They are true climbing artists and quickly decorate dreary house walls and facades with colorful flowers. The annual varieties among the climbing plants are also ideal for the creative design of terraces, balconies and garden fences. The diverse selection ranges from specimens with huge, fragrant flowers to varieties with particularly decorative leaves to variations that also offer a fruity or hearty harvest. The advantages are obvious: Annual climbing plants can be easily grown from seed and do not require long-term planning, because the garden lover is free to choose an alternative variety next year. The tendrils do not make great demands on their care, as long as a climbing aid is available,


Since the majority of annual climbing plants come from tropical regions, the choice of location plays an important role in successful care. Anyone who pays attention to the following care tips will enjoy the vegetation sprinters:

  • Sunny, warm and wind-protected location.
  • Some varieties tolerate light shade.
  • Climbing aid from the start.
  • Water plentifully, daily in summer.
  • Rainwater is better than tap water.
  • Avoid waterlogging.
  • Only water in the bucket when the surface is dry (thumb test).
  • Conventional potting soil is suitable as a substrate.
  • Mulching protects the bed and bucket from drying out.
  • Plant lime-sensitive varieties in bog or rhododendron soil.
  • Give a dose of liquid fertilizer every week from May.
  • Plucking out faded blooms promotes and prolongs the flowering period.
  • Check regularly for diseases and pests.
  • Slight pruning promotes branching.

Particularly popular species among annual climbing plants can often be purchased ready to plant in garden centers. From March onwards, you can easily grow your own from seeds in your own four walls or in a heated greenhouse.

Grow climbing plants by sowing them yourself

The beginning of spring from mid-March is the ideal time to start pre-cultivation. After soaking in water overnight, the seeds are spread out in a seed tray or self-moisturizing seed box on nutrient-poor substrate. Particularly hard seed coats, such as those of sweet peas, are roughened up with a file to speed up germination. A mini greenhouse is best suited for the cultivation, in which several small cultivation pots with 3 to 5 seeds each can be accommodated. Alternatively, the cultivation vessel is simply covered with cling film, which is aired from time to time to prevent mold from forming.

During the next 2 to 3 weeks the seeds will germinate in a light environment at around 20° Celsius. They should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, a windowsill on an east-facing window above the heater is a well-chosen location. The substrate is constantly kept slightly moist during this time, but not completely soaked. When the first tender leaves appear, it is time to prick out the seedlings and cultivate them outdoors in their own pots until ready to plant out. Depending on the variety, it can be advantageous at this early stage to tie the young climbing plant up to a small stick with a thin string. After the ice saints, from mid-May, the young plants are planted out in their location in the bed, in the tub or in the flower box.

Annual varieties

There is a large selection of climbing plants that are cultivated as annuals. Presented below are some of the most intriguing strains:

Black-eyed Susan – Thunbergia alata

  • yellow-orange flowers with a black eye
  • large, triangular leaves
  • evergreen and evergreen
  • Growth height up to 200 cm
  • Flowering period June to October
  • Sow at 20° from the beginning of March

Glockenrebe – Cobaea scandens

  • bell-shaped, white or lilac flowers
  • spreads a delicate scent
  • Growth height in beds up to 300 cm
  • doesn’t get quite as high in the pot
  • Flowering time July to October
  • Sow late February/early March

Prunkwinde – Ipomoea tricolor

  • sky-blue, magnificent flowers up to 8 cm across
  • Growth height up to 300 cm
  • ideal Zaunbegrünung
  • Flowering time July to September
  • Sow March to early April
  • less intrusive than bindweed
  • Warning: poisonous in all parts – including the seeds

Passionsblume – Passiflora

  • exotic radiating flowers in white-red-purple
  • Growth height up to 200 cm
  • dark green decorative foliage
  • long flowering period from May to September
  • Symbolic flower for the Passion of Christ

Feuerbohnen – Phaseolus coccineus

  • beautiful, red butterfly flowers
  • bears long, fleshy beans
  • harvest as soon as the pods break
  • eat only cooked, otherwise poisonous!
  • Growth height up to 400 cm
  • Flowering period June to September
  • Direct sowing from mid-May

Rosenkelch – Rhodochiton atrosanguineus

  • particularly lush, black-red flowers
  • light purple calyx
  • evergreen, heart-shaped leaves
  • Growth height up to 300 cm
  • often found as a container plant
  • Flowering period June to September
  • Sowing possible from January

