Climbing plant support ideas: easy ways to encourage your climbers to grow well

Use our top ideas for climbing plant supports and give your plants the best chance of success

using metal arches as climbing plant supports
(Image credit: Harrod Horticultural)

Looking for practical climbing plant support ideas to give your plants the best chance of adding height and interest to your garden next year? Providing structural support for your new climbers is key to their successful growth. Once you have this in place you can train your plants to grow pretty much wherever you want as all they need is something to guide them. 

Popular climbing plants such as roses, clematis and wisteria will all benefit from a little extra support to get them growing in the right direction. What's more, not only are these plant supports a practical addition to your flowerbeds, they can also add a decorative aspect to all areas of your garden. 

Keep reading for some of our favourite plant support ideas, then head over to our guide to garden borders to start planning your planting scheme ready for 2021. 

1. Use a trellis to encourage growth

climbing plant growing up trellis

(Image credit: Harrod Horticultural)

Ever wondered what’s ensuring your neighbour’s beautiful clematis grows beautifully up the wall? It's more than likely due to a trellis! A wall trellis needs to be sturdy so it can take the weight of a mature climber. Look for one that’s made of steel because it will outlast any wooden options available, and if it’s powder coated then even better as that means it won’t rust!. When you mount your support you need to make sure there’s a gap between the wall and plants as this allows the air to circulate and the stems will have space to start winding around the trellis.  

Our guide on how to grow clematis is packed with expert tips to ensure you get great results. 

2. Introduce a decorative touch with metal stakes

Metal star plant support

(Image credit: Heavenly Homes & Gardens)

Simple metal stakes are a great option for giving your climbing plants a helping hand on their growing journey. You could place it in a flowerbed next to a wall or fence to encourage your climber to grow up it. Look for a design that has two-pronged stake so it will be secure once pushed into the soil. We love designs that have an attractive shape at the top, such as a star, heart or flower, as it adds a decorative touch as well as giving a young plant something to wrap itself around. 

3. Add interest to borders with an obelisk

metal obelisks in a flowerbed

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

A familiar sight in traditional cottage gardens, obelisks can make a stunning feature in a packed flowerbed. They're a great way to encourage your plants to grow higher in borders or along a garden path rather than just next to a wall or fence. 

You can often buy different heights of the same design too, so you could have three in a row top create a dramatic effect as the climber matures. They are also a great choice if you want to layer texture and colour in your garden. If you want a natural effect, then choose an obelisk that will age gracefully to a rusty finish, as after time it will blend in with the rest of your garden. 

4. Make a statement with a garden arch

metal arches in a garden to support climbing plants

(Image credit: Harrod Horticultural)

Nothing beats a beautiful arch covered in fragrant roses does it? Not only can you train a rose up one, but also fruit trees, wisteria and clematis. If you're looking for effective garden path ideas, installing multiple arches across a pathway would look spectacular. 

It is worth choosing an arch design that’s well made, durable and can take a reasonable amount of weight. As the climber matures it will get heavier and you want your gorgeous display to last for a long time without having to replace the supporting arch. Look out for steel that’s powder coated for maximum durability. 

5. Keep it simple with a DIY support

cane wigwam to support plants

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

It’s not all about climbing roses and wisteria as other plant varieties also need a helping hand, such as sweet peas, runner beans and tomatoes. This is where a different type of support can come in really useful. 

A simple wigwam of garden canes is an easy and inexpensive way to provide the necessary support. But if you’re fed up with trying to holding your canes in one hand while you tie twine around them to hold them in place, then our trick is to invest in a wigwam cane support instead. One circular holder will keep eight canes firmly in place, creating a sturdy and budget-friendly obelisk for your climbing plants to grow up. Genius!

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