Vines and Other Climbing Plants



There are a few plants that are frequently sold by Garden Centres as climbers that most definitely are not. The Climbing Rose is one such plant as it has no tendrils, does not twine and has no aerial roots, or suckers and the Chaenomeles along with Pyracantha are two more such plants. Like the other two plants however, the Chaenomeles does have thorns that will catch in any support and help it to climb. This makes it ideal to grow up through chain link fencing making it more attractive and impenetrable barrier. However, Chaenomeles are fairly slow growing and won’t grow very high. The ornamental Chaenomeles are related to the edible Cydonia and in fact the names are actually synonymous as both are Quinces. They are just called different names to distinguish between the one type being grown for its bigger fruits and the other being grown for its colourful flowers.

There are a couple of other differences between those plants labelled as Cydonia and Chaenolmeles besides the fruiting capabilities. Chaenomeles have small green leaves whereas Cydonia have large leaves not unlike those of the common Laurel. Cydonia do not have thorns and only simple, large, white flowers, whereas the Chaenomeles have smaller, but pretty pink, or red flowers. Both flower early in the season before producing their fruits that are ready towards the end of the season. Because Cydonia and Chaenolmeles are basically the same plants you can in fact eat the fruit of both types, it is just that there is too much core in the smaller Chaenomeles fruits to make them really worth bothering with. 

Quince fruits are as hard as bullets and do not soften as they ripen, nor are they very tasty on their own. However, when they are cooked, a few slices will work wonders by almost magically improving the flavour of apple pies. Another traditional use for Quinces is to cook them down and make Quince Jelly, or combine them with other fruits in jams.

Chaenomeles are very easy to propagate from seed and indeed after your plants have fruited it is a simple matter to remove a few seeds and germinate them to make more plants. Being a woody plant cuttings are not easy to root. Chaenomeles are not fussy about soil types, or conditions, whether they grow in sun, or partial shade and will prosper anywhere, although the larger growing Cydonias do like a little more moisture. Both plants are also ideal to grow up against a wall.

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