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Training climbers along wire

Paul165Paul165 Posts: 97
I've bought a boston ivy plant with fairly long mature stems, to train up and hopefully fill out the side of an ugly outhouse.

I've attached horizontal wiring through vine eyes at the correct spacing apart.

I'm a bit confused as to how I now weave in and train those existing stems.  Do I put them along each wire horizontally and then up, and along the next one?  Alternatively, do I just put them upwards/diagonally and will they fill out over time?

Any help much appreciated?  I have the same problem with some climbers for fence panels and am forever confused!


  • Boston ivy is self-clinging. Your best bet is to let it grow upwards all by itself, if necessary placing a cane at the base of the plant, leaning towards the wall, if it looks like growing in the wrong direction.

    As for your other climbers, that don't cling of their own accord, the best move is to use, again, a shortish bamboo cane that you insert at the base of the plant, at an angle that leans back towards the wires. Then you can attach the shoots coming out of the ground to the cane and they will reach the lowest wires, sooner or later. 

    After that, what you do depends very much on what your other climbers are. Some will be self-clinging; some will twine or have tendrils and will seize the wires without too much help from you. Things like roses that don't do this, you'll need to tie in. So if you come back with more info on the other plants, we can help.

    It's advisable not to bend or twist your plants' young shoots too hard, as they can break off. Think 'encouragement' not 'brute force'.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,052
    As already said - it's self clinging, but you just need to give it a small helping hand -canes are ideal,  but it also depends just how many stems there are, and it sounds like  quite a few.
    As you already have wires in place, tie the stems carefully onto those - spreading them if possible. Soft twine is ideal, but it might be tricky if they're mature. If you break any, just tidy up the cut stem - it'll soon produce more.

    Once they get a hold, they'll be away themselves, and then your main job will be containing it  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Paul165Paul165 Posts: 97
    I've got two long stems. So if i place it upwards against the wall held in place by wire, will it just cling by itself eventually? I was training it along the whole wire horizontally but it sounds like I should place vertically and let the stems spread sideways?  I'll send a photo tomorrow as difficult to explain! 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,228
    I would train the initial shoots horizontally along the base of the wall. Shoots will develop along those stems and you can let them climb vertically. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,052
    The existing stems you have will need support - any new growth will self cling. It's just a question of helping it to start off with. I'd do it horizontally though.
    Or, you can cut back the long stems that are there, and start afresh, and the new growth will cling once it's  guided in. I'd do that if it was mine.
    Depends where the wires are etc. You can actually gaffer tape stems onto walls too.  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I've known people use superglue... :smiley:
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,364
    ...... but cable ties might be cheaper and better?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,052
    I certainly wouldn't use them [cable ties]  for attaching soft growth, and string is very inexpensive, but we were discussing attaching a stem to a wall, hence tape or glue.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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