University of Florida

How Vines Climb

Vines can be split into three basic groups based on how they climb: clinging, twining, and sprawling.

Clinging vines use specialized organs to hold onto structures. Grape vines and crossvines use their tendrils to help them climb, while English ivy and creeping fig have adhesive rootlets.

Twining vines like Confederate jasmine and coral honeysuckle rely on a different method, twisting their stems around upright supports. They may need a little help from you if you want them to find their way along fences or trellises.

Finally, sprawling vines have long stems but no means of attachment. Without help, they may grow in an ever-expanding mound. Bougainvillea is a popular example of a sprawling vine that can be trained up trellises.

UF/IFAS Publications

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