Home Gardening How to Make a Trellis for Your Potted Plants

How to Make a Trellis for Your Potted Plants

How to Make a Trellis for Your Potted Plants

Trellis in a pot and some towering support

Every year I lose potted plants to freezing temperatures. Like Charlie Brown, I never learn.  Just as Lucy convinces her favorite blockhead that she won’t pull the football away as he runs to kick it, gardening sources try to convince me that my Zone 8 favorites can take Puget Sound’s winter cold and rain. Nope, not listening this time; the potted plants are overwintering on my enclosed sun porch for the path to the compost pile is layered with good intentions (and last year’s potted plants ).

One such plant, my passion flower vine, will vacation indoors this winter (at least what’s left of it after a Bambi munch fest). The vine will need support when it rebounds, so a trellis is in order. Because the idea of  buying a trellis made my glasses fog, I looked for the best DIY, cost-me-nothing solution, and sticks were it.

The trouble is, sticks in a pot can look like, well sticks in a pot. For this project step it up a bit and channel your inner aesthete and search out the extraordinary and visually interesting branch. I like, make that love, madrona twigs and branches; they have a visual rhythm all their own.

How to Make a Trellis in a Pot


  • potted vine
  • pruners
  • sticks


  1. Collect some small branches or twigs
  2. Use same type of tree for uniformity and natural growth pattern (e.g., corkscrew willow, or maple)
  3. Use pencil-thick sticks
  4. Cut sticks to desired trellis height
  5. Avoid using a shallow pot
  6. Poke 4 branches around pot’s outer rim
  7. Make stick depth half of pot’s total
  8. Place one east, west, north and south.
  9. Weave branches together to create a simple cone shape
  10. Place another branch between each existing stick
  11. Weave branches in and out to strengthen trellis
  12. Prune side branches that stick out
  13. Weave vine (gently) through the trellis (to get it started)
  14. Prune dead and unsightly vine stems (or let your neighborhood deer do it)

There you have it. This little project was inspired by Tom’s to-do list and propensity for distraction. (Yep it inspired me to ignore the chores at hand and do something a bit more fun.)

Fragrant Sweetpeas in a pot, supported by a maple sapling trellis


  1. I think you’re probably wise to err on the side of caution when over-wintering those tender perennials. Love the little twig trellis…very crafty of you 🙂

    • I’m sorry Renee, you’re right that is a bit confusing. I meant to gently weave the live vine planted in the pot through the trellis sticks, and just enough for it to have something to hold on to or lock a tendril onto. In this case I had a young passion flower vine that I “wove” or really placed through the trellis branches to establish it and keep the vine going upward. Hope this helps.


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