Climbing Bleeding Heart – Dicentra scandens

  • bright yellow, heart-shaped flowers
  • only thrives in mild, sheltered locations
  • Growth height up to 200 cm
  • Flowering period June to August

Sternwinde – Ipomoea lobata

  • Flower color changes from red to orange to white
  • narrow tubular flowers
  • also thrives in light semi-shade
  • Growth height 300 cm to 500 cm
  • Flowering period June to October
  • Sow indoors from February

Canary Capuchin – Tropaeolum peregrinum

  • slit, bright yellow flowers
  • many, but quite small flowers
  • large, green-lobed leaves
  • Growth height up to 200 cm
  • Flowering time July to October
  • Sow in the bed from May

Duftwicke – Edelwicke – Lathyrus odoratus

  • Flowers dark red, violet, pink, blue or white
  • pleasant, intense scent
  • very nice as a green fence or in a bucket
  • Growth height up to 150 cm
  • Flowering period June to October
  • Direct sowing from 12° soil temperature

The majority of these climbing plants are declared as annuals because sowing again next year is less time-consuming than overwintering. The following section is intended for all garden enthusiasts who don’t mind the extra effort.


Climbing plants that have spent the summer in a bucket or window box should be taken into a warm place as soon as the temperature drops below 10° Celsius. Before that, the shoots are shortened by a third. The winter quarters should be light and frost-free. A temperature between 10° and 15° Celsius is ideal. During the hibernation, the plant is watered only a little and does not receive any fertilizer. Alternatively, it is possible to let most varieties overwinter in a warm apartment. Then there is a good chance that she will still develop her magnificent flowers during the dark season.

If there is not enough space for the climbing plants to overwinter, clever hobby gardeners cut a few cuttings in the fall and let them root through the winter. Incidentally, there is also a clever way for climbing plants that are outdoors to move them to winter quarters and thus cultivate them for several years. If you plan to overwinter when planting in May, choose a mobile trellis. Climbing plants that have survived in cool winter quarters are gradually accustomed to higher temperatures from February so that they can already be planted in May

Climbing aids for annual climbing plants

No climbing plant can do without a trellis. The classic for facade greening is the wooden trellis. Depending on the design, this is already a decorative eye-catcher if no plants are yet climbing up on it. Since the facade is significantly shaped by climbing aids and climbing plants, it is worth investing a little time in the planning:

  • Examine wall construction and statics.
  • South wall ideal for annual climbing plants.
  • Create drafts on construction drawings using tracing paper.
  • Note the height with regard to the care work on the plant.
  • Determine the number of transverse and vertical frames and anchors.
  • The minimum distance to the wall depends on the plant variety.
  • Create detail drawing with window gaps and overlap points.

The garden lover is now free to install the wooden trellis himself or to leave the work to a specialist company. Suitable types of wood are robinia, oak, chestnut, larch and all softwoods. During the planning work, it should be taken into account that when using annual climbing plants, the climbing aid is exposed during the winter. For this reason, it is advisable not only to keep an eye on the practical use, but also to consider an aesthetic design.

Modern climbing aids

A wooden trellis is not always the right choice, especially if a modern building is to be covered with climbing plants. Modern bar gratings made of stainless steel or glass-fibre reinforced plastic have proven their worth for this purpose. There is a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from, which can be assembled from flexible or static elements. Inexpensive grid mats are available for particularly large green areas, which are also very robust and allow individual mesh sizes. If the hobby gardener only wants a selective accentuation with the help of climbing plants, the small wall grids are ideal.

Obelisk for potted plants

The decorative obelisks and pyramids are perfect as climbing aids for climbing plants in the tub. In this category, the garden lover is also spoiled for choice among the most diverse materials and shapes. For delicately growing climbing plants, such as the black-eyed Susanne , a wooden construction is enough to create an attractive, flowering sculpture for the terrace or balcony. A trellis forged from iron for the bucket is ideal for the stronger varieties, such as the bell vine , and is then planted anew every year. Of course, such a stable construction is also suitable for setting free-standing accents in the front yard.

Tip: Incidentally, greening facades with the help of climbing plants has proven to be an effective way of preventing damage caused by graffiti.

If you choose annual climbing plants, you are not making a long-term commitment, but can choose a completely different type of greenery the following year. The decisive factors for a successful cultivation of the blooming sky striker are the location and the climbing aid. In terms of care, the annual varieties only make low demands.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *