Most climbing species can be grown from cuttings during the warmer summer months. Root in a well-drained container of moist sand. Keep in partial shade and water well. Some species can simply be grown from cuttings in situ like the Senecios, Aloe ciliaris and other semi-succulent species. Others, such as the elephant's foot Dioscorea elephantipes, can only be grown from seed.
Planting and Pruning
For planting vigorous woody climbers, prepare a hole 50x50 cm and mix a third of the soil volume with compost and fill up the hole. The plant can now be planted and should be watered well. Bone meal is rich is phosphates and will enhance flowering and disease resistance. The soil left over can now be used to make a wall around the hole to hold the water.
Prune whenever needed. Specimen plants, such as the elephant's-foot, are best grown in a container but will do well elsewhere provided it has good drainage. The succulent stem of the elephant's-foot is subject to sunburn and should be partly shaded. The following mixture is recommended for containers: 2 parts sand, 1 part loam (garden soil) and 1 part compost and an ample helping of bone meal.
Most of our climbers are vigorous growers and annual feeding with inorganic or organic fertilizer will enhance their performance. Annual composting and a twice-yearly dressing of 2:3:2 in spring and summer is advised. These can also be grown in containers.