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How to Grow Vines

Vines and climbers are rapidly growing plants that can quickly take over their environments. Most mature vines develop a woody to semi-woody stem. Vines and climbers are mostly cold intolerant and require support with their upright growth, growing around trellises and frames. There are many variations of the vine. Although variations exist, the care of most vines and climbers are similar.

Become familiar with the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone system. Select the vine based on the climate of the standard planting zone as well as the local one. Choose a vine that can tolerate the weather variations of the area, especially those with colder temperatures.

Choose the planting location for the vine. Select a location that meets the shade and light combinations that the vine requires. If unsure of the selected vine’s requirements, choose an area that provides at least six hours of partially shaded sunlight each day.

Plant the vines in well drained, nutrient rich soil and according to the climate of the planting location. If located in a colder region, plant the vines in the early spring. If located in a warmer climate, plant the vines in the late fall. Mix the native soil with equal amounts of organic matter, such as peat compost or oak-leaf compost.

Create a hole that is approximately 2 inches deeper and twice the size of the vine’s root ball. Gently comb out the root system and position the ball in the center of the hole. Fill the hole with water and allow it settle. Fill the hole firmly with soil. Never apply fertilizer into the hole.

Prune the vine to promote branching. Cut the vine’s branches with a sterile knife or scissors. Trim with an angular cut to promote rapid healing. Pinch back foliage to promote vigorous new growth. Avoid pruning away large amounts of the vine simultaneously to prevent dieback and growth stunt.

Water the young vine regularly during the growing season, from early spring through mid fall. Maintain a moist soil environment but do not over water. Water the vines weekly in the morning hours. Reduce the watering schedule for mature vines. Vines are mature when they begin to develop a woody to semi-woody stem. Water mature vines once every two weeks. Increase the watering schedule for all vines during the hot, dry summer months.

Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the vine. Use organic mulch and apply a layer that is approximately 2 to 3 inches thick. Keep the planting area free of weeds. Pull the weeds from around the area by hand to prevent damage to the vine.

Feed the vines with a well balanced fertilizer. Select a fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micronutrient combinations. Choose a slow release, granular fertilizer with low levels of nitrogen, such as a 6-6-6- or 10-10-10 (NPK) combination. Distribute fertilizer equally around the planting area. Avoid placing the fertilizer directly near the root system to avoid root burn.

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