How to Make a Simple String Trellis for Clematis

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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Clematis are lovely flowering plants that are particularly showy when grown upward. They can be paired with a tree and the tree will support the flowering vines or they can be planted near taller structures and some type of trellis system can be used to support the twining leaves so that the large flower heads are easily visible. The clematis also does nicely as a ground cover where its habit allows it to spread horizontally. Making a trellis for a clematis can be a simple process because the plant itself is light weight and doesn't require much support.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • (2) 6-foot long 2 by 2 foot boards
  • 12 screw eyes
  • Drill
  • Screw driver
  • Long exterior screws
  • Garden string
  • Pots
  • Rectangular Planter

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  1. 1

    Measure and mark a 6-foot board every foot. Repeat with a second board.

  2. 2

    Screw eye bolts into the boards at each mark.

  3. 3

    Mount one board horizontally to an exterior wall or fence. This board can be as high as you desire. Drill mounting holes (one at each end of the board) so that the eye bolts hang down. Screw the board into place with long exterior screws using a screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Mount the second board horizontally to the same exterior wall or fence approximately 1-foot above the ground surface. This board should be mounted so that the eye bolts face upward. Screw the board into place with long exterior screws.

  5. 5

    Starting at the bottom corner eye bolt, tie a knot. Thread gardening string up the wall to the upper corner eye bolt, through the bolt and back down to the first eye bolt on the lower board. Loop through the eye bolt and across the board horizontally to the next eye bolt. String up and through and down again. Repeat across the entire board and tie the string off at the opposite bottom corner eye bolt.

  6. 6

    Add horizontal strings every 4 to 6 feet if your trellis is taller than 6 feet. Simply knot the end of a piece of gardening string on the sidemost string pair and then move horizontally making a knot at each set of strings. This will provide additional support for taller trellis structures.

  7. 7

    Position individual pots or a single long rectangular planter pot at the bottom of the trellis and train clematis by positioning the stem/leaves around each of the vertical strings.

Tips and warnings

  • This inexpensive trellis can easily support a clematis or several of them. The clematis needs about 1-foot in width each for its growth habit.

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