How to use plant supports

Do it:

Apr, May, Jun

Takes just:

30 minutes

The vigorous growth of many herbaceous perennials and climbers often needs a helping hand to prevent them flopping onto neighbouring plants or over the edges of lawns and paths. Putting plant supports in place early means they even the most obvious ones can be hidden by the foliage in just a few weeks.

You will need

  • Pea sticks, bamboo canes, tripods or plant supports
  • Soft string or plant ties


Twiggy stems that have been pruned from shrubs in winter make ideal 'pea sticks' or general plant supports. Push them into the ground around young plants so that they can grow up between the twigs.

Tall flower stems of delphiniums or dahlias can be tied individually to bamboo canes pushed into the soil alongside the developing shoots. Tie in with soft string at 10cm - 15cm intervals up the stems.

For twining climbers such as cobaea, sweet peas and runner beans, tall tripods made from sticks or bamboo canes provide an ideal framework for their vigorous growth. Where necessary, their shoots can be tied in with soft string.

For clump-forming border plants such as lupins, rudbeckias and phlox, tie soft string around a circle of canes pushed in around each plant.


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