Small garden? Lover of vines? Into ‘Outdoor Ikebana’? Like style and sophistication? Several questions, one answer: Get a trellis planter!
These garden accessories allow you to create artistic arrangements of flowering climbers and make visually stunning floral backdrops – and so affordably at that.
Ever been given something as a gift that you’d never have bought yourself, only for it to become an enjoyable part or soothing routine of your daily life? Or ever bought a product for one purpose but then went on to discover half-a-dozen more uses for it? If you’re even a casual gardener, a trellis planter may fall into just such a category.
If you like creepers, climbers, and vines, a trellis planter will let you grow them in an organised fashion within limited space while allowing you to exercise your creativity and imagination, as you arrange and re-arrange the shoots, and prune and re-direct growth, in a display of ‘Outdoor Ikebana.’ Indeed, even a small balcony can give you ‘more garden’ with a little help from a friend – a lightweight trellis planter. Of course, you can set a large 300-litre trellis planter, bedecked with climbing roses and passionflowers, right in the centre of your garden. And patios and porches, decks and terraces, any outdoor enclosure or area can only benefit from a trellis planter.
Different Uses and Different Kinds
Apart from the plants in a trellis planter occupying your spare time and becoming a relaxing hobby, you may discover practical or necessary uses for something you may have bought purely for ornamental and aesthetic purposes. You may position it to obstruct a view to something unpleasant, such as a grimy and dilapidated storefront. Or, if you live in close-set townhomes you could set it up to obstruct a view to yourself in order to gain some privacy.
Trellis boxes and the accompanying lattices come in many sizes and shapes, and also materials. Smaller ones take only about 40 litres of compost whereas larger ones take a few hundred litres. As for variety in materials, underneath you will find trellis boxes made from fir, acacia, injection-moulded plastic, and rattan wickerwork.
Last update on 2021-03-08 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
No matter which type of trellis planter you buy, a word of advice: if you do not put pots in the box, then avoid putting compost or soil directly in the box; instead, first line it with weed barrier fabric or even thin plastic sheets with good-sized punctures to allow water to drain.
Forest Garden’s planter’s high quality matches its price; virtually defect-free it is also pretty, and it is unmatched in sturdiness and robustness.
Cost: Price not available
Forest Garden’s Toulouse Planter is squareish and boxy looking rather than tall or narrow. The trelliswork is quite open, making it most suitable for thicker vines and lush creepers with fuller blossoms. It is a happy medium between simple and characterless on one hand, and intricate or ornate on the other.
It is made of FSC-certified pressure-treated timber with a natural finish. The box is made of six long timbers that are stacked and just slightly staggered.
It measures 100 x 40 centimetres and is 135.6 centimetres high and is of substantial weight. It holds 70 litres of soil or compost. It is also available in a jumbo 300-litre size.
Putting it together is as simple as screwing the trellis to the back of the box . . . if only! The downer is that it is up to you to drill holes into the rear panel and feet of the box, making sure that the holes are properly aligned. Forest Garden could (and really should) have made this with pre-drilled holes. Also, a little too often a kit does not have the necessary brackets and screws.
The Toulouse Planter is the heaviest, sturdiest, and most robust trellis planter in our set of reviews, and it looks just as pretty as any other. Though it is costly, it is also quality. Other than the assembly niggles it has no defects and wins our ‘Best Pick’ slot.
Forest Garden provides a 15-year guarantee ‘against rot and fungal decay.’
- As solid, sturdy and robust as a trellis planter can get.
- In appearance it is simple but pretty.
- Pressure-treated timber is guaranteed for 15 years against rot and decay.
- The planter box should have pre-drilled holes – but doesn’t.
- Now and then the package will not contain the necessary brackets and screws.
The gorgeous honey-amber acacia wood of vidaXL’s planter is in a class of its own; with its other positive attributes this kit’s a can’t-miss deal.
Solid planks of beautifully-grained honey-amber-hued acacia are the standout feature of vidaXL’s trellis planter. It has a deepish box with a trellis just a little taller than it is wide. The box has a fully enclosed base that is made of the same acacia wood.
This compact trellis planter is 60 x 28 centimetres, and it is 100 centimetres high of which the box is 27 centimetres. It weighs 15 kilogrammes. The box has a volume of only about 15 litres.
Though quite little, vidaXL’s trellis planter is robust and strong. Some may think the design is too simple, others may find it undersized. If you think it is too small, a larger variant, in the same acacia wood, is also available. It measures 80 x 38 x 150 centimetres.
