How to Use an Umbrella Trellis in the Garden


An umbrella trellis add interest to the shape of growing vines and climbing plants and enable them to act as shade plants. An umbrella trellis consists of a central column that has three to four sides. On the top of the column is a platform, either round or square, on which vines are trained to create the umbrella-like appearance. Umbrella trellises work well with roses and perennial vines that reach at least 10 feet in height. Annual vines may not grow fast enough to cover the trellis properly.

Step 1

Choose a well-draining area of your garden for the trellis. Place it in an area that receives full sun unless otherwise indicated on the plant tag. Ivies may require partial shade to flourish.

Step 2

Push the legs--which are actually stakes--of the trellis all the way into the ground so that the trellis is level and firmly secured. If the legs are less than 10 inches in length, tie a three-foot stake to each leg so one foot of the stake overlaps the leg. Push the leg and the protruding two feet of stake into the ground.

Step 3

Plant a single large plant, such as a climbing rose, in the center of the column. Guide it up the column supports and onto the umbrella portion as it grows. Tie loosely to the trellis with plant ties if necessary.

Step 4

Plant other climbing vines, such as clematis, around the base of the column, following the spacing requirements detailed on the seed envelope or plant tag. Guide the young vines onto the trellis. Once guided, climbing vines will grow up the trellis with no additional aid until they reach the umbrella, where you will guide them onto the horizontal trellis portion.

Tips and Warnings

  • If using the trellis as a shade structure, avoid using plants that produce fruit, as these will drop on you when sitting under them and may stain patio areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Umbrella trellis
  • Stakes
  • Plant ties


  • Texas A&M Extension: Landscaping With Roses
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Trellises
Keywords: using umbrella trellises, plant supports, decorative trellis

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.