Climbing plant

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Climbing plant on a house facade

Climbing plant is the name for a plant that, instead of supporting structures as a growth form, develops a climbing technique (climbing strategy). Climbing plants can be annual to perennial (perennial), herbaceous or woody plants. Woody climbing plants are also called lianas . Most climbing plants cannot form a trunk to support themselves free-standing, but instead find a hold on other plants, rocks or climbing frames. As a result, they quickly achieve an optimal alignment of their foliage to sunlight without developing self-supporting stems . From around 90 plant families , over 2500 species belong to the life and growth form of climbing plants.


Climbing plants are differentiated according to their climbing technique:


Self-climbers can overgrown surfaces such as walls and facades directly.

The majority of self-climbers are stick-root climbers ( stick-root climbers ):

Climbing plants with such specialized tendrils that they find support on surfaces are also described as self- climbing .

Examples of this are species / varieties of wild wine with sticky discs such as Parthenocissus or Cobaea scandens with extremely delicately branched tendrils.

The young shoots of self-climbers grow upwards in a light-fleeing manner and the adhesive organs (adhesive roots, adhesive discs) are preferably formed on the side facing away from the light. The tip of the shoot is looking for a way, while more and more adhesive discs take over the static security. When touched, the adhesive disks secrete a kind of adhesive that even allows the shoots to adhere to window glass. Adhesion can be hindered by high temperatures on the wall surface, sanding plaster and poisonous paint, in the case of shade plants such as ivy also by very brightly colored and sunlit wall surfaces.

Scaffolding climbers

Scaffolding climbing plants are collectively called climbing plants that require auxiliary equipment (e.g. climbing frames ).

Shade-compatible climbing plants

Various climbing plants also grow in shady locations and on poorly exposed north facades:

Free-standing growth forms

Some climbing plants can also grow free-standing to a limited extent. The ivy changes its growth form as it ages and is then able to overgrow its host tree if it should die. The climbing hydrangea also forms a hemispherical, deciduous bush up to 2 meters high if it does not find any climbing opportunities.


Climbing plants can make an important contribution to greening buildings through a facade greening . In doing so, they protect the facade against mechanical (hail, rain), optical (UV radiation) and thermal weather influences by essentially forming an additional facade layer during the vegetation phase. This can increase the service life of the actual facade considerably.

The additional layer of air in front of the facade as well as the cooling of transpiration and convection through evaporation from the leaf surfaces make a positive contribution to the temperature buffering between the building and the environment as well as to the local microclimate .

In addition, the green facade shell offers many animal species (birds, insects) protection and habitat.

Only facades in need of renovation with loose and hollow plaster as well as masonry with sanding grout can be additionally damaged by climbing plants.

Non-self-climbing climbing plants are grown on climbing aids or trellises on and in buildings , also on balconies and roof gardens as well as in gardens and parks . At the transition from the garden to a building, a pergola is a useful climbing aid.

Among the climbing plants there are a number of useful plants, including the vines and blackberries already mentioned. Other examples include a. Kiwi varieties , beans , peas , cucurbits (including  cucumbers and melons ). Climbing useful plants also include aromatic and medicinal plants, including pepper , vanilla , schisandra and species of the Dioscoreaceae family .

Hardy woody vines are an important part of a nursery range and in the nursery through cuttings , root cuttings , Steckholz or seed propagated and in a container further cultivated .

When using climbing plants for greening facades, it is important to ensure that the vegetation and structure are compatible. Climbing strategy, facade and any necessary climbing aids must also be coordinated with one another, as must the climate, light and size relationships. Above all, unadjusted, vigorous climbing plants usually cause a lot of maintenance and can even cause damage.

Ornamental plant nurseries sell not hardy, mostly herbaceous climbing plants. There are assortments for winter gardens as well as for interiors.

Picture gallery

Further examples

Well-known woody climbing plants are:

There are climbing plants in many plant families (selection):

There are even climbing ferns (selection):

  • Asplenium dareoides
  • Asplenium trilobum

Individual evidence

  1. Overview climbing plants , In: Fassadengrünung-Polygrü
  2. Martin Haberer: Climbing plants - climbing greenery for facade, balcony and garden , Falkenverlag GmbH, Niedernhausen 1984, ISBN 3-8068-5140-9 , p. 22
  3. Ingobert Heieck : About ivy not sticking to walls ( memento of the original from April 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Martin Haberer: Climbing plants - climbing greenery for facade, balcony and garden , Falkenverlag GmbH, Niedernhausen 1984, ISBN 3-8068-5140-9 , p. 6 f.

Web links

Wiktionary: climbing plant  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Climbing plants  - Collection of images, videos and audio files