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Plants and trellis - Can it climb down instead of going up?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Javidr, Mar 31, 2024.

  1. Javidr

    Javidr Gardener

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    Hi

    It might sound like a dumb question, but, can a plant grow from top to bottom?

    Let me explain better, lets say i have a climber in a trellis, which is making like a diamond shape. If it reaches the top of the diamond from the right hand side. Would it start to move from the top to the left hand side of the diamond, which means it will go down, or will it always try to grow to the top?

    Thanks
     
  2. noisette47

    noisette47 Total Gardener

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    Climbing plants do just that...climb. It's up to us as gardeners to encourage them to go where we want. Climbing roses ideally have long, flexible stems that you arch over and tie in to your wires. They then produce flowers all along the stems. Other climbers like Clematis or Jasmine with multiple stems need fanning out low down and tying to the wires so they cover the greatest possible area. Once they reach the top of the support, if they're not pruned they make a big tangle of growth (think Clematis montana) which only flowers on the outside of the tangle. I'll take some photos of my Trachelospermum tomorrow , weather permitting, to show how it can be trained to cover a fence or wall.:)
     
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    • fairygirl

      fairygirl Keen Gardener

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      I never use those triangular trellis as they're too small and flimsy for heavier, perennial climbers. Much easier to use rectangular ones, and either have several of them, or attach them horizontally - depending on the eventual size of the plant, so that you can do as @noisette47 describes. Wires can be used in conjunction with the trellis too.

      They [self clinging plants] will certainly start growing in different directions if they have no support to hold onto, but they can be very vulnerable to windy weather if not tied in. Roses could easily snap or be damaged if not tied in well.
       
    • Butterfly6

      Butterfly6 Gardener

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      If you want the plant to create the outline of a shape such as a large diamond, then I suggest training stems up both sides of the shape at the same time. I’ve seen a climber (can’t remember what it was) grown this way to create large diamonds along a wall on a framework of wires, it looked very effective and smart.

      Few, probably no, plants can be trained to grow downwards. Some will tumble down due to weight over say a ledge or when they get to the top of a support but the ends of the stems are all still trying to go upwards.
       
    • Javidr

      Javidr Gardener

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      Right, hope that with this (crappy) drawing you can understand better what i want

      I want to plant jasmine and roses, and put some diamond wires. I also will put a horizonal wire on the bottom (around 30cm high). I can make jasmine to grow through both sides of 1, and roses to grow to one of the sides of 3 and 4.

      My question is... how would i fill the lower part of 2, the other lower half of 3 and 4, and 5? Is there any way i can make the plants cover that area? I was wondering if i can train both to move horizontally around the horizontal wire and then, it would grow up to cover the pending area of the diamonds?

      Hope it helps to clarify what i want. I have little knowledge of gardening, a bit of english and nothing of drawing so thats a perfect storm :D

      Thanks
       

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      • Selleri

        Selleri Koala

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        I think I get what you mean @Javidr - and yes, it is possible to grow a climber around a loop or diamond. You will just have to tie it in place quite often, and select a plant that is pliable and doesn't grow too big. Rose could be a bit of a challenge.

        Climbing houseplants grown around a loop were very fashionable in my youth. :)
         
      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Here you go, Javidr.....1st photo is a climbing rose, Mme Alfred Carrière. It got severely chopped last autumn and is now throwing out new, supple shoots which will be tied down to the wires so the oldest branches can be cut out this autumn. It could be left to make a much bigger plant, but I'm reducing strain and weight on the wall.
        20240401_085633.jpg
        2nd photo is a semi-evergreen honeysuckle trained as an espalier
        20240401_085649.jpg
        3rd photo is Trachelospermum trained on wires. It does self-stick in some situations but it didn't here, so is tied in.
        20240401_085822.jpg

        If you want diamond shapes, just choose plants with at least two main shoots, but TBH it's going to look lopsided using two plants with such different habits. You could reduce the diamonds to 3, with a rose either side and the jasmine in the middle, or increase the number of plants so there's one for each diamond, but then you'd need serious soil improvement to support their growth.
        ETA: I did have a Jasmine officianale clambering through the Mme Alfred Carrière rose but got rid of it as it was hugely vigorous, twined around the rose stems but didn't flower.
         
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        • Javidr

          Javidr Gardener

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          Amazing! Thanks

          yeah I will probably reduce the number of diamonds

          thanks
           
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