Plant Support – What You Need To Know


Why Plants Need Support

Plants in the garden require support for various reasons. Without the support, plants can easily be toppled over and may even die. Sometimes, certain plants need more support than others to grow properly and have an aesthetic appeal. Climbing plants mostly need support.

The plant supports are used to elevate plants, usually from their roots. These support towers or arch can have openings in the base that allow plants to be watered and fertilized. The height of these towers can vary depending on the size of the plant being supported.

Plant Support Basics

Support structures like trellis, arches, and benches are necessary for many different types of plants to flourish. Garden plants need support to grow and survive in the ground, so it is important to plant them in a sturdy structure that can keep them from toppling over. Alternatively, you can use rocks or pieces of wood to prevent the plants from falling over and causing damage.

Many plants will naturally grow straight up, but these usually prefer to stay stable. A stake or stick can provide additional support so that they don’t fall over or get too top-heavy and difficult to manage.

Here are some of the basics in plant supports:

  • You almost always want to over-engineer when you’re planting a plant or establishing new plants in the garden. You end up with a much stronger plant and you’ll be better off than having to replant. 
  • It’s important to place your support structure under the plant once it has been planted. Otherwise, the plant can become large and so overrun by neighboring plants that it becomes difficult to maintain.
  • Green plants can be identified by their propensities to grow in particular ways-some climb and cling, others need to be tied, and some use something more slender. Depending on what plants you have, consider using a fence or porch railing as your support. But if you have plants that need more light or air than what is provided by the makeshift supports, they may fall over and possibly die.
  • It’s important to use soft materials like gentle jute twine when you’re tying plants. It can save a lot of damage to the stem caused by rubbing or cutting from the wind and rain, as well as from natural growth. Black is less conspicuous in garden settings than nude.
  • It’s important that your trellis openings are big enough to pick mature fruit without any issue. Make sure it’s not taller than what you can safely reach, with your feet on the ground, to prune, tie up plants or pick beans or other crops.

Garden Plants That Need Support

Garden plants and potted plants are especially vulnerable as they fall off their pieces of wood or ceramic pots. They need support to avoid toppling down and even starting to rot. Tall plants should be supported by a sturdy stand or some other form of structure.

Climbing plants are one of the varieties that need support. Here are the other plants that need some support to thrive well in the garden:

  • Perennials: Some perennials live for more than two years and often for much longer, but these plants may need a helping hand during their growing season. Dahlias, delphiniums, peonies, sweet peas, zinnias, sedums, and lilies are all examples of plants that benefit from plant supports. When growing these plants, it is best to prune them back when they aren’t growing so that they will grow more full during the height of their season. However, if you decide to attach them to a trellis or single stake in early spring, the plant will be fuller than usual at the time of its peak.
  • Veggies: Tomato plants have been around for years but have a hard time supporting the weight of their bountiful harvests. They are one of the easiest plants to grow in any garden and will often grow very large and require a lot of support. This can be prevented by staking them or investing in a tomato cage. If you want to plant bell peppers, which generally grow about 1 foot tall, you do not need to use tomato cages, but most hot peppers are fine without them.
  • Heavy Houseplants: These plants are quite popular to be used as houseplants and make the perfect companion during warm weather seasons. Some of them might even thrive upon bamboo poles that guide their growth. A bamboo stake also works for a houseplant to act as if the plant is planted in soil. This creates the illusion of full sun, topsoil, and drainage that the plant needs to thrive.
  • Saplings: Although flowers and vegetables may be the most popular plants that need stakes, young trees can also benefit from them. Trellises help trees grow in windy or rainy climates so they can survive. You can attach a sapling to a single stake, or set up two tall stakes on either side of the young tree, connecting it to the stakes using twine or bungee cords.

Plant Support Ideas


Here are some of the plant support ideas that you can apply to your garden:

    • Trellis – Both trellises and cages are popular supports for vegetable gardens. They’re often used to support vines such as cucumbers, melons & squash. Their use can improve the production of these fruits which can be straighter & more attractive with this supporting structure.
      Vegetable trellises can be placed on a wall, fence, or backyard that will create an attractive feature in its own right. They are often used to create living screens of flowers or foliage to disguise a wall, fence, ugly grasses, or plants.
    • Screens – One of the most common and easiest plant support ideas is to use screens as a way of breaking up the space to divide your space up into different zones. It works to enhance the sense of space with you not being able to take in the entire view of the garden in one go. You can also train climbing plants to grow up one or more screens, creating privacy and screening a patio from a neighboring property.
  • Arch – Whether you’re a gardener or not, an archway can add charm to your space for any purpose. Its beauty is also perfect for making a home for your climbing plants. Not only is it perfect plant support but it also gives your place a whole new beautiful look. The arch is ideal for clematis and roses. You can either have a simple wood or metal arch, which will look bare at the beginning, but when your climbing plants fully grow, it can create a stunning feature.
  • Bower – Garden bowers are the perfect plant support that will not only have you enjoying the shade from your fully grown climbers but also add a stunning structural feature to your garden. Garden bowers give you endless opportunities for growing the most beautiful climbing plants you can get your hands on.

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