Training a Vine to Grow Down

Q: I have an arbor with Confederate jasmine planted on one side. It is growing great up the post and across the top. I am attempting to train the vine to grow down the post on the other side of my arbor because I don’t have room to plant one in the ground there. Is there a way to do it? 

A: A vine’s natural habit is to grow towards the light. This is called phototropism. The tips of the branches of your jasmine will always grow upward. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fool it somehow. Your task now is to select two or three limbs growing from the main vine closest to your house and allow them to grow six feet long. It would be best to hang six-foot lengths of twine above the main vine and train these sub-vines to climb up them. When these sub-vines have grown to six feet high, clip the twine and gently bend them down along the bare arbor post. Tie them loosely to the post. As time passes, the sub-vines will send out shoots which will grow upwards, covering the post and showing greenery on both ends of the arbor

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