Tips . Trends . Tricks

Every garden should incorporate some climbing plants or trellised shrubs. They add height and relief. They can also provide valuable extra privacy. Or create a separation between different parts of the garden.

Do all climbing plants need a support?

Not necessarily. It depends on the type of climber you are growing. Most climbing plants need to be attached to a support, or at least guided to the support to help them hang on.

Some plants such as clematis, climbing roses, jasmine and honeysuckle need the support of a structure to facilitate their growth.

Other plants can take care of themselves, such as ivy, Virginia creeper or climbing hydrangeas. These are called self-adhesive climbers. They cling naturally to a garden wall or fence and support themselves in this way, without the need for a trellis.

What to look out for when choosing a support for a climbing plant?

Each plant has its own preferences in terms of support.

  • The strength of the support
    Choose supports that are strong enough for the plants you want to guide or support. Choose weather-resistant materials (galvanized steel, painted or treated wood).

  • The aesthetic aspect
    into account the decorative aspect of the support. They can serve as interesting focal points in the garden (a flowering trellis, an obelisk marking the beginning of a path), or can delineate distinct areas (fences, trellis panels, pergolas). You can also paint the structure in a bright or contrasting color with the flowers.
  • The plant/support match
    Finally, think about the types of plants you want to grow. A climbing rose needs a different type of support than a sweet pea; beans need a different type of support than a tomato or cucumber plant.

Which type of support for which climbing plant?

Here are five types of climbing plant supports that will help you keep them healthy.

1. Flat lattice

Often used to define a space or provide a sense of privacy, flat trellises can be freestanding or anchored to a wall or posts. They are often relatively easy to move around if you want to try different effects. Be sure to choose a trellis strong enough to support the weight of the growing plant. Several styles of trellis exist: wood, metal or wrought iron. It’s up to you to choose what best suits your garden style.

Not all climbers grow vertically. Mesh comes in many different sizes and shapes.

2. Stakes

In some cases, a simple wooden or metal stake is all that is needed, placed in the soil when the seeds are planted or when the plant is put in the ground. A straight stake or circular support, called a plant support ring. As the plants grow, use string or strips of fabric, loosely tied, to keep the plants upright.

3. Arches

Both practical and aesthetic, the garden arch is often a key decorative element. Its style, size and location must be adapted to your garden. Most often made of metal or wood, the arches are treated to resist to bad weather. Although they may look very bare at first, once the plants and flowers grow around them, the arch will quickly come to life.

4. Obelisks

Both functional and decorative, these structures add a strong vertical element that can serve as a focal point in the garden. Make sure the structure is tall enough to support the type of plant you want to grow. Circular or square shape, made of wood or metal. The main purpose of the tripod is to prevent the plant from moving away from the root and bending.

5. Screens

The screen offers a simple solution to enlarge a garden by dividing the space into different zones. Growing vines on one or more screens can also be a great way to create privacy in your garden or to protect a patio from the eyes of the neighbors. Choose evergreen climbing plants to create a decor that will delight you in winter and summer.

6. Rope

If you have a lot of plants that need support, like tomatoes, a weave is probably the quickest and easiest way to provide support. Simply use a rope or string strung at different levels between two stakes at opposite ends of the row. The plants will then grow between the woven string.

7. Tipi of branches

Bamboo canes make inexpensive and interesting tipis for the vegetable garden. Also ideal for supporting sweet peas. Quick to install, they are almost invisible when covered with climbing plants.

How to fix your climbing plants to their support?

It is best to set up the support before planting your climbing plant. As your plant grows, tie it to the support in several places with garden twine, spreading the shoots out. Do not tie it too tightly. It is enough to support and direct the plant during its growth. Varieties such as sweet peas, clematis and rambler roses will naturally grow up and through the support, wrapping their shoots around the structure to support their own growth.