Here Are 10 Perennial Vine Options For Vertical Gardening
Updated: Oct 18
Vertical gardening is widespread, especially in urban and suburban areas with limited land. These days, you can find many recycled plastic bottles or PVC pipes hanging alongside fences and walls, with little bunches of salad greens emerging periodically. Everything from old pants pockets to upcycled dressers to old pallets can be used to grow food beyond ground level, including old pallets. The result is often an interesting, if not bizarre, a garden feature that people, gardeners, and others can enjoy.
In permaculture, the small containers are usually used to grow annuals, but they are usually higher maintenance. Typically, edible perennial vines are more practical in vertical spaces from a permaculture perspective. From this perspective, vine cultivation becomes a better option for utilizing vertical areas. Vines can climb vertically and cover ceilings (allowing for utilization of this space), insulate, and even serve as living walls and fences.
There are also other, more practical uses for vines in urban environments. It's worth noting that these repurposed vertical gardens are a clever idea, but they're less likely to provide a reliable source of food or a more easily maintained plant. Furthermore, vines may be used for fruit and vegetables in temperate and tropical zones, as well as edible leaves and flowers. They're easy to grow and establish.
Passion Fruit: A tropical fruit is grown in rich soil, little wind, and lots of water, passion fruit is a highly quick-growing, far-spreading, high-climbing vine that produces in the first year and becomes overabundant the following year, producing more fruit than a typical family can consume. The vine lasts five to seven years, at which point it passes away, whether or not it is healthy. It's not hard to propagate, whether from seeds or cuttings. In cooler regions, try purple varieties that can withstand the slight, old frost.
Kiwi: The fruit of the kiwi tree needs at least one male and up to eight females to ensure that the plant produces fruit well. Annual pruning is vital to kiwi fruit production, as the fruit comes from the wood of older branches. The kiwi thrives in temperate zones with long frost-free periods, allowing the plant to climb (up to six meters long). California and New Zealand are the major kiwi producers, but several other options are available to provide more cold-tolerant possibilities for colder climates.
Grape: What has always been viewed as a specialty fruit, the fruit of fine wine and regional distinction, isn't really as limiting as reputation would have us believe. Although England once had Roman vineyards that traversed Italy and France to get there, the reputation of grapes being a specialty item isn't so limiting. Canada produces wine, and it is possible to grow them in steamy Florida. Pruning is crucial to crop production as the fruits develop new growth, but the soil also plays a significant role. Grapes are an easy fruit to grow that flourish in a wide range of temperate and even tropical and subtropical environments.
Scarlet runner beans: provide decorative flowers, edible leaves, roots, and dried beans. The dried beans are popular in the kitchen because of their vibrant hues and varied sizes, and they are also beautiful in the garden if they are generally grown as an ornamental plant. They prefer full sun and fertile soil and grow best in temperate regions with moderate temperatures. This legume can enrich the soil while providing food. It is not only a nitrogen-fixing legume that fills vertical spaces but can also enrich the soil.
Groundnuts: may have been forgotten as a food source after Native Americans, or perhaps because peanuts took over the name, but they are a unique legume that fixes nitrogen. Despite widespread culinary use being roasted sweet potato-flavored roots, groundnuts are harvested year-round. Their vines can grow up to two meters and a meter wide, making them a suitable food source in the fall and winter.
Chayote: a member of the gourd family, is a vining plant that produces an abundance of fruit in its first year. It thrives in tropical regions but is happy in southern US states like Louisiana and California, where I grew up. It is a fantastic addition to raw salads, soups, stews, and roasts as a moist, crisp vegetable. Despite liking plenty of moisture, chayote must be grown with adequate drainage.
Loofahs: (Luffa cylindrical) are grown in subtropical and tropical regions as a perennial plants and are more renowned for their therapeutic properties as a natural sponge than as a food source. Despite their wide range of uses, loofahs are excellent for both. Farmers report that they may harvest young loofah gourds, which are both tasty vegetables (eaten raw like cucumbers or cooked like squash) and medicinal sponges (if allowed to ripen and dry on the vine). These plants are suitable for absorbing greywater from outdoor faucets, and loofahs are particularly effective at doing this.
Flower and Leaf Vines
Nasturtium The bushy and groundcover varieties of nasturtium are edible, as well as the climbing and trailing varieties. They're particularly effective in vertical gardens, providing both a colorful and culinary addition. The flowers are excellent for salads and other dishes, as they add color and become increasingly spicy with age. Even the seeds, if harvested before they turn brown, can be pickled and used as a caper substitute. Nasturtiums are famous for their ease of propagation and ability to grow in poor soil, although they don't flourish in cold or windy weather. Nasturtiums should be planted directly rather than transplanted when planted in the ground.
Jasmine: The intoxicating scent of jasmine is why many opt to grow the plant, but the tea made from its flowers is why most of us do. It is also referred to as a pest plant and weed since it can spread and grow wild after being rooted. It grows in the tropics and subtropics but can also thrive in temperate environments if grown in a sheltered area. It is also necessary to note that the false jasmine species has not been cultivated for human consumption as it is thought too toxic.
Malabar spinach: It's challenging to get an adequate amount of leafy greens in a tropical environment, which makes Malabar spinach a favorite of mine. This plant grows up to 30 m tall, producing ever more fodder as it is harvested. The leaves contain potent vitamins and nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked. Some people don't like Malabar because of its slimy texture, similar to okra, and prefer to eat it in soups and stews, which thickens. Although it does not tolerate frost, this tropical plant grows quickly enough to be a sturdy annual in more temperate zones.
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