How to Grow Vine Plants


Vining plants come in many varieties---annual, perennial, flowering, fruiting, leafy, rambling or compact. Like any other plant, some vines are suitable for the shade and others prefer sun. A benefit of vines is that they only need a small amount of soil for their roots, and most grow quickly, screening an unwanted view or adding vertical interest to your garden. Whether you choose a vine to frame a doorway, grow over a trellises or wall or cover a slope, it is relatively easy to successfully grow a vine if you keep the following in mind.

Step 1

Consider where the vine will grow when selecting your plant. If you want your vine to climb up a trellis you will want a twining vine, which wraps itself around a support (or even itself) to climb higher, like clematis. If you want to train the vine against a brick wall, you will want a vine that puts out little roots to help it cling to surfaces, such as English ivy or climbing hydrangea.

Step 2

Determine whether you want to plant annual vines or perennial vines. Annuals bloom one time only, whereas perennials come back season after season.

Step 3

Think about how big and long the vine will be before you plant it. If you're working with a small space, choose a vine that has a more compact growth.

Step 4

Make sure the planting location is in the full sun to nearly full sun. Most vines need it to grow flowers and fruit. Some vines, including most varieties of the popular clematis, prefer to be shaded at the base of the plant with the upper growth in the sun.

Step 5

Plant all vines in fertile and well-drained soil in the spring, before new growth begins. Mix a couple of shovels of compost or composted manure in with the soil in the planting hole. This will improve the nutrients in the ground.

Step 6

Allow proper spacing between each vine to give the plants room to grow. Follow the instructions provided by the nursery for your specific vine variety. Water until moist.

Step 7

Give the vine time to settle and start new growth before fertilizing it. Those that are growing poorly should be fed in early spring with one cup of fertilizer. Use one with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 5-10-5 or similar. Work it into the soil around the base of each vine.

Step 8

Pinch back the growth on the ends of the stems if the vines become straggly looking, with sparse foliage at the bottom and mass foliage on top. This will force the vine to become bushier on the lower branches.

Step 9

Prune the vine for good air circulation. Some will appear overgrown if they are not severely trimmed back frequently. Follow the instructions provided by the nursery, making angle cuts with pruning shears.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting vines near shrubs and small trees because they can become hard to manage.

Things You'll Need

  • Vine plants
  • Shovel
  • Compost or composted manure
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears


  • North Carolina State University
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Who Can Help

  • Vine Types
Keywords: grow vines, growing vines, prune the vine

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.