It is not the design or the trellis so much as the gorgeous, textured, honey-amber-toned wood that steals the show. What is more, the acacia wood is weatherproof; even heavy rain and snow do not damage it. Be that as it may, an investment in such a lovely item should probably be protected from rough weather.
Assembly is as quick and easy as can be – if it can even be called ‘assembly.’ Little bolts are included and so is an Allen (hex) key. You just have to attach the trellis to the box.
Though vidaXL’s trellis planter is small, it has a price to match. But the beauty, tone and finish of the acacia wood is way ‘up there.’ It all adds up to a well-deserved ‘Value Pick’ slot for this planter.
- The honey-amber acacia wood is ravishingly beautiful.
- This little thing is surprisingly robust and strong.
- For the overall quality, at the price this kit is an out-and-out steal.
- Quite small sized.
- The box’s volume is also correspondingly small.
Bama’s box is made of flimsy plastic that may break; the flip side is that both the trellis and the embossed, textured plastic have a unique appeal.
Cost: Price not available
Bama’s flower box is made of injection-moulded plastic with an embossed, textured finish. The colour is specified as ‘Black’ though it is actually charcoal grey. (The colour name is correctly written as ‘Anthracite’ in Bama’s original literature.) This espalier box is also available in a rich chocolatey-brown hue, ‘Cocoa.’ If you do not insist on natural materials and can make do with plastic, the trellis box on offer here produces a fine effect as it mimics both textured wrought iron and stained Black Walnut.
It is quite tall in proportion to its width. The dimensions are 80 x 42.5 centimetres with a height of 150 centimetres. The box has a 120-litre volume.
Among the products reviewed here, the Bama has the most ornate trellis. It has comparatively intricate trim along the sides and on top, surmounted by an oval. It is highly decorative to the extent that it would not look out of place in a society lady’s boudoir! Unfortunately, this kit is thin and rather un-robust. It is prone to bending and breaking. It needs to be handled with care and should not be subjected to undue stresses.
No assembly worth the name is required as you just slide the trellis into the container where it clicks into place.
For the quality you get, Bama’s flower box is very expensive.
Bama provides a 3-year guarantee for resistance to temperature changes, shocks, and UV rays.
- The embossed and textured plastic, somehow mimicking both wood and iron, looks pleasing.
- Has an ornate trellis with intricate trim.
- No assembly needed – none.
- The plastic material is somewhat thin and flimsy, and can bend or break.
- Quite expensive, perhaps overpriced.
Relaxdays planter’s trellis is thin and flimsy and the box is little better but the pleasing proportions and pretty fir wood are real positives.
Cost: Price not available
Relaxdays trellis planter is available in Medium, Large, and Extra-Large sizes. The Medium size’s box is a little too big for its trellis, whose lattice is too open; and the Large size’s trellis is disproportionate, being very tall and very narrow. On the other hand, the XL is really not all that large and it is perfectly proportioned, hence this is the size variant we prefer.
It measures 70 x 38 centimetres and is 150 centimetres high of which the lattice is 119 centimetres. It weighs a mere 4 kilogrammes.
The strips of wood used for the lattice are quite thin and they are not attached securely; consequently, the trellis is lightweight and flimsy. Though the planter box is a little better, it is not exactly robust. It would be wise to reinforce the trellis and not overload either trellis or box. The saving grace of Relaxdays planter box is aesthetics – both the Fir and its natural finish and the overall design and proportions are visually appealing.
A caveat on this planter box: the base is not a continuous surface, flimsy or otherwise; it is made of spaced-apart sheets of wood. Therefore, you cannot put soil or compost directly into the planter box. You can place pots in it otherwise you have to line it with thickish sheeting.
The trellis is attached to the planter box with screws that are supplied but some holes are not pre-drilled. Be aware that because of this kit’s flimsiness it could be damaged in transit.
In view of its sub-par construction and lack of durability this trellis planter, though low in price, is still a touch overpriced but if you like Fir (which is what it is made of) and like the design, then you will take to it.
- In its dimensions this trellis planter has just about the best proportions.
- The fir wood and its natural finish are very appealing.
- For its size it is very low in price.
- While the planter box is far from robust, the trellis is downright flimsy.
- It may break during usage or while shifting, and is not durable.
- For its quality it is very high in price.
Casaria’s planter’s rattan wickerwork, like it or hate it, is unusual and unique, but all will like its adjustability, solidity, and durability.
Cost: Price not available
Casaria makes quite an unusual trellis planter. The box and the frame are made of galvanised steel with poly rattan all around, and the lattice is made of close-woven rattan wickerwork. Our selected variant is in colour Cream; this product is also available in Black and Brown.
