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Creepers Plants vs. Climbers Plants — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on January 11, 2024
Creepers Plants grow along the ground; Climbers Plants grow vertically with support.
Creepers Plants vs. Climbers Plants — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Creepers Plants and Climbers Plants


Key Differences

Creepers Plants and Climbers Plants are both types of plants with a vining or spreading habit, but they utilize different strategies for growth. Creepers Plants, also known simply as creepers, typically have a horizontal growth pattern, spreading out across the ground. They may have small, weak stems that can't support the weight of the plant above the ground, hence they lay low and spread over the surface of the soil. Climbers Plants, on the other hand, grow vertically and use various structures, such as tendrils, twining stems, or suckers, to hold onto supports.
Creepers Plants are often used as ground covers in gardens due to their growth habit. They tend to be low-lying and can spread quite extensively, which makes them ideal for covering the soil and filling in landscape areas. Climbers Plants are often used to add height to a garden space by growing on fences, trellises, or arbors. These plants can reach significant heights and are frequently used to create vertical elements in garden design.
One distinct characteristic of Creepers Plants is that they usually do not need any support to grow, as their stems are not strong enough to climb. They simply spread over the ground, filling in spaces and often rooting at nodes where stems touch the ground. Climbers Plants, in contrast, require some form of support to grow upwards. They have specialized structures that help them attach to and climb up various surfaces, enabling them to reach for sunlight above other plants.
The distinction between Creepers Plants and Climbers Plants also lies in their adaptation to their environment. Creepers Plants are often adapted to spread over the ground to compete for sunlight and resources without investing energy in supporting structures. Climbers Plants invest in adaptations like tendrils or adhesive pads to secure themselves to a vertical support, allowing them to grow towards light while occupying minimal ground space.
Creepers Plants and Climbers Plants both have survival advantages in their respective growth habits. Creepers can protect the soil from erosion and retain moisture due to their dense coverage. Climbers can grow in small spaces, yet reach the sunlight by growing tall, often creating a living screen or green wall, which can also provide shade and cooling effects.

Comparison Chart

Growth Direction

Horizontal across the ground
Vertical with support

Stem Strength

Weak, unable to support vertical growth
Stronger, capable of supporting vertical growth

Support Needed

No external support needed
External support required (trellis, stakes)

Common Usage

Ground cover in gardens
Decoration on walls, trellises, and fences


Rooting at nodes, low to ground
Tendrils, twining stems, or suckers for climbing

Compare with Definitions

Creepers Plants

Creepers Plants may prevent soil erosion.
As Creepers Plants cover the ground, they help in preventing soil erosion.

Climbers Plants

Climbers Plants add height to garden spaces.
Clematis, a Climbers Plant, brings vertical interest to my garden with its upward growth.

Creepers Plants

Creepers Plants can root at nodes.
Ivy often roots at the nodes, which helps Creepers Plants to spread effectively.

Climbers Plants

Climbers Plants use external support to grow vertically.
Pea plants are Climbers Plants that climb up trellises in the garden.

Creepers Plants

Creepers Plants spread horizontally rather than vertically.
The Creepers Plants like ivy create a green carpet over the soil surface.

Climbers Plants

Climbers Plants often need structures to grow upon.
Rose climbers are Climbers Plants that can be trained to grow on an arbor.

Creepers Plants

Creepers Plants are ground-covering vegetation.
Strawberry plants are common examples of Creepers Plants, spreading across the garden bed.

Climbers Plants

Climbers Plants can create natural screens.
Climbers Plants such as ivy are used to create a living green wall along my fence.

Creepers Plants

Creepers Plants have weak, non-climbing stems.
Pumpkin vines are Creepers Plants that sprawl across the ground in my vegetable garden.

Climbers Plants

Climbers Plants can have tendrils for gripping.
The tendrils of Climbers Plants like grapevines wrap around structures for support.

Common Curiosities

What are Climbers Plants?

Climbers Plants are plants that grow upwards with the help of external support.

Can Climbers Plants grow without support?

Climbers Plants generally need support like a trellis or fence to climb effectively.

What are Creepers Plants?

Creepers Plants are plants that grow close to the ground and can spread over large areas.

Are all Creepers Plants invasive?

Not all, but some Creepers Plants can be invasive if not managed properly.

How do Climbers Plants stick to surfaces?

They may use tendrils, suckers, or twining stems to attach to supports.

Are Creepers Plants good for ground cover?

Yes, they are excellent for ground cover due to their low-growing nature.

What kind of support do Climbers Plants need?

They can climb on trellises, nets, strings, or other vertical structures.

Do Creepers Plants climb like Climbers Plants?

No, Creepers Plants do not climb; they spread along the ground.

Can Creepers Plants be used as lawn substitutes?

Yes, some Creepers Plants like clover can serve as low-maintenance lawn alternatives.

Do Climbers Plants damage the structures they climb on?

Some can, especially if they use adhesive pads or if the structure is not sturdy.

How fast do Creepers Plants spread?

This varies by species, but many Creepers Plants can spread quickly under optimal conditions.

Can I train Creepers Plants to climb?

Generally, no, because they lack the necessary structures to climb.

Can Climbers Plants grow indoors?

Yes, some Climbers Plants can be grown indoors using indoor supports.

Are Climbers Plants high maintenance?

They can require more maintenance, like pruning and training, compared to Creepers Plants.

Do Creepers Plants need a lot of water?

Their water needs vary, but most prefer consistent moisture to thrive.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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