Vines can be beautiful, lining a tree trunk, trellis or building facade with green leaves and vibrant flowers. They also can be dangerous to other foliage, overgrowing it and blocking its access to sunlight. In dramatic instances, they can even kill old-growth trees. When selecting vines to grow or remove from your garden, do so with consideration to maintenance as well as aesthetics.
Some of the most dramatic climbing plants are trumpet creepers. These vines spread at an astonishing rate, and can completely cover a wall within just a few years. When they bloom, they do so with a similar extravagance, each flower looking like an oversized, trumpet-shaped honeysuckle. When planting them in your garden or along a wall, do so with an awareness of how rapidly they'll overtake their surroundings and how much work will be required to keep them in check. If you're willing to put in the hours, your reward will be a gorgeous green vine with some of the loudest flowers around.
While the trumpet creeper is loud and big, the morning glory is slight and sophisticated. Its blossoms come in an array of colors, and true to its name, they blossom spectacularly at dawn. Not all morning glories are true vines, instead spreading across the ground. Those that do climb do so at a slower pace than their trumpeting counterparts, meaning that maintenance is less of a hassle. Overall, these make a safe, charming addition to any garden, but amateur horticulturalists should be aware: The morning glory's seeds are highly toxic.
Touching poison ivy is like touching fire: You soon learn never to do it again. This climbing plant grows wildly throughout the U.S., and gardeners should take care when in its presence. The best solution is to remove it, wearing heavy gloves and long sleeves as you clip them at the stem. Young growths are as thin as noodles, but after several years, they'll grow as thick as a human wrist. These thick vines you'll often find climbing the sides of trees. They're notable for their hairy texture, though a number of other thick vines also have a hairy skin. The best way to identify poison ivy is by its leaf, which features a distinct trident.