When it comes to covering your garden feature in lush green foliage, not all vines are the same. Here we will look at some of the best plants in terms of what grows quickly, flowers often or for long periods of time, and is okay with all weather conditions. What you specifically want to avoid are pergolas plants in Adelaide which constrict too tightly and damage the structure, those which can cause hay fever or allergies if you suffer from them.
First of all, a pergola requires a vine which grows via exploratory aerial roots. Some vines grow via suckers which stick to the structure; however his requires a more solid surface such as brick. Using a vine such as this on a pergola which only has pillars and then a latticed roof would result in very stunted and slow growth. Virginia creeper is a common example of this sucking vine. Twining via aerial roots can differ, with some plants sending out tendrils and others spiralling with their whole stem. Regardless, some sort of twining climbing plant is a good choice, such as passionflower, ivy and honeysuckle. Encourage faster and more even growth with some guiding wires in the early stages until your vine can support itself.
You will probably want to avoid roses. They can look beautiful, but when you are looking for a practical plant for an area that is going to be frequented often, thorns are not your friend. Furthermore, the rose has a very woody stem which can become very heavy as it matures. These are not recommended for timber structures, and even with metal you should opt for a reinforced frame if you are going to go with a woody plant.
Many garden sources suggest using a mixture of annual climbers and slower growing vines. Annual plants only bloom for a season and then die. For this reason, they are clearly not the best choice alone for trying to establish a nice green cover. However, they can fill in some of the gaps. Annuals which blossom in spring and remain through summer are really handy for adding some extra cover in the season where you most need it. They give you the shade you need in the heat of summer, while your thicker vine is still growing. By the time winter rolls around and you want a bit more of that winter sun, they have died and you can absorb more light. The best thing about annuals is that they are loud and proud. What they lack in longevity they make up for in bright colours and gorgeous shapes. To be honest, when a vine is first growing it is not all that attractive. Sure, when it matures it will look lush and beautiful, but at the start it can be a bit boring to look at. This is where annuals come in to save the day.
Fast growing climbers can be a double edged sword, in that they cannot be stopped and soon strangle anything within reach. Avoid the ‘mile-a-minute-vine’ as it is known, and opt for something less invasive although still a fast grower, such as honeysuckle. If you’re looking for something which is green throughout the year and then has that striking bloom, you cannot go past a wisteria. The distinctive scent and gorgeous dropping blossoms make these a popular choice. Just ensure that your arch or pergola roof is high enough so that these blooms don’t suffocate the area.
For more friendly advice on the best climbers for your climate or preferences, you can talk to the Experienced Pergolas Team in Adelaide at Pergolarific.