How to plant and grow vines

Choosing and training annual and woody climbers

Such annual vines as morning glories, sweet peas, and canary creepers do best in full sun and moist, rich soil. Once established, they quickly make a colorful display on a trellis, fence, or wall. Start seeds in 3-inch pots 6 to 10 weeks before the last expected frost. Plant seedlings 3 inches in front of their supports; for best results, give each an anchored string to climb.

Choose a long-lived woody vine according to climate and growingconditions. Consider its habit and size. Left unpruned, a wisteria may reach a height of 60 or 70 feet, its massive stem strangling the tree that supports it or pulling a gutter or downspout from a house: the delicate jasmine seldom grows to 12 feet high.

Training and support

Many vines. such as wisterias and honeysuckles, twine around any available support: train them by pruning them back to desirable buds or branches. Others, such as grape vines and Virginia creepers, cling to walls and trellises with corkscrew like tendrils or adhesive pads. For sprawling vines, such as jasmine and bougainvillea, which must be tied to supports, erect a wire fence or wood lattice between the plant and the surface it is to cover; train each season’s growth with soft twine or gardener’s ties. Prune vines after flowering, usually in late summer or early fall.