Hot House Climbers
the summer hits temperatures in a conservatory can spiral
out of control. We look at ways to make it more habitable
for plants and some climbers that love the heat.
Many conservatories are considered to be too hot and
sunny for plants during the summer but this is normally
quite untrue – it is simply a matter of choosing
the correct plants.
The most important factor to consider when planting
a sunny conservatory is the ventilation. If the doors
and windows can be left open during the day, to bring
cool fresh air into the conservatory, then a wide range
of plants which tolerate the high light intensity can
Particularly good for these conditions are many climbers
such as Bougainvillea and Jasmine. These also have the
advantage of shading people and other plants below them,
eliminating the need for blinds. Climbers can be grown
up attractive supports such as trellises and obelisks,
or they can be trained up the sides and into the roof
simply with the aid of a piece of wire or string.
When growing climbers, it is worth bearing in mind that
they will flower best on the stems that are growing
horizontally or trailing down – this will often
be the parts which have reached the roof of the conservatory
and started to grow across the top. To encourage flowering
lower down, it may be necessary to prune them repeatedly
to encourage a fairly bushy shape with lots of side
Plants such as Jasmines,
which flower on the new growth, can be pruned hard during
the winter, and trimmed back again after each burst
of flowers during the summer.
To provide some shade in the summer, but let in as much
light as possible during the winter, why not grow deciduous
climbers such as Bougainvillea. These are available
in a tremendous range of bright colours. Alternatively,
fast growing plants such as Ipomea learii (Morning Glory)
and Passionflowers can be trimmed back hard during the
winter to allow the light in again.
On the other hand, to cover up an unsightly brick wall
or provide some privacy, you may require an evergreen
screen. Ideal for this purpose would be many varieties
of Jasmine, Hibbertia scandens, Dipladenia sanderii
and Hoya carnosa.
Some of the best climbers for conservatories
Bougainvillea – Brightly coloured, papery
Jasmines – Wonderfully scented white flowers.
Also notable for not being prone to pests.
Hoya carnosa – called the Wax Plant, has
clusters of waxy star shaped flowers. Thrives on neglect!
Dipladenia sanderii – Lovely glossy evergreen
leaves and pink trumpet flowers.
Mandevillea amabilis – Fabulous large,
pink trumpet flowers.
Ipomea learii – called the Blue Dawn Flower,
has large, deep blue saucer shaped flowers in summer.
Stephanotis floribunda – often called the
Madagascar Jasmine, has heavily scented, waxy white
Passiflora: the well-known Passion Flower. Many
varieties. P. amethyst or P. violacea, fast growing
and free flowering.
P. citrina has delightful yellow flowers.
reprinted with premission from Greenfingers.com