Garden & Wall Trellises

The term “trellis” can be employed to refer to a large category of lawn structures used to support climbing plants. In this class are arbors, pergolas, wall trellises and some other woven or grid-like wall that stands upright in a garden. Many factors must be considered as you pick the appropriate trellis for your space and plants.

Trellis Advantages

Trellises may be used to cover unsightly garden walls and unsightly building structure. They add visual interest to the landscape and can even create an idyllic sheltered location for sitting in a garden or on a terrace. Trellises allow vining plants to develop rather than out, giving them a acceptable space to thrive without overtaking other nearby plants. Trellises also create boundaries and borders in just a landscape, separating one part of a garden in the other.


Many trellises require upkeep or they degrade with time. Wire trellises supporting vining crops like grapes will typically last many years without much maintenance beyond the occasional replacement of a cable. Wooden trellises, by contrast, will rot if not properly cared for. Treated wood, coated with a couple of layers of polyurethane, will require fresh layers of polyurethane every other year or even the wood will rot. Unfortunately, performing upkeep of this character without damaging or removing perennial plants can be difficult. Vinyl makes an exceptional alternative to timber, as they require little to no upkeep, require no paint or other protective coatings and will endure for many decades.


The particular sturdiness of a trellis will ascertain which type of plants could be grown on it. Heavy, aggressive crops, like wisteria (Wisteria spp.) , growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, can only be increased on the strongest of structures. A well-made pergola is more appropriate for such plants. Smaller, lighter crops, like morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), growing in USDA zones 9 through 11, and jasmine (Jasminum officinale), in USDA zones 7b through 10, can be trained to climb lighter trellis structures that are widely available in garden centers, require minimum effort to construct and can be easily moved if needed. Bigger structures, like pergolas, may require a special license for installation. Local codes may dictate the size, location and construction materials required to maintain the pergola protected. You will want to consult your regional codes and homeowner ordinances before beginning construction.


The planting location will help determine the shape and size of this trellis you choose. A flat trellis might be placed against a garden wall to get assisting plants to climb the wall. Although trellises of this type may typically be stuck into the floor and leaned against the wall to get fundamental support, you can add additional sturdiness by bolting the trellis to the garden wall. Larger spaces could be full of arbors and pergolas, which offer extensive shade and shouldn’t be installed where they’ll prevent nearby plants from receiving sunlight. Arching trellises might be placed in almost any location near a doorway or over a path; those highly decorative trellises might be most charming covered in flowering vines.

Trellis Appropriate Plants

Any vines can be trained to grow on a trellis, but many gardeners favor flowering vines to create visual interest in the landscape. Climbing roses (Rosa spp.) , hardy to USDA zones 2 and up depending on variety, are light enough to be supported by a lightweight trellis. However, thorny varieties must not be placed near patios or walkways under pergolas. Clematis (Clematis spp.) , hardy to USDA zones 3 and up based on variety, is a perfect growing plant alternative for arbors and arches stretching over courage. Like climbing roses, clematis is light enough a lightweight trellis should be adequate. Other plants that might also be grown on a trellis include squash, pumpkins and grapes. These fruiting plants might become heavy when fully adult and should be grown on a sturdy structure like a pergola.

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