What are the Different Types of Vine Trellis?

T. L. Childree

A vine trellis is typically used to support vertically growing plants and increase their exposure to sunlight. Traditional types of vine trellis are usually constructed with interwoven wood strips and designed to support roses and ivy. A vine trellis may also be built with horizontal wires attached to vertical posts for grape growing. Several variations of this wire-and-post design may be constructed for different applications.

Cucumbers, which grow on a vine, often do well on a trellis.
Cucumbers, which grow on a vine, often do well on a trellis.

These structures are designed to support plants that grow in a vertical manner. Vines typically attach themselves to any nearby structure with small curled extensions. These plants can often be trained to grow along the trellis in a particular direction. A trellis is often used to increase the production of foliage, blossoms, and fruit. Growing plants along a trellis also increases their exposure to sunlight and prevents encroachment into undesirable areas of a garden.

A wooden trellis is usually used to train ivy to climb a wall.
A wooden trellis is usually used to train ivy to climb a wall.

Interwoven wood strips have traditionally been used to construct a vine trellis. These wooden structures can take the form of simple lattice panels or more elaborate curved designs. A wooden trellis is often used as an arch-shaped entrance to a fence or garden area. Interwoven wood strips can also form a fan-shaped trellis that is placed against a house or garden wall. A wooden trellis is typically utilized to direct the growth of roses, ivy, and other ornamental vines.

Larger, free-standing structures are generally for growing grapes and other fruits. This type of vine trellis typically consists of galvanized steel wire and sturdy wooden posts. The wooden posts are installed vertically and the wire is attached to them in a horizontal manner. As the vine grows upward from the ground, the extensions are trained to follow the desired path along the wire. This type of trellis may utilize single or multiple wires placed at various heights.

The most common type of free-standing vine trellis consists of a single horizontal wire suspended between two vertical posts. The posts are usually anchored to the ground for extra support. This simple trellis design allows the vine’s trunk to be located at one end or in the center. The vine is trained to grow along the wire in one direction when planted near a post. Vines planted in the center are trained to grow in both directions.

Several variations of this basic wire-and-post design are often put into use. Additional wires are sometimes placed at different vertical heights to accommodate larger plants. Multiple wires are also utilized to train vines to grow downward from the top wire. An additional variation features both vertical and horizontal posts that form a canopy of overhead wires. This design is intended to provide maximum sunlight exposure for increased fruit production.

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Discussion Comments


Has anyone seen an overhead trellis? They are just gorgeous! I have family in Italy and my grandfather has a beautiful overhead trellis in his garden on which he grows grapes.

It's very simple and made of wood, and the the grape vines have completely taken over it. So when you stand underneath, there is a cluster of grapes hanging towards you. It's so beautiful and so tempting!


@discographer-- Yea, a lattice will work great. I probably wouldn't use a fan trellis unless it's a very large or sturdy one. The weight of the cucumbers will probably too much for a smaller fan trellis.

You can also make your own with some wood planks and a sheet of interwoven wire. That's what I did. I put the wood together for a lattice that stands upright and attached a sheet of wire to it for the vines to attach to. It worked great.

If you're looking for something that looks nicer and is more decorative though, you might want to get a ready made lattice.


So what type of trellis is everyone using for vine plants like green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. Which type is best, a lattice?

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