Tired of seeing your plants and veggies spread out in all directions? Want to create a more organised and visually stunning outdoor space? If so, put plant trellises and trainers on your DIY shopping list.
Not only do these growing aides provide much-needed support, but they also offer a bucket load of other great gardening benefits.
As well as allowing you to grow plants vertically instead of horizontally—the best for bijou backyards—they improve air circulation by keeping plants off the ground. Plus, they make picking veggies easier.
If you’re all about aesthetics, plant trellises and trainers can also add a beautiful decorative splash to your alfresco spaces, especially when covered with flowering vines. They can even create shade and privacy.
Ready to explore the world of trellises and trainers, from the plants that love to climb them to the different types available?
Plant trellis vs. plant trainer: what’s the difference?
Plant trellises and plant or vegie trainers are both structures used to support climbing plants, but they serve different purposes. They’re also designed differently.
A plant trainer is typically a flat or three-dimensional framework that guides a plant’s growth in a specific direction. It gets them to grow along a particular path or to create a certain shape or form.
Plant trainers can be made from materials such as metal, wire, or bamboo and are often used for training fruit trees, grapevines, or climbing roses.
Plant trellises, on the other hand, are vertical structures used to support a climbing plant as it grows upwards. Trellises can be made from materials such as wood, metal, or PVC and come in many shapes and sizes, from lattice to grid to fan-shaped.
Types of plants that love a trellis or trainer
Whether you opt for a plant trellis or plant trainer will depend on what you’re looking to grow and what garden vibe you’re trying to create.
If you’re a climbing plant newbie, you might be unsure of what types of plants work on a plant trellis or trainer. Don’t worry; Jack’s got your back!
We’re experts in climbing plants and edibles and know which look ace and grow to their full potential with a little support.
Here are some examples broken down by garden growing goal:
Climbing plants for shade and coverage
- Monstera – Also known as the Swiss cheese plant or Mexican breadfruit due to its large heart-shaped leaves with splits and holes, the Monstera uses its aerial roots to climb up tree trunks or trellis
- Boston Ivy – A deciduous vine that climbs by using small adhesive discs on its tendrils to attach itself to surfaces like walls and trellises. Boston Ivy creates a striking display of green leaves that turn red and orange in autumn
- Creeping fig – A fast-growing evergreen vine that also climbs by using small adhesive discs on its tendrils to attach itself to surfaces. The leaves of the creeping fig are small, oval-shaped, dark green and look lush
- Star jasmine – A woody, evergreen vine that climbs by twining its stems around a trellis or trainer. Star Jasmine has small dark green leaves and fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers
- Ornamental grape – A deciduous vine that climbs by twining its stems around a support structure. It boasts attractive fruit and foliage. The leaves turn red, orange and yellow in autumn
Crops for yummy home-grown produce
- Peas and beans – Climbing beans work great on a trellis or trainer and can be planted in late summer or early autumn. Popular climbing peas include snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden peas
- Pumpkins – If you’re planting in autumn, choose varieties of pumpkins that have a shorter growing season, such as ‘Butternut’, ‘Golden Nugget’, or ‘Jack Be Little’
- Tomatoes – While tomatoes are best planted in spring, you can also plant them in autumn. Cherry tomatoes are best for late-season planting because they grow more quickly
- Zucchini and cucumbers – The best climbing types include ‘Japanese’, ‘Telegraph’ and ‘Marketmore’ cucumbers and ‘Tromboncino’, ‘Black Forest’ and ‘Tondo di Piacenza’ zucchini
- Raspberries – Raspberries can be grown in early autumn, although they generally prefer to be planted in late winter or early spring. They look fab and delicious displayed on a trellis or trainer
Flowers for a swoon-worthy aesthetic
- Wisteria – A woody vine that can grow quite tall and wide and requires a strong support structure. Wisteria’s beautiful cascades of fragrant, lilac-coloured blooms pretty up any plot
- Banksia roses – Vigorous climbers known for their beautiful yellow or white flowers that bloom in clusters along their long, arching canes. Banksia roses flower in spring but have evergreen foliage
- Orange trumpet creeper – A deciduous vine that climbs using aerial roots that grow along its stem. It boasts awesome bright orange trumpet-shaped flowers and attractive foliage
- Sweet peas – A popular and beautiful flowering climbing plant grown for their fragrant and colourful blooms (pink, purple, red, white). Sweet peas produce tendrils that attach to a support
- Clematis – Grows up to 20 feet+ and produces beautiful large, showy blooms. Clematis come in white, pink, red, purple, blue and more and use their leaf stalks to wrap around and grip
What types of trellises can you buy?
