5 Types Of Plant Supports: How To Give Your Plant a Helping Hand


There are several reasons why your plant might need a bit of support as it grows. It may be too top-heavy, it may be a vine, or it might just need a helping hand as its trunk grows and thickens.

The thing is, different plants require different supports. In this post, we’ll talk about 5 types of plant supports to help you choose the right one for your plant.

Types of Plant Supports

Whether indoors or outdoors, plants with heavy flowers or fruits, or just top-heavy in general, need support to help them stay upright.

Without support, there’s a good chance your plant will fall over, potentially damaging the blooms, fruit, or the plant itself.

Not only do supports help top-heavy plants, but plant supports also give climbing plants a vehicle to climb up. As well, they can provide some protection to tall plants against breakage from heavy winds and rains.

Lastly, different types of plant supports can offer vertical space for small areas.

Hoops:

Hooped plant supports including a peony ring, a hoop with a grid and hoop supports for stems.

Hoops come in varying sizes and can have a full-circle or semi-circle design.

You’ll find full circle plant supports with single hoops, double hoops, or hoops with grids. Which variety you pick will depend on your plant and its anticipated size when fully grown.

Tip: if using a full circle hoop, make sure you place your support around your plant when the plant is still young. This way, the plant will grow up and through the ring.

With half circles, you can usually combine them to form a full hoop. Alternately, use them individually to hold up one side of a plant.

Hoops are ideal for tall plants, such as foxglove, or heavy, bushy plants such as peonies. You can link semi-circles together in a row to keep plants from flopping onto walkways.

Trellises & Obelisks:

Clematis climbing bamboo trellises.

Trellises and obelisks can make wonderful decorative additions to your garden and yards.

Usually, they’re made from metal or wood, although you can find plastic trellises as well. In addition, they come in various shapes and designs, ranging from simple to elaborate.

Both of these types of plant supports are mainly used for climbing plants, such as clematis and bougainvillea. However, they also make a great option for vine plants, such as cucumbers and melons. This can be ideal for small garden spaces, or even container gardens as your vine plant will now grow vertically instead of along the ground.

When choosing a trellis or obelisk, consider its purpose – will it be decorative or will it be strictly for function? In addition, consider the height and weight of the plant once grown to ensure the structure will support the plant long term.

Cages:

Most of us have seen the standard circular tomato cage, but cages can also be triangular and square in shape.

Tip: square cages, and some triangular ones, interlock to form their shape, but you can open the cage up and extend it to form a trellis-like design. This versatility is one of the reasons this fella is my favourite type of plant support.

Cages come in varying sizes and are used not only for tomatoes but for other top-heavy plants as well.

Extended cages can be used for climbing vines or vegetables. Alternately, open them up and use them as one-sided support for bushy plants.

Stakes:

Multiple types of stakes using different materials, including bamboo, plastic and hardwood.

Stakes are usually fashioned from bamboo, metal, or hardwood. Heights can range from 2 ft to 6 ft.

This type of plant support is good for any plant whose stem can be held in place with a tie.

For young plants, you have two options. Place the stake next to your seedling at the time of planting, so the plant grows alongside the stake. Or, wait until the plant is grown and closer to needing the extra support.

If placing a stake after the plant has grown, make sure the stake is planted far enough away so as not to damage the roots.

Tip: don’t tie your plant to its stake until it gets closer to needing the support – this will save you spending time retying the stake as the plant grows.

It’s important to choose a stake that’s sturdy enough to handle the weight of the plant. And, don’t be afraid to use additional stakes if extra support is needed. For trees, use a tree stake. These are designed to handle the heavier demands of trees.

DIY Supports:

Climbing plant supported by a fence

When it comes to plant supports, there’s no need to break the budget, or even dip into that wallet at all. Stakes and cages can be fashioned from any metal or wood posts you have handy, as long as the post is sturdy enough for the plant.

Fences, walls, and mailboxes can all make excellent supports for your climbing and vine plants. You can even use another plant as a support system for a climber.

However, before using another plant, research the plants to ensure they’re compatible and that the climber will not choke out the stationary plant. Additionally, it’s best to use annual climbers or ones that are cut down to the ground in winter.

Need a little inspiration, check out this article from DIY & Crafts.

Other Considerations:

To finish off, let’s take a minute to talk about a few additional considerations with different types of plant supports.

First, when tying your plant to its support, tie the plant firmly, but loose enough to leave a little wiggle room.

Never use a harsh or abrasive tie, such as metal or heavy twines. These can damage your plant stalk. There are many types of commercial plant ties available, but if you want to save a few dollars, you can fashion your own ties from old t-shirts, nylons, etc.

Next, you’ll want to ensure the plant support is sturdy enough to hold up your plant as it matures.

And lastly, make sure the support is unobtrusive or compliments your plant or garden design. In other words, you don’t want your support to detract from the beauty of the plant.


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Angela

Hi! My name is Angela Carr. I started this site to share my love for plants and gardening. My aim is to provide my readers with easy tips and tricks on plant care, fun facts, and encouragement for the new plant owner or anyone questioning the colour of their thumb!

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