Typically consisting of a panel of crisscrossing wood, trellises can be enhanced by an array of beautiful plants.


The usually lightweight panels are great for fixing to walls and fences, giving climbers something to cling to. Trellises are unlikely to last as long as say, a sturdy pergola, so we've picked plenty of less weighty climbers to choose from.

Consider painting your trellis to help your plants stand out a bit more, and give your garden a sense of coherence. White trellises can bring a cottage feel, while pastel blue adds a coastal charm. If you're after a Mediterranean vibe, leave the wood unpainted or paint with wood stain for a rustic look.

If you have a balcony or a rooftop garden, consider using a trellis as screening for privacy. With some potted climbers growing up it, it'll look lovely, too. Take a look at some of our favourite plants for balconies for more tips and ideas.

For more ways to train climbing plants, check out these tips for training climbing plants.

More like this

Discover 10 of the best plants for a garden trellis, below.

Sweet peas

The fragranced favourite is perfect for growing up a trellis. As an annual, you can grow sweet peas again the following year, or refresh the display and grow something else. Find out how to grow them in our sweet pea grow guide.

Sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus 'Matucana'
Magenta and purple sweet peas


Hops, Humulus lupulus, are vigorous perennials that look similar to grape vines. Grown in full sun, the foliage is usually cut back hard in spring to promote healthy new growth. You could even try making a hazel trellis to grow them up.

Hops, Humulus lupulus
Lemon-green hops


Some of the most commonly grown jasmines include star jasmine and common jasmine. Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is evergreen, though slower growing than common jasmine (Jasminum officinale), which is deciduous. Both exude the same beautiful perfume.

Star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides
Starry white jasmine flowers


Virtually any clematis can be grown up a trellis, so you're spoilt for choice. For ideas and inspiration, check out these features on some of the best Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 clematis to grow.

Clematis viticella 'Black Prince'
Velvet, purple clematis 'Black Prince'

Black-eyed Susan

Native to east Africa, black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) are grown in the UK as annuals. Pictured is the cultivar 'Arizona Glow', but you could also grow 'Susie White Black Eye' for white flowers, or 'Lemon Star' for yellow. Find out how to grow these and other annual climbers from seed.

Black-eyed Susan
Orange flowers of black-eyed Susan

Climbing and rambling roses

For smaller trellis panels, go for a climbing rose, which are less vigorous and will take up less space. If you have large trellis panels, such as those that separate whole areas of the garden, you could try a rambling rose. Watch this video for advice on how to train a climbing rose.

Rambling rose Albertine
Pink rambling rose 'Albertine'


Honeysuckles (lonicera) are worth growing for their ambrosial fragrance alone. Try growing our native honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum, or one of its cultivars to aid your garden wildlife – the flowers are visited by pollinators and the berries are eaten by birds. Find out more about the best climbing plants for wildlife.

Honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum 'Scentsation'
Golden/cream honeysuckle flowers

Cobaea scandens

This evergreen perennial isn't fully hardy, but it's easy to grow from seed and treat as an annual. Cobaea Scandens will grow quickly to cover a garden trellis or other support, and will provide pretty, scented flowers. Deadhead spent cobaea blooms to prolong flowering.

Cobaea scandens
Green-white, trumpet-shaped cobaea flower

Passion flower

These vigorous vines produce some of the most striking summer flowers out there. Fantastically exotic, they're followed by edible, though rather bland flavoured, orange fruits. Grow passion flowers in full sun or partial shade, in moist, well-drained soil. Good for pollinators. Watch this video for advice on planting a passion flower, and creating a bamboo trellis.

Passion flower, Passiflora
Cream and purple passion flower

Eccremocarpus scaber

This fast-growing evergreen perennial isn't fully hardy, so in colder areas you can grow it as an annual. Commonly known as the Chilean glory flower, the tubular blooms are a hot red-orange colour. It will be at home in an exotic garden.

Chilean glory flower, Eccremocarpus scaber
Tubular, red-orange Chilean glory flowers

Metal trellis

Metal trellis with star jasmine
Star jasmine growing up a rusted metal trellis

If you're worried about wooden trellises deteriorating and would like something stronger and more hard-wearing, consider buying a metal trellis. A sheet of concrete reinforcement steel fabric (pictured) will last years and support heavier climbers. As it rusts, the warm orange tones will complement the plants it supports.