Creeper is a type of plant, which cannot stand by itself, it trails or climbs. Most creepers are flowering plants. Climbers can be annual, bi-annual or perennial. Climbers are commonly used on
walls, arches, pergolas, trellises, porches, arbours, and pillars. Bare walls can effectively be decorated by growing colorful climbers on them. Fences & trellises also provide scope for these plants to grow and be decorative. It is often felt that among the various types of ornamental plants, the least interest is taken on creepers and only a few species or varieties are found growing in a locality. Even a good amateur gardener seldom knows more than a dozen climbers and practical information on many of these plants are not readily available.
Annual & perennial Creepers
Annual climbers grow flower & complete their lifecycle within a year. Lathyrus Odoratus (Sweet Pea) & Ipomoea Rubro-caerulea (Blue Morning Glory) are important and widely grown annual climbers. Many climbers which grow & flower for several years are perennials and they are valued because once established & trained on support, they continue to flower with little care. Quisqualis Indica (Madhabilata or Rangoon Creeper), Gloriosa Rothschildiana (Agnisikha), Clitoria Ternatea (Aparajita) are examples of perennial creeper.
In a shady place where the flowering climbers fail to grow or flower, those with attractive foliage and luxuriant growth can be selected both for indoor & outdoor creeper. Ficus Pumila, Scindapsus Aureus (Pothos or Money Plant), several varieties of Philodendron, Monstera Deliciosa are some of the foliage creepers.
Creepers for Screening Purpose
Climbers which grow quickly & show a thick and neat growth are mostly used for screening. Vernonia Elaeagnifolia has been found to cover high wall or fences very effectively in a warm humid climate like Kolkata or India in a broader aspect.
Creepers for low walls & trellis
For low walls & trellis, normally light type of climbers are selected, i.e. Gloriosa (Agnisikha), Climatis Flammula, Clerodendrum Thomsoniae (Bleeding Heart).
Climbers for pergola
For long pergolas in a garden or roof-top usually heavy climbers are grown which include Allamanda Cathartica, Delima Sarmentosa, Quisqualis Indica, Wisteria Sinensis.
Creeper for porches
Selection of good flowering climbers on a sunny porch is important for a colorful display. It not only adds beauty to the house but also enhances the beauty of the garden in front of the building. Clerodendrum Splendens, Ipomoea Horsfalliae, Pyrostegia Venusta and also several species of Jasminum are suitable for porches. Some varieties of Bougainvillea can be trained on porches which flower profusely for many months during the year.