Garden Plant Vine Identification

Overview

Garden vine plants can be the perfect solution for homeowners wanting to conceal an ugly area of a landscape. These plants can cover just about anything that's in their path. Vines come in various colors and sizes, as well as have different growth habits and ways of attachment. Because vines need less ground space, they're able to give large amounts of beauty with their attractive blooms and foliage. They're also fun and easy to grow.

Identification

Most garden vines are woody or semi-woody trailing or climbing plants. They have long, flexible stems and usually need support from a structure. Vine flowers are typically colorful, scented and appeal to birds. Their foliage comes in appealing shapes, sizes and shades that usually offer bright fall colors, says the University of Illinois. Vine fruits also come in a wide range of colors and shapes that not only lure birds, but also can be used for dried arrangements.

Benefits

Vine plants have several uses in gardens. Besides covering ugly walls or buildings, they're often grown around chain-link fences for providing protection from wind. Sometimes people grow vines around a mailbox to give a natural look to a man-made structure. Vines provide shade and can be grown around structures to create an attractive cover from sunrays, notes About Vines.com. When grown as ground covers, they can help control erosion, notes the University of Illinois.

Time Frame

Vines grow at different rates. For example, some vines such as oakleaf hydrangeas grow slowly. These vines are useful for small areas that need covering, notes North Carolina State University. On the other hand, other vines, such as Boston ivy and Virginia creeper, grow quite fast and do better covering larger areas.

Types

Garden vines basically fall into two categories, based on how they climb. Some vines climb by attaching small appendages for support such as Boston ivy, English ivy and wintercreepers. Other vines, including grapevines and clematis, find support by winding leaf-like appendages or tendrils around the structures on which they grow. Most vines climb by twining stems, such as wisteria and bittersweet vines. As the growing tips lengthen the stem curls around the closest vertical support. Vines twine in different directions, according to North Carolina State University. While bittersweet vines twine from left to right, a Hall's honeysuckle twines in the opposite direction, from right to left.

Garden Vine Varieties

Autumn clematis vines form large foliage masses and small clusters of white flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. The climbing fig vine is often grown on flat surfaces and walls. A fast growing vine, it's an evergreen plant that lies flat. The yellow jessamine is a twining semi-evergreen vine with yellow trumpet blooms. It grows quickly and is native to East Texas, according to Aggie Horticulture. Pinnata vines are annuals that enjoy sun. This is a twining vine with extremely fine, textured foliage. It grows fast and produces white or red small trumpet-shaped blooms in summer.

Keywords: plant vine identification, about garden vines, garden vine types

About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.