The Trellis Craft book chapter on supporting your trellises shows how
to embed a pot trellis in concrete for support. With that technique, the
trellis itself is embedded in the concrete, so the trellis and pot will
be a permanent pair.
This page shows a more flexible method of support for pot trellises.
With this method, you will embed a piece of rebar or other steel rod in
concrete in your pot. Then you can use most any pot trellis in the pot,
supported internally by the rebar. You can change the trellis from year
to year or from season to season. And you can remove the trellis entirely
to use it elsewhere or for storage over winter. The photos above show
three different pot trellises, all using the same pot and support.
The pot shown in the photos is a fiberglass planter, 16" in diameter
at the top and 14" high. The flat trellis is 7 feet long overall
and 7" wide. A pot this size will allow you to grow fairly large
plants such as Mandevilla, Gold Flame Honeysuckle, Black Eyed Susan Vine,
and Cardinal Climber. You can also grow plants that get much larger, such
as Crossvine, other honeysuckles, Trumpet Vine, Hyacinth Bean Vine, and
Scarlet Runner Bean, but you will need to prune them back or they can
easily overrun the trellis.
Here is how to do it (more photos after text):
- It is helpful to make a pot trellis first, preferably a flat one as
shown in the photo on the left above and on page 68 of the Trellis Craft
book. The pot trellis will support the rebar while the concrete sets.
- If your pot trellis is made from 1/2" copper pipe, get a four
foot long piece of 3/8" rebar. The reason for using 3/8" rebar
is explained on another owner's page, at
- You also need a pot, concrete mix, a disposable plastic cup, some
gravel, and a piece of broken concrete or a brick
- Put the pot on a horizontal surface, so that you can be sure the support
will be embedded vertically.
- Fill the plastic cup with gravel. Position the cup over the drain
hole in the pot, and tape the sides of the cup to the bottom of the
pot. The cup will preserve the drain hole by preventing the concrete
from filling that space. See photos below.
- Position the rebar in the pot, and slide your trellis over it. Position
the rebar so your trellis is positioned where you want it to be permanently.
- Lift up the trellis, and place a brick, a rock, or a piece of broken
concrete under one leg of the trellis. This will keep the trellis out
of the concrete, while still allowing the trellis to support the rebar
while the concrete sets. The brick or rock will be permanently embedded
in the concrete. If your brick or rock is not as high as the plastic
cup, you can put another piece of rock or gravel under the trellis leg
to lift the trellis higher.
- Support the trellis so that it is vertical. A stepladder as shown
in the picture below makes a convenient support. You can use a level
to check that the trellis is vertical. If you don't have a level, you
can sight along the edges of the trellis and line it up with any known
vertical object, such as a deck post, a fence post, the corner of your
house, a doorway, etc. Check for vertical along one edge, and also along
the face perpendicular to that edge.
- Mix and pour the concrete to a depth of about 3", or to the height
of the plastic cup. A pot of the size used for this demonstration will
use about 1-1/4 gallons of concrete. You can use complete concrete mix
sold in bags at the home centers, or make your own by mixing three parts
sand to one part Portland Cement.
- A few hours after pouring the concrete, check to be sure that the
feet of your trellis are not embedded in the concrete. If they are,
scrape away enough concrete to expose the ends of the trellis.
- Let the concrete set for 24 hours. Then remove the plastic cup. Keep
the concrete damp for another week so it can cure to full hardness.