How to Grow Vines on a Privacy Fence

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Privacy fences are constructed of wooden slats, chain link and brick. Whether solid or see-through, vines can transform fences into an interesting landscaping feature. Choose the type of vine that suits your hardiness zone, style of fence and personal taste. The secret to growing vines is to pick the right plant for your conditions. Plant annual vines such as hyacinth bean or sweet peas in the spring until your perennial vines are established. Support netting can be used for quick privacy.

Things You'll Need

  • Potted vines
  • Support netting
  • Pruning shears
  • Trellis or lattice
  • Soft string

Vine and Fence Types

  • Plant climbing hydrangea or English or Boston ivy for brick, stucco or solid-wood walls. Their adhesive pads will attach to the surface.

  • Select wisteria or clematis for open fences. It will twine up lattices or chain-link fences.
    Choose clematis for wrought-iron or chain-link fences. Its tendrils will wrap around the open metalwork.

  • Tie rose canes to a trellis or lattice to help them cover your privacy wall. Their branches grow up to 10 feet.

Sun and Shade

  • Grow grapevines along a sunny privacy fence. Use stakes along the fence every 2 to 3 feet, and tie the vines to them for support.

    Plant clematis along a high, sun-facing fence. This vine will climb 8 to 12 feet on tendrils and can flower from late spring to fall.

  • Choose ivy or Virginia creeper for tree-shaded fences. Climbing hydrangeas will quickly cover a shady wall.

  • Consider other shade-loving vines, including the five-leaf akebia or variegated porcelain vine to add interest to your privacy fence.

Pruning

  • Remove dead or crossed branches in early spring.
    Pinch back the tips of new growth an inch or two to encourage the plant to spread.

  • Train vines to grow where you want them to after new growth appears. Lop off misdirected branches. Direct the vine to spread to bare areas of the wall by tying branches loosely to supports.

  • Prune lightly for growth and spread until plants are established. Keep older vines tidy by removing wayward branches and to encourage flower production.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the feeding requirements for your vines, and fertilize them in the spring to encourage new growth. Stop in the fall, when flowering is over and new growth has stopped.
  • Wear heavy gloves when working with climbing roses.

References

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