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Climbers as Ground Covers

When we say climbers we think of plants that are covering walls and trellises and grow upright, climbing any support they find. But some climbers, especially those with aerial roots or those with a scandent, trailing or scrambling habit, may be grown without support, this way they will produce swathes of ground cover. They are particularly effective when they are allowed to grow and spread over a sloping bank or when trailing over a wall where they will often root into the soil beneath.

Climbers that attach themselves by means of adhesive tendrils and the ones that are self layering are extremely effective in suppressing weeds when they are grown as ground covers. You can also grow twining climbers as ground covers as long as you make sure that the shoots are spread evenly across the ground. If needed you can use wire hooks to keep the shoots in place.

When growing climbers as ground cover you must take care of the plants that exist in the area where you are growing them because your climbers might use them as support when they reach them. It is best in this case to use less vigorous climbers or to move the existing plants in another location to avoid them of being swamped by the climbers. This way your climber can spread freely.

Here is a short list of climbers that you can use successfully as ground covers: Asteranthera, Clematis, Hedera, Kennedia, Parthenocissus, Pileostegia, Plumbago auriculata, Tecomaria, Trachelospermum, Tropaeolum speciosum.

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