Does Cardinal Climber need thinner stake/post for climbing?

West Newton, MA

When my direct-seeded Cardinal Climber first started growing, I gave it a standard 3/4" wide, 4 foot tall wooden stake to twine around. Silly me. It took all of a week to climb up to the top and then started waving its stem flag at me, obviously needing more, much more. So I went out a bought a wooden latticework trellis, about 6 feet high and 2 feet wide. But the plant seems to be having a harder time twining around this, possibly because the individual vertical and horizontal slats are much wider than the stake, about 1 1/2" One of the stems completely wound around itself in a highly convoluted fashion, possibly to compensate for not being able to twine around the wide 1 1/2" flats?

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

I have a morning glory climbing up a metal trellis of very thin metal and it twines up that very readily.


Mulberry, FL

Hi there was a article here about concrete ladders for vines made of wire. You can buy them at home depot there under 5 dollars. For your trellis I would take gardeners string and criss cross it tie it up and down give it some thing to crawl on 1.6 is too wide for such a vine . Check out that concrete ladder I take 2 and plastic tie the together bend it and step on the ends and you have it.

West Newton, MA

Thank you, Danasplants!

Could this be the article you're referring to: ?

Is there an article you could point me to about the ideal width of slats/poles/stakes for different vines? I'm frustrated that I didn't know this before I got these trellises at Home Depot! Ah, well -- there's my newcomer's education. I didn't come across this information anywhere and just didn't think about the slat width. So it's well accepted that a 1.5" slat would not work well for a vine like Cardinal Climber?

I'd be curious to know what vines trellises like that are actually best for. I just don't know where I'd go to read about this.


This message was edited Jul 19, 2015 5:24 PM

West Newton, MA

Sorry -- please ignore this message. (I don't see a way to delete it.)

This message was edited Jul 19, 2015 8:11 PM

Mulberry, FL

Here you go I bumped it up

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have always grown my Cardinal Climber vine on my wrought iron railings
of my wrought iron little 4' x 4' walk-out landing from my kitchen door.
I suppose these railings are about 1"x1".
It twines just fine all over these--and often goes sneaking into cracks and crevices
of my siding, door sill, and any holes it can find.

It looks good--but is a beast to remove all the dead vines end of season.
It is also hard to collect the seeds--as they are all over the vine.


West Newton, MA

Thanks, Gitagal. I think I'm going to screw some small screw eyes into the wooden slats of the trellis and then thread wire between them. What is the best type of wire to use for Cardinal Climber to climb on? I have 24 gauge green enameled floral wire, 20 gauge copper wire and 19 gauge annealed steel wire. Would any of these be ok? Or are they too light gauge? Thanks for any help

This message was edited Jul 21, 2015 8:01 AM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Just off the top of m head--I think vinyl covered laundry line would work perfectly.
It is is is not too thin....not too fat....and easy to handle. Cheep too.

I would stay away from floral wires of any sort--too thin....I am sure it would grow--
BUT remember--you have to remove the dried up stems and vines from the wire.
A most tedious job!

Just go with your gut. Gita

Natick, MA


Didnt see your question before. I am growing the cardinal vine for the first time this year. I bought 3 bamboo sticks/posts (available at Walmart early in season), or also Home Depot, Ocean State Job Lot
You could also use other pcs. of wood, tomato stakes, etc.

I made a "Teepee" out of them, the bottoms go into the ground approx 8+" apart and at the top, they come to gether and secure with string, etc.

Works for me, tho it could be taller

Natick, MA

I think this is the masonry "ladder" /thread that was being referred to:

Rochester, NY(Zone 6a)

I've found that annual vines that wind around a support (rather than tendrils to hold on) do well on rough garden twine so I use this for cardinal vine, cypress vine, morning glories and pole beans. It lasts at least one season, maybe two so if the dried vines are too hard to remove I can easily just cut the twine off and replace it. Sometimes in my experience the wire seems too slippery for the vine to grasp. I grew cardinal vine after reading that it attracted hummingbirds but my hummers weren't very interested. Maybe I'll try it again next year. The similar Cypress Vine flowers earlier and has more blooms so I always plant that.

Arlington, MA

I'll second the recommendation of thick twine--5-ply jute, in my case, though I may have run out of it and used 3-ply. Jute is sort of hairy....Cypress vine, morning glories and hyacinth bean vines have all been comfortable with it.

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