The planter box is very deep; in fact the box’s depth and the trellis’s height are identical at 73 centimetres. So this kit is 146 centimetres in height and it measures 83 x 30.5 centimetres. It weighs about 9 kilogrammes.
The trellis can slide in and out at the edge of the box. It can be set to halfway or even completely tucked into the box. In fact, you could improvise catches or stops and set the trellis to a precise, preferred height.
Three planter pots are generously included. These pots even have ‘resealable water drains.’ The planter box is separated into three sections by two front-to-back bars.
We feel that rattan wickerwork is a matter of personal taste; it is not for everyone. Think twice before choosing this product as a birthday present!
The rattan wicker tolerates rain and snow quite well, and it is easy to clean. A little bonus is that, though quite lightweight, Casaria’s trellis planter is a bit more robust and durable than what one would expect, thanks to the galvanised steel frame.
There is nothing to assemble per se; you just need to put the components together and it’s a snap.
- Made of rattan wicker, one of the most unusual trellis planters with its own distinctive character.
- Height of trellis is adjustable, and can easily be made fully adjustable.
- Quite weatherproof, quite robust, and quite durable.
- “Made of rattan wicker, one of the most unusual trellis planters” is also a ‘con’!
- Be wary of choosing this item as a gift.
What Are The Best Plants For Trellis Planters?
In general, climbers, creepers, and all types of vines are best for trellis planters. However, some plants are simply too fast-growing, aggressive, and thick for a trellis planter. Bougainvillea is one example; this climber, which adorns many a boundary wall in subtropical regions, would overwhelm most any trellis planter unless strictly and religiously pruned. Ditto for Wisteria which grows in temperate climes.
When selecting the best plants for your trellis planter, you should – of course – take the size of the box and its depth into consideration. You would not want to put a deep-rooted plant in a shallow box. However, you should also take into account how ‘open’ the lattice is and how wide or thin the bars or strips are. Delicate climbers with slim leaves will not suit thick, chunky trellises nor will broad-leaved lush vines complement dainty latticework.
Done with qualifications and caveats, here, in no particular order, is our Top Ten list of the best plants for trellis planters.
- Clematis White Columbine and Clematis ‘Wesselton’ (Note that quite a few Clemastine varieties grow very fast and are aggressive.)
- Climbing Hydrangea (Only on a largeish and sturdy trellis, and you should be prepared to prune it regularly.)
- Nasturtium varieties
- Bluebell Vine aka Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea)
- Morning Glory
- Passionflower Vine
- Rosa Cecile Brunner (a climbing rose)
- Rosa Iceberg (a climbing rose)
- Miniature decorative gourds – they are just brilliant for trellises.
Where To Place Your Planter
You may have bought your trellis planter with some particular spot in mind – after all, a trellis planter with attractive plants is a decorative element. The thing to keep in mind is that different trellis-climber combinations add their own distinctive expressions of aesthetic appeal to the surroundings. A large ornamental trellis planter with thick vines and lush blossoms could be the stunning focal point of your garden. A small dainty one with scarlet runner beans could add a dash of colour and cuteness outside your kitchen window.
You can place a trellis planter, as suitable to purpose, anywhere at all, from beside the boundary wall to right inside your living room, not forgetting verandah, terrace, patio, and decking as suits your decorative purposes and satisfies your aesthetic sense. However, we would draw your attention to two considerations and two purposes that may slip under the radar.
Trellis planters’ lattices are often not very robust. Therefore, you should be wary of keeping a trellis planter whose lattice is delicate and is relatively sparse (not reinforced with climbers) where high winds could damage it. Another hazard to lattices is boisterous little boys! If any young ’uns are in the habit of playing football or cricket in a specific part of your front-yard or backyard, be sure to place your trellis planter well away from that area.
Quite a few climbers and creepers are fussy about getting the right mix of sun and shade. Therefore, you will need to place your trellis planter in an area of your garden that gets the right sun-shade proportions for the plants you intend to grow in the box. Or, looking at it from the other perspective, choose plants whose sun-shade preferences match the sun-shade availability in the spot that you place the planter.
Apart from ornamental value you can use your trellis planter as an attractive screen. What is more, such a screen can have two uses. You can use it to block off views to something undesirable that you don’t want to be seen, either by you or your guests, such as rubbish bins. And you can use it to block views to your family members – for example, if your wife likes to sunbathe you can use a good-sized trellis planter to screen a nook for her.
Kersie learnt the basics of gardening as a toddler, courtesy of his grandfather. In his youth he was an active gardener with a preference for flowering plants. He is a professional and vocational writer and his freelance projects have spanned various kinds of writing.