How to Make a Teepee Trellis From Tree Limbs for a House Plant


Small tree limbs make rustic supports for climbing house plants. Fastened in a teepee shape, the branches support each other solidly and offer several options near the bottom for one or more plants to climb up. Choose straight branches and sand them smooth for sleek poles or pick curving, twisted branches for a dramatic, unusual shape. If you need a trellis with a network of tiny supports for a spreading vine with small tendrils, select branches with many twigs.

Step 1

Estimate the height of the trellis that your plant will need and the number of supports. You can make a teepee with as few as three straight poles, but if your plant climbs with tiny tendrils, you'll want more supports with small branches on them.

Step 2

Head into a woodlot with a tape measure and small saw and look for suitable branches. Consider the length and shape as well as flexibility and durability. Willow bends easily and may sag under the weight of a heavy vine. Oak, locust, cedar, walnut and cherry last even when kept damp, but birth, hickory and many pines decay quickly. Choose suitable branches and cut them longer than you'll need so you can trim them later. You may want to cut a few extra. Bring them back to a comfortable place to work.

Step 3

Clip off extra twigs and branches with pruning shears or a small saw. Use a knife to peel off the bark. Green branches cut in summer may shed their bark anyway as they dry, but if you prefer the look of branches with their bark on, cut them in winter and let them season slowly for a few weeks in a damp cool place such as a garage before bringing them into a warm dry house. The bark still may loosen over time.

Step 4

Set the larger ends of the limbs in the pot, spacing them equally around the edges. If you already have a growing plant in the pot, push them carefully into the soil to avoid disturbing the roots. Angle them so they meet close to their tops.

Step 5

Bind the limbs together a few inches below the top by wrapping coated floral wire around them several times and twisting the ends to hold it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Pruning shears
  • Knife
  • Coated wire


  • "Indoor Gardens"; Tovah Martin; 1997
  • "Forcing, Etc."; Katherine Whiteside, Richard Felber; 1999
  • "Indoor Gardening the Organic Way"; Julie Bawden-Davis, Sabrina Rose Davis, Chas Metivier; 2007
  • "The Order of Things"; Barbara Ann Kipfer; 2008
Keywords: teepee trellis, vines, house plants

About this Author

David Thompson began writing for eHow in 2009. He has written how-to articles on home improvement, carpentry, cabinet making and gardening.