian, so one should take care to repair supports in bad condition to be able to sustain them durably.

Virginia creeper, clematis and vines are among the plants that use tendrils to cling to supports they come across. However, the tendrils can only cling to supports that have small diameters, such as fence wire. To this end, using these plants to decorate your pergola must be preceded by the set up of cords, wire or concrete grids to stimulate their growth in height. The alternative solution is to attach them to a particularly strong support.

Advice for plant maintenance

When putting in a pergola, remember to firmly attach its legs to the ground because the plants that will climb on it can heavily weigh down on it and thus need a solid structure for support. Plants with vine shoots that become woody as they age, such as climbing roses or common hop, must be securely fastened as they grow. When planting, the combination of two different species can produce a nice visual effect, as illustrated by the climbing rose bush, a vigorous species that combines well with clematis, a light plant with large flowers. In all cases, the choice of the species you will plant will depend on the visual effect you hope to achieve. Thus, the vines are valued for their large leaves that create large shady areas. Honeysuckle releases a discreet fragrance and provides shade and an aesthetic appearance. The Cup-and-saucer vine is an annual climbing plant that is sought for its bell-shaped flowers.

Related posts:

  1. Decorating windowsills with flowering plants
  2. Perennials and shrubs for a flowery staircase
  3. Using flowers and plants for indoor decoration
  4. Summer flowers
  5. Arranging flowers by colour

Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011