Fences serve many purposes, but all in all, they provide your yard with structure. The only problem is that sometimes structure can be bland, can’t it? Whether you are looking to naturally accent your garden or add ornamental value to your fence, vines can do just the trick.
When choosing vines, there are special factors to take into consideration, one of the most crucial being fence type. Your fence is likely either wooden, vinyl or aluminum. If you have a chain-link fence, growing vines should be fairly manageable, so I won’t touch on it here. On the other hand, if you have a wooden fence, things can get tricky.
Certain species of vines can be detrimental to a wooden fence, such as any invasive species or woody species. Woody vine species can create structural damage with their roots and also hold excess moisture against the fence, creating the perfect potential storm for rot, bugs, and fungus. Meanwhile, invasive species can grow at an alarming rate and will have a similar effect on the wooden fence by trapping moisture against it.
Invasive plant species of any kind are also prone to dispersal and outcompeting the native plants, so despite your fence type, be sure to keep that in mind. If they can take out whole ecosystems, they can surely take out individual gardeners and landscapers alike, so keep your wooden fence away from vines or know what you’re purchasing! Safe vines for wooden fences should be annual herbaceous (non-woody) plants, but they must be removed at the end of their growing season.
Vinyl is far more durable than wood, making vinyl fences ideal for vines. The most important component to keep in mind as you choose your vine species is the type of bugs that your vines will attract. Although moisture and rot will not be issues with vinyl fences like they are with wood, insects will still see your vines as a new habitat. Remember that fencing creates microclimates! So be certain that the bugs attracted to your plants will not cause harm to any of your other nearby plants, which stands true no matter your fence type or plant species.
Aluminum fences have an open lattice framework that provides an ideal foundation for supporting vines. Aluminum is able to withstand moisture, resist rust, and can handle those stronger woody vine species. If you have an aluminum fence, planting vines should be no issue. Nevertheless, there are a few remaining components to consider before you begin planting, few of which include sunlight exposure, water requirements, plant life cycle, and more.
Other Vine Considerations
Plants should be grouped based on sunlight and water requirements. Vines requiring full sun exposure should be getting southern or western sun exposure, whereas shade plants should be receiving eastern or northern exposure. Another consideration is whether to invest in vines with annual or perennial life cycles. Annual vines tend to grow quicker but will be less lush than most perennial species, so if you’re looking for a nice balance, it may be a good suggestion to include both. The annual vines will be able to compensate for the coverage that may take your perennials a bit longer to achieve, possibly even a few years. No matter your preference, either will provide just the right natural accent to your fence and will allow your fence to complement the rest of your landscape better.
Securing the Vines
If you have a wooden fence and are still just dying to accentuate your yard with some beautiful vines, planters are a terrific solution. Grow vines in portable containers that can be suspended from your fence or even use trellises for them to climb! Alternatively, if you have a vinyl or aluminum fence, climbing vines can be secured to fence panels with garden twine; otherwise, pipe cleaners can get the job done just as well. Once you’ve done your research and secured your vines, you’ll be able to enjoy your new aesthetically pleasing fence in no time!