There are a whole bunch of plant trellises and trainers to choose from. Your pick depends on what you’re growing and/or how you want your climbing plants and edibles to look.
Here’s a quick run-down of the top three styles:
Garden bed trellis/trainer
A garden bed trellis or trainer is designed to be placed on or around a raised garden bed. They can be used to support climbing plants, such as peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other vine plants.
Garden bed trellises or trainers can be freestanding, attached to the sides of the garden bed, or placed directly on top. They come in various styles and shapes.
Our multi-purpose Jack Vegie Tower has interlocking sections that let you create custom support for your climbing fruits and vegies. It also has a large opening for harvesting and folds flat for out-of-season storage. It’s pretty nifty!
Wall trellises and trainers are designed to be attached to a wall, fence, or another vertical surface. They support climbing plants, such as vines, roses, and ivy.
Wall trellises come in many different styles and shapes and can be freestanding or attached to a building and customised to fit. Just pick the one that suits your outdoor project and plants best.
When choosing a wall trellis, consider the type of wall or surface you’ll be attaching it to. Plus, make sure you do a good job installing it securely to prevent damage to your walls or plants.
Our Jack V-Shape Fan Trainer is a great wall trellis option. These stylish supports come in a choice of size and colour, blend into any décor and are easy to mount. Will you go white, pink or green for your climbing feature?
Custom trellis are designed and built specifically for a particular space or project. They’re perfect for creating a unique look in a garden or outdoor space.
When choosing a custom trellis, it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced contractor or designer who can help you create a design that meets your needs and budget.
What to consider when picking a trellis
Whatever type of plant trellis or trainer you choose, consider the weight and size of the plants you want to grow. For example, if you’ve picked wisteria or pumpkins, go heavyweight as they pack some kgs.
Other things to think about are the size and shape of your garden bed, wall or space and what look you’re trying to achieve.
Plus, consider the type of material you want. For example, do you want modern powered-coated metal or something green to blend in with the bushes?
Make your own plant trellis using Jack products
After something versatile that you can DIY? Our Jack Grip & Grow Trellis Kit is the pick of the bunch—and comes from one of our popular hero ranges.
Grip & Grow’s designed with special ribs that make it stronger and super easy for plants to twine, scramble and hang on. Plus, the pack includes everything you need to design your own climbing support, including:
- 5m of galvanised wire
- 10 electro-galvanised screw-in eyelets
- 2 electro-galvanised anchor grips
It’s easy peasy to build. Simply come up with your design, thread the wires through the eyelets and fix them with anchor grips, then watch your plantings weave and wind their way around it.
If your design skills suck, don’t stress! Just follow the three-diamond shape on the pack.
Don’t forget to tie
Whatever trellis or trainer and plant, flowers or vegies you choose, one key thing you need to do once they’re in the ground is to tie those climbers on.
Regularly tying your plant stems to your trellis or trainer helps support them for healthy growth and improves air circulation, preventing fungal diseases and other issues. Plus, ties help you position your plants for optimal sun exposure.
If you’re all about aesthetics, tying your plants also helps them grow in more organised and eye-pleasing directions.
Time to grow (up) your garden expertise
Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of what type of plant trellis or trainer you need and what plant or veggies to pick for your garden project.
All you need to do now is head to your nearest hardware store to purchase your Jack products. Don’t be afraid to ask for more help if you need it. Once you’re sorted, grab those gardening gloves and get to work!
If you’re happy with how your plant trellis or trainer turns out, why not share it on socials and tag @meetdiyjack?
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