Easy to grow, climbing annuals will flower non-stop from June until the frosts, producing striking blooms and sculptural leaves. Because they grow 1.8m to 3m or more in a season, half the joy in growing them is producing a showstopping plant from one small, inexpensive seed.
Sweet peas aside, annual climbers are rarely seen in borders, but they’re easy to grow from seed with a heated propagator in a greenhouse, or a frost-free porch or indoor window sill. Species to try include Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata), Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum), black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) and morning glory (Ipomoea).
Annual climbers are often grown as fast cover-ups for sunny fences and trellises, but they make excellent pot plants for large containers on a sunny patio – be sure to provide them with some support in the form of a wigwam or obelisk.
Here’s how to grow annual climbers from seed.
If you don’t want to sow seeds in February, you could wait until the weather warms up in April and sow pots in a coldframe for slightly later-flowering plants.