Are Climbing Plants As Bad For Your House As They Say? 

Climbing plants like ivy and trumpet vines have gotten a bad rap. They’ve been said to ruin the exterior of your home, causing damage to your siding, roof and gutters. But is this always the case? It turns out, there are a number of factors to consider before you can come to a conclusion. Take a look at why climbing plants aren’t necessarily as bad for your house as they say, and how you can make them work.

Location, Location, Location

When it comes down to it, it’s all about location. Location, and what the exterior of your home is made of play a major part in whether you can use climbing plants on your home. Climbing plants can cause issues on houses with wood siding that are situated in damp areas. Certain plants, such as Boston ivy are able to go up and under the wood due to their adhesive pads, trapping in moisture and eventually leading to rot. 

However, if you live in a location with good sun exposure and the climbing plant is growing on masonry, your home will be fine. As long as the conditions are right, it’s totally fine to have climbing plants on your facade. 

Benefits of Climbing Plants

First of all, a house covered in climbing plants like English ivy is extremely picturesque. Twisting, twining and twirling, they add visual interest to any home. Not only that, ivy has been found to reduce the threat of freeze-thaw, heating and cooling, and wetting and drying due to its regulation of the wall surface microclimate. 

Flowering vines like morning glory also attract pollinators like birds and insects. Morning glory specifically is a magnet for native butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Risks of Climbing Plants 

Not all climbing plants are bad for your home, but there are certain plants that are quite aggressive. The vines on these plants tend to climb up houses by sticky aerial roots or twining tendrils. The ones with “suckers” anchor themselves to your walls, and if you don’t routinely check up on them, they can cause serious structural problems.

Vines with twining tendrils can damage your gutters, roof, and windows, wrapping around anything they can. And as the tendrils grow bigger, they can warp weak surfaces. Do your research to find out which climbing plants have adhesive pads and twining tendrils.

Alternative Options

If you love the look of climbing plants, but aren’t situated in the right area or don’t want to risk any damage, there are other options you can consider to get the look. Put up a support set 6 to 8 inches away from your home’s siding for proper air circulation. This can be a trellis, lattice, metal grids or mesh, strong wires, or even string. Certain climbing plants are heavier and denser than others, so use this to guide your choice of support set. 

Even though they’re growing on support, you’ll need to train and trim the vines. Keep them cut back away from any gutters and shingles, and tie or cut back and tendrils that are heading towards your home’s siding. If any vines start growing out wildly from the support, you’ll want to cut too. 

If you’re thinking about adding climbing plants to your home, the best thing to do is visit your local gardening shop to find the best plants for your home and your location! 

Where to Place Your Plants: Shade Vs. Sun? It Matters

Placing plants in your home can bring joy and life to your space. But not all plants are easy to care for, and if you’re not sure whether your plants need sun or shade, they’re not going to last long. Some homeowners buy plants thinking lots of sun and water will do the trick, but it’s important to educate yourself on how to look after your plants properly if you want them to flourish.

Most plants are happiest in indirect light, but there are a few plants that thrive in sunlight. These plants love having plenty of light, so will grow best in rooms with lots of natural sunlight from windows. The level of water, humidity and sunlight required varies among plants, but as long as you do your research, your plants are sure to thrive!

Benefits of Houseplants

Along with looking great in your home, houseplants also come with health benefits. They reduce carbon dioxide levels and pollutants like nitrogen dioxide. They also reduce airborne dust levels and increase humidity, preventing dryness in your skin, throat, nose and lips. Plants make breathing easier and purify your indoor air, boosting your overall health.

Plants That Crave Sunlight

Some plants bloom when they’re in direct sunlight. If you have rooms with large, gorgeous regency windows or a room with patio doors that let lots of light in, they’re the perfect spots to place these sun-loving plants. Have a south-facing room with lots of windows? Even better! Plants that crave sunlight need minimum five hours of sun, but up to 12 hours is ideal.

Most full sun plants are tolerant to arid conditions, making them perfect for potted environments. Take your pick from plants like succulents, cacti, geraniums, the dwarf citrus, and the garden croton. Most of these plants do well with a higher indoor temperature, and remember to keep them out of the way of drafts and extreme weather. If you notice your sun-loving plant isn’t growing, move it closer to the window to enhance the level of sunlight it gets.

Plants That Need Shade

If you have a room in your home that doesn’t have a lot of windows, that’s a good place to place plants that love shade. They thrive in low light conditions and grow well in dry environments. If you have a north-facing room, or a room with no windows, this would be considered a low light room.

Plants like the dieffenbachia, the Chinese evergreen, the peace lily, ivy, the staghorn fern, the ZZ plant and the snake plant can all handle low light with ease. Another option if your room does have windows is to add a sheer curtain to cut down on the light, or move the plants around so they’re not directly in front of the windows.

Plants are a gorgeous way to outfit your home. Just remember to do your research on how to thoroughly care for your plants to ensure they live as long as possible!