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How to grow indoor vines and climbers

Houseplants come in many different varieties. Some require more attention than others, but all plants can brighten up a home and bring some nature into the household environment. Indoor vines and climbers are ideal plants for adding dimension to a room – placing them on a set of shelves or allowing them to drape off a mantlepiece will fill up a space nicely.

However, vines and climbers need regular pruning to keep them from overpowering a room and taking over. Allowing vines to grow on a balcony railing, for example, can be a beautiful addition to a home but the plant will need to be trimmed and monitored regularly. Hanging baskets are another good way to display vines inside a house.

Common indoor vines and climbing plants

There are numerous species of vines and climbers that you can grow inside your home. Here are some of the most common types that are the preferred option for many homeowners:

  • Philodendron – This genus of plant is one of the most common for indoor use. You can get climbing and non-climbing varieties; the climbing species are often grown in hanging baskets that drape down and attach themselves to any nearby support. Philodendron plants prefer indirect sunlight and require periodic watering – making them easy to care for and relatively low maintenance.
  • Pothos – These plants are often confused with Philodendron. Commonly known as Devil’s Ivy, Pothos has heart-shaped leaves with a mottled dark green and white colouring. This vine is grown in hanging baskets or on an upright support that allows it to climb. Pothos can grow well in any light exposure and needs infrequent watering. However, it does require regular pruning.
  • Spider plant – This is another common household plant due to its durability and longevity. Spider plants require little maintenance and will only die after severe neglect. They have long, pointed green and white striped leaves. The leaves of mature plants hang down the sides of the pot while the new leaves sprout vertically – giving this plant and full-volume look.
  • Inchplant – This purple-and-green leaved pot plant is also known as Wandering Jew. It grows quickly indoors and can thrive in any light conditions, even under artificial lights. Like the spider plant, the leaves of mature inchplants hang down the sides of the pot. These plants are perfect for adding a bit of extra colour to a room.
  • Swedish ivy – This vine is also called Creeping Charlie. It has round leaves with a serrated edge that makes it look like a scallop shell. The shiny green leaves hang down on long vines, making it a popular hanging basket plant. Swedish ivy grows quickly near windows where it can absorb sunlight.

How to care for indoor vines and climbers

Indoor vines and climbers will need extra attention when it comes to pruning in order to restrict their length. These plants could easily take over a set of shelves or a balcony railing, so regular trimming is necessary to keep them looking good. Pruning also gives vines and climbers a thicker appearance and encourages blooming. The best time of year to trim these plants is in spring, just before the onset of new growth and the sprouting of floral buds. Cut the plant just above a node or swelling where a leaf occurs.

Finding the best placement for these plants is important. They can be trained over doorways, around windows, along bookcases or down a wall. Just make sure that the lighting conditions are perfect and that watering the plants won’t ruin any furniture or paintwork. Most indoor vines and climbers are sturdy and tolerant; overwatering is actually one of the main reasons these plants die. These plants require little water and grow best when the soil is allowed to dry between watering.

For a boost in growth, add a little fertiliser to the soil for extra nutrients. Keep an eye out for pests and insects on the leaves and use a mild pesticide if necessary. If the plants are struggling to grow, consider repotting their soil and placing them in a bigger pot.

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Written by Joshua Oates

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