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How to Choose the Best Trellis Plants

Climbing plants can transform a plain wall into a gorgeous feature of the garden. Find out my tips for choosing the best trellis plants for your space!

three trellises with climbing vines

There's something magical about climbing plants. They reach out and grasp any foothold they can find, reminding you that plants are just as alive as we are. Making this DIY trellis or this clematis trellis gives these unique plants a helping hand, but that's only part of the equation.

I'll show you how to choose the best trellis plants so you can create an amazing living wall in your own garden.

This post is sponsored by Monrovia and contains affiliate links for your convenience. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Over the last few years, I've learned not to fall in love with the first pretty plant I see. Down that road is nothing but heartache, wasted money and a dead plant in the compost bin! By doing my research before I even step foot in the garden section, I know exactly which plants will thrive in each corner of the yard.

Research Climbing Vines Online First

My search for the perfect vines for my new garden trellises began at Monrovia's online store. Their website makes it simple to narrow down your choices by weeding out the plants that aren't right for your garden. (Pun totally intended.)

Monrovia website with page on vines requiring support

From there, you can narrow the field down even more to pinpoint the best options. I'm in Zone 8, and my side garden gets lots of sun. Selecting just those two parameters cut my options down by half, and assures me that whatever plant I choose will thrive.

selection of trellis plants on Monrovia's website

Stagger Bloom Times for Constant Color

Mixing two different flowering vines with varying bloom times ensures that your trellis is always covered with flowers!

I looked through the list for one that would pair well with the Akebia vines I already planted. A pop of color from a Clematis would brighten up the trellis and blend with the more understated chocolate vine.

I went back and forth between these two different Clematis, but the plant on the left won the coveted trellis spot. The darker foliage will contrast nicely with the light stain of the fence and will coordinate well with the Akebia.

two different clematis vines for the trellis

How to Train Plants on a Trellis

To start training climbing plants, weave the ends through the bottom slats of the trellis.

climbing vines woven through trellis slats

When the vine starts to fill the space, tie fishing line between the slats if necessary to expand their climbing area. The clear threads will provide almost invisible support, and will allow them to completely engulf the trellis and the fence behind it.

Grasses fill in the space between the trellises.

Looking for a trellis for your new flowering vines? Check out these DIY arbor and trellis ideas!

20 Arbor & Trellis Ideas for your Garden

Fill the Remaining Garden Bed

Trellises give your garden a strong vertical element, but don't forget about the space in front and in between!

To fill the gaps between the angled trellises, I planted a fountain grass that will hide the open space along the fence. These grasses only get a few feet high, so they won't overtake the vines.

I wanted a pop of color to draw the eye in, and I found it with these hot pink dahlias. A few white daisies are mixed in as well. Plant brightly colored annuals towards the front of a flower bed so they can easily be switched out for something new when their blooming season is over.

three trellises on a fence with climbing vines, ornamental grasses and flowers

Enjoy your new flowering vines!

I hope I've helped in your search for the best climbing plants for your trellis. Over the last year, these vines have grown taller and healthier because I chose the right ones for my garden space!

Check out these other gardening tutorials!

Jann Olson

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

Great post! I love climbers in my garden. Clematis are one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing with SYC. hugs, Jann

Jeannine | The Small Chic Home

Thursday 6th of April 2017

I have never ordered a plant online! I'm definitely thinking about it now! Thanks.

Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled

Tuesday 4th of April 2017

I'll have to definitely check out that online tool! We have several areas in need of vines and it's always hard to know what will survive our scorching desert summers.


Wednesday 5th of April 2017

The online tool was really helpful! I'm thinking of planting shade loving vines on the other side of the fence that faces our parking pad. I'd have two completely different types of vines climbing the same fence!

Toni | Small Home Soul

Tuesday 4th of April 2017

Wow I didn't know you can order their plants online. We love Monrovia but only one store in our area sells them so the choices are limited. I'll check them out. Thanks, and your trellis is awesome!


Wednesday 5th of April 2017

Thanks Toni! It's so convenient to order online and pick them up at the store. Monrovia will just put them on the truck along with the next shipment to your local nursery!


Tuesday 4th of April 2017

These are stunning! Thanks for the info!

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