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A term used to describe plants that grow through stems that extend outward, sometimes climbing along surfaces like trees and homes. While their stems are also known as vines, common usage has left the term almost always referring to grapevines. "Climber" is commonly used for any plant with wall-scaling vines. Vines are known for the ability to climb various vertical surfaces, including poles, strings, lattices, and walls. Vines typically produce a woody stem as they mature, giving them strength to climb higher and spread wider. Their branches of leaves and flowers give extra coverage as they spread farther on surfaces.
Home gardeners who want to add greenery to a trellis or front porch should consider adding climbing vines to their yard. These plants are beautiful, easy to grow and some are aromatic. Here are some examples of climbing vines that work well in any landscape setting
Bishop's Weed: Bishops weed, also known as snow on the mountain is a super hardy variegated ground cover. Its delicate bright green foliage with a white trim makes it a unique feature in a garden. They are high spreaders and cover unsightly areas in landscaping or where you can not keep mowed and maintained well. They hide ground debris and weeds.
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English Ivy: A Valuable Ground Cover
Home gardeners who like small foliage that is well-behaved should consider English ivy. This vine is perfect for hanging baskets, containers or as a ground cover. English ivy is also a good choice for climbing on trellis, porches and other structures.
Garden Phlox: Garden phlox is a beautiful lavender ground cover that turns a pinkish color in low alkalinity soils in late summer. It's versatile and makes a carpet-like appearance full of delicate blooms covering the entire plant. Perfect for planting on hills or near rocks to gently climb and bloom all summer long.
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Trumpet Vines is another great hardy one that can be trained to climb primarily because they tend to grow towards the sun
When preparing your vines to climb fences or a trellis, interweave the new shoots through the openings as they grow. If you are training vines to twine around masonry or trees, you can attach a wire to the structure at the base for the vine to climb. Taking just a little time to train your vines will bring big rewards. Your fence or other arrangements will have good coverage as these plants grow upwards.
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Best Ground Cover Plants for Shaded Areas
There are many plants to choose from when considering ground cover for shaded areas. A few species survive best in fully shaded environments. Here we will detail the top 5 plants to grow in a shaded spot that provides ground cover.
One of our favorite full shade plants is the English Ivy plants. These plants are often used for ground cover and will survive best in partially to fully shaded environments. They require moist soil and bloom in the fall. The leaves of English Ivy plants are bright green with a hint of white or yellow. This species has Ariel roots which allow it to climb to extreme heights, up to 50 feet in the air. Overall this type of plant survives best in moderate climates that avoid extreme heat or cold.
Another top pick for fully shaded ground cover is Vinca Minor Periwinkle plants. This species is known for its beautiful flowers and full cover foliage. These will only grow to be a few inches tall. However, they can bare long vines. Vinca Minor Periwinkle plants survive best in full shade areas and bloom in the early Summer months. These do tend to take over an area, so keep a careful eye on them. It is recommended to plant them with few to no other species.
Pachysandra Procumbens is another smart option for shaded ground cover in your garden. These are considered to be a low maintenance option and grow to be about a foot high. They require a mostly shaded area and a moderate amount of water. You can expect them to bloom in early Spring and show some white flowers. Pachysandra Procumbens spread slowly and eventually form colonies. Too much sunlight can hurt the health of these plants, so make sure there is plenty of shade.
A popular choice for shaded ground cover plants is Phlox plants. These plants produce gorgeous flowers in blue, pink, white, and red. They grow best in sandy soil and a generous amount of shade. These are expected to bloom in late Spring and early Summer. Not only do Phlox plants provide adequate ground cover, but they also attract bees and butterflies due to their natural color and scent.
Our final top pick is Trumpet Vine plants. These beautiful plants are easy to grow and can also attract hummingbirds. This species produces red, orange, and pink flowers that are very appealing to the eye. Trumpet Vine plants survive best in well-drained and shaded environments. These plants can be invasive if they are around other species, so make sure to place them in a separate area to allow them to grow without disrupting different plant life.