How to Use a Garden Trellis

How to Use a Garden Trellis

Jun 13th 2024

Trellises are a fun addition to any garden if installed correctly. They can support climbing plants, create a natural privacy screen, or zone a seating area. Not only do they add style and beauty to your outdoor space, but they also serve a practical purpose by supporting your plants. Gardening on trellises is successful, and it makes harvesting a lot easier. Many vine crops, such as melons, squash, and cucumbers, can produce fresh fruit when grown on a trellis. However, with various styles and colors available, trellises are used for more than gardening.

If you're considering using a garden trellis and want to grow plants using a trellis successfully, this article is for you.

Why You Should Use a Garden Trellis

Here are the reasons to add a trellis to your vegetable garden.

Maximize Growing Space

Trellis encourages climbing plants to grow up rather than out. Certain crops like cucumbers or melons will spread and take your entire garden bed if they don't have a structure to climb. Train them up a trellis to increase your garden space. Trellises provide more space to grow smaller plants along or beneath your vining plants. In addition to horizontal space in your garden, you can use the vertical space that goes up the garden beds.

Gives Support to Climbing Plants

Vining plants need a solid structure to climb or won't grow like you want. They can get stifled if not supported, and once they have a structure, they climb to have better access to the sun. Trellises support plants and help them bear the weight of heavy fruits, making it easier for you, too. While some climbing plants attach themselves to the garden trellis through their tendrils, others need twist ties and your help climbing the vines.

Keep Your Plants Healthier

Garden trellises help vines grow upward, increasing exposure to sun and air circulation for below plants. The leaves and fruits of vining plants stay dry and clean. This discourages pests and prevents mold, which leads to healthier plants.

Add Beauty to Garden

Trellises are versatile, functional, and beautiful. They can add so much beauty to your space. During the growing season, the trellises will be covered with greenery, adding vertical interest to your outdoor space in winter.

What Materials and Designs are Best for Garden Trellis?

Trellises are available in various styles and materials, such as wood or metal. Choose a material that is weather-resistant, durable, and able to support the plants.

Wood: Wooden trellises work well in cottage gardens. They give the garden a rustic look and provide enough support for most vegetable plants.

Metal: Metal trellises are sleek and modern. They offer more decorative options than wooden trellises.

Designs of Garden Trellis

Trellises come in multiple styles, many ideal for specific uses. The trellis design you choose will depend on your plants' needs and personal preferences. Here are the popular and most common designs of garden trellis.

Arched Trellis

An arched trellis is the most attractive type of garden support that can keep your plants off the ground while drawing attention to a particular spot in the yard. Garden arches are perfect for climbing plants, including roses, jasmine, honeysuckle, wisteria, beans, and sweet peas.

Span an arched trellis between two raised garden beds to tie your garden and make a gorgeous living bridge. Walking under a vine-covered arch makes you feel like you are entering your private oasis. Ensure the trellis is long enough to support the plants you want to grow. One of the visual pleasures of this garden trellis is watching the plants cascading up and over the arch.

Obelisk Trellis

The obelisk trellis, also known as the pyramid trellis, is a tall pyramid shape with a wide bottom and narrow top, adding height and a unique element to your space. This type of trellis works best in the middle or corners of square and rectangular gardens. It can be used as a focal point in the garden. Obelisk trellises are best suited for shorter plants such as sweet peas, climbing roses, and honeysuckle.

You can grow 3-4 plants around and up the outside of this trellis instead of just one plant inside.

Panel Trellis

Panel trellises are a flat structure that allows plants to climb on it. This trellis is ideal for maximizing your growing space in narrow raised beds. Additionally, you can use a panel trellis in the middle of a large garden bed that you can access from both sides. Panel trellis can accommodate cucumbers, tomatoes, pole beans, fava beans, sugar snap peas, and any plant that wants to climb. To increase space, you can also use panel trellises along a garage, fence, or home. Panels come in one piece, so all you have to do is place them in your garden.

Garden Trellis Ideas to Add Style to Your Home

Here are the ideas for using Trellis to spruce up the beauty of your outdoor space.

Mount it to a Plain Wall

Attach a traditional wooden trellis to a bland wall in an entryway or near a window for climbing flowers. You can create a flower bed at the base of a wall or place the planter and make plants climb up the trellis.

Attach to a Garden Planter

Plant colorful climbing flowers in a deep planter or pot and add a trellis at the back to create a unique display. Place it anywhere around your yard. Paint your trellis and planter the same dark shade to add a modern feel and make the flowers' colors pop.

Create a Privacy Screen by Using the Trellis

Stake two or more trellises side by side and place climbing flowers or plants up against it to create a natural privacy screen anywhere around the home. Place these trellises along the patio for a private vibe. Additionally, you can use the trellis in place of a garden fence.

Hang Potted Plants to Make a Display

Place a trellis next to the window and create a beautiful flowering display that can be admired inside and outside the home. Plant some flowering bulbs in small pots or containers. Hang the pots securely from the trellis using wire or twist ties. For a quirky touch, paint the trellis to match the wall.

Best Climbing Plants to Grow on Trellis

Not all plants are perfect for growing on garden trellises. Choose climbing plants with strong and vigorous tendrils to help them climb the trellis. Here are the vegetables and flowering plants to grow on your garden trellises.


Cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, pole beans, peas, melons, kiwi, grapes, and blackberries


Climbing roses, jasmine, bougainvillea, coral vines, hyacinth beans, trumpet vine, climbing hydrangea, clematis, honeysuckle, wisteria

How to Grow Plants Vertically Up a Trellis?

Here are the steps to grow vegetables or other climbing plants up a trellis.

  • Plant vining plants next to the base of the garden trellis.
  • Help the plants' tendrils find trellis sections to cling to.
  • Prune a young plant to a single main stem with a sharp pruner. Pruning while plants are growing is recommended to focus on fruit production.
  • Tie plant vines to the trellis with twist ties.
  • Harvest clean and dry fruits easily from your trellis.

Final Takeaway

Trellises are a wonderful addition to any garden. They are a fun way to add aesthetic appeal, save space, protect plants from pests, and support climbing plants. By choosing the right design and material, proper placement, and regular maintenance, you can use trellises to create a gorgeous and functional garden. Regular maintenance of the garden trellis includes cleaning, repairing damage, and pruning the plants to prevent them from overgrowing.

So, trellis your vining plants, create a vertical garden, and see how they will become the favorite feature of your garden!