Great Vine Ideas for Planting Around Your Home

By: Keith Markensen

New subdivision homes often find themselves lacking for vegetation. They may contain hedges separating properties, but other than that have small trees and little else in the way of greenery. Vines make a great quick solution to this problem, and also provide a new home with a sort of earthy elegance that makes it appear older and statelier than it is.

By the same token vines can have the same effect on older houses, adding to the existing natural charm that many older houses possess, while also hiding any potential structural flaws incurred throughout its many years. Not just the home itself, but also fences and outhouses can also benefit from this treatment.

Different vines naturally have different levels of growth potential and style, and there's surely a vine out there to suit every taste. Grape vines have long, thin tendrils which snake out and endeavor to take hold of objects, which makes placing them on a lattice or fence perfect. Boston ivy has adhesive discs along its surface, allowing it to easily grasp hold of brick, stone and other surfaces that other vines would have difficulty doing. Still other vines grow by climbing and wrapping themselves around objects like poles, trees or plants. In some cases this can cause the plant caught in its crushing grip to wither.

In most cases vines should have a support structure that both helps bright colored bougainvillea grow and provides a great contrast to see them. Simply designed white arbors, trellises and pergolas make great choices. Constructions made of wood or other natural materials also work well.

When planting annuals, a typical hole in well-drained soil should be more than enough. Perennials on the other hand need some extra attention when planted near a foundation, as the soil is often poor in these areas. Mix some bone meal or peat moss in with the bottom soil to strengthen it. Also ensure that any vine planted near the house is not directly under any eaves, so it is not affected by dripping water. In the winter this could cause leaves to freeze and crack at night.

Ivies such as Boston ivy are the most common choice used when looking to cover a house or other structure with foliage. Other good varieties of ivy for wall planting include Japanese bittersweet, winter creeper, English ivy, Lowe ivy and Chinese trumpet-creeper. Virginia creeper is commonly found in woodland areas, twined around trees and boulders and makes a good choice for house cover. Its downside is that it can grow thick, meaning it may require some thinning out as it ages.

Some vines require trellis-training, and these varieties are often the most beautiful, with bright blossoms in showy colors. Wisteria with small white to purple blossoms, clematis with a single large flower, trumpet-creeper with its collection of large scarlet and orange clusters and trumpet honeysucker with clusters of red and yellow perfumed flowers can all add a touch elegance and beauty in one plant.

For covering patches of ground that is having difficulty growing grass or just for aesthetic reasons you can try periwinkle, an evergreen with blue flowers.

Finally, a number of fragrant and exquisite blossoming annuals exist such as nasturtium, cypress vine, morning-glory, moonflower plants and bal-foon vines.

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Find out more as Keith Markensen shares his experiences on houseplants, landscape and lawn at There is more to learn on bougainvillea care.

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