Free Plant Supports

Rustic Arc

There are lots of different plants supports in all shapes and sizes available from garden centres,  but why buy when you can make and recycle for free? 

Prunings, off cuts and twigs from cutting back different types of shrubs and small trees make great plant supports. Delicate small plants may need lightweight supports, the beans in the veg plot need a sturdy arrangement to take the weight of the plants later in the year with a heavy crop.

In the first image above left are cuttings from a conifer which make twiggy supports. Next are two bundles, one of bamboo, the other Cornus, which make good light support and look attractive in the garden. Because Cornus is flexible, I can mould it into circular supports see below.  In the third image far right are really sturdy cuttings from trees and small saplings which are destined for the veg plot.

All cuttings are useful and you can also combine them to make a garden structure as in the image which is a rustic arch and ideal for Sweet Peas and climbers. 

Using pruning and cuttings provides plant supports for free which are natural looking and attractive. They are best used for herbaceous and perennial plants. For some of the heavier climbers, it may be more practical to use permanent supports. There are some images of different types of plant support shown below.

To preserve the plant supports, they are best stored over winter in the greenhouse as the winter wet may cause them to rot. 

On a practical gardening note, always put the plant supports and stakes in early. I often get caught out leaving it a bit late and then it can be hard to feed the plant into the support without damaging it.  This can be so with a plant such as a Peony which has individual and large flower heads. If the stem or flower head is damaged, there will be no later flower replacements as it flowers only once.

Video How to stake Peony and other perennials.

Last updated 31.10.2021