Transform a potted vine from a spillover creeper into a reach-the-sky climber when you give your plant a vertical structure to latch onto.

By BH&G Garden Editors
Updated August 07, 2019
Completed container trellis
Carson Downing

Trellises make growing vines a cinch, and keeping plants off the ground (and in the air) makes them less susceptible to unwanted pests. Plus, there are countless places you can put your container trellis: In the garden, on a patio, and dressing up an entrance are just a few options. We planted our container with tomatoes and basil, but use whatever climbing plant fits your needs.

Before You Start: Prepare the cedar strips in advance by soaking them in water for at least 12 hours to make them easy to bend. The cedar can be cut from screen molding. If you can't find cedar, you can use pine, oak, or poplar—just make sure to water-seal them.

The finial for your DIY trellis can be found at hardware and crafts stores. Some come with a screw on the end already, but if you're using one without a screw, you will need a hanger bolt (double-ended lag screw) that's 3/16 x 1-1/2 inches. This can also be purchased at a hardware store.

  • Working time 1 hr
  • Start to finish 13 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Drilling

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Person gluing Quilter's Rings
Step 1

Prepare Quilter's Rings

Quilter's rings of different sizes hold the obelisk trellis together. Glue the outer and inner quilter's rings together and tighten the clamps firmly. Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps if necessary.

Person assembling finial
Step 2

Assemble and Secure Finial

Drill a hole at the center of the 3-inch dowel. If the finial has a screw in place, attach it to the predrilled dowel. If using the hanger bolt, drill a hole in the center of the base of the finial to insert the bolt before attaching the dowel.

Person attaching finial to trellis
Step 3

Attach Finial to Trellis

Surround the dowel with the wet cedar strips, butting their ends up to the bottom of the finial. Slide the curtain rings up the bundled strips to secure it to the finial. Add as many rings as you like to your plant trellis for pots.

Person putting together Quilter's Rings
Step 4

Add Quilter's Hoops

Place the top of the finial on the ground so the open end of the cedar strips is facing up. Slide the first hoop inside of the strips, slowly working it up about 1-1/2 feet. One by one, feed the bottoms of the strips into the second hoop until they are all inside, and slide that hoop up about a foot. To repeat: The first hoop goes inside the strips and the second hoop goes on the outside the strips.

Person screwing together Quilter's Rings
Step 5

Secure Assembly

When you have achieved the desired flare and rigidity, drill all the cross-sections of the cedar strips and quilter's hoops. Secure with the bolts and nuts to ensure your planter trellis is secure.


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