Even house plants can sometimes get unruly and tumble out of bounds. When this happens, we tend to start pinching them back, which is fine for many plants that become bushier and more attractive for it, but other plants merely need support for their vigorous stems and vines. For those, house plant trellises are the answer.
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One of the simplest trellises for house plants is made from small sections of bamboo lashed together with waxed string. It can be as straightforward as two canes poked into the soil with string zigzagged between them to support the growing plant, or as elaborate as a fan shape with cross pieces of smaller bamboo canes threaded through drilled holes in the canes. Bamboo has the added advantage of being extremely strong for its light weight.
For large plants with strong climbing vines, building a ladder of PVC makes a sturdy trellis with the potential to be added to as the plant develops. Two pipe sections are assembled with T joints for adding cross pieces or rungs, and may be made as tall as desired simply by adding additional sections. (You can even paint the PVC green or black with specially formulated plastic paint to make it less conspicuous.)
Delicate climbers will gain support from netting saved from bags of onions or other produce. By cutting the bags into rectangles, they can be threaded onto strong wires pushed into the soil of the pot. It is even possible to create inconspicuous net arches or other shapes by threading nets along shaped wires. This is a great method for creating miniature topiaries with small leaved ivies.
Stainless steel or plastic kitchen utensils make funky supports for shorter, unruly plants. Poke the utensil handles into the soil of the plant pot; make tepees of salad forks, or train the stems through the undulating wires of a potato masher or up through the centre spiral of a bread-dough mixing blade. Sounds crazy, but wait until you hear the exclamations of surprise and delight at your creativity.
Another decidedly odd, but effective way to trellis plants is with large metal springs. Get them from the junkyard (they make up part of the suspension system on cars) or dismantle an old innerspring mattress. Clean rust off (unless you like it that way) and paint with a metal spray paint. These are best inserted in the centre of the pot before adding the plant, or before it grows too large.
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