Building a Trellis

In need of a trellis for your climbers? You could buy a ready made wooden trellis or construct one from lumber. Wood is pretty expensive and the materials for a home made trellis add up quickly. Also in the wet Florida soil the wooden trellis does not have a long life expectancy. I have seen wooden stakes rot away in the ground within a year.

Here is a DIY project that will build a trellis 6ft tall and 3 ft wide, made of PVC irrigation parts.

10ft PVC pipes

Items needed:

  • 4 pipes 10ft long and 1/2 inch diameter
  • 2 elbows, 90 degrees, 1/2 inch
  • 10 tees, 1/2 inch
  • PVC cement
  • cost for this set: approx. $20, a bargain compared to the cost of wood!!!

Tools and PVC parts


Tools needed:

  • tape measure
  • hacksaw or similar saw to cut PVC pipe
  • Stanley knife or file to smooth the rough edges after cutting



Cut PVC pipes

Step 1, cut the pipe components

  • cut 6 lengths of 3 ft (horizontal bars)
  • cut 2 lengths of 2 ft (bottom vertical bars)
  • cut 10 lengths of 1 ft (other vertical bars)
  • remove the burr (smoothing the rough cutting edge) with a Stanley knife, or file


Step 2, assemble the structure and glue with PVC cement. Caution: the cement dries quickly, you only get a few seconds to get it right.

  • ensure that the black print on the PVC parts faces the same/back side of the trellis.

    Assembly steps

  • work on a flat surface (floor) to ensure that the structure will be flat
  • start with a 3 ft length and connect the elbows (this becomes the top horizontal bar)
  • working from the top down: insert a 1 ft pipe in each of the elbows.
  • connect the first tee to the right down pipe; straight T section running up/down; make sure the tee is flat on the floor.
  • connect a second tee (side opening) to the next 3ft pipe
  • stick the other end of the 3 ft pipe in the first tee (side opening)
  • connect the second tee to the left 1 ft down pipe.
  • repeat process until all 3 ft and 1 ft pipes are used.
  • the 2 2ft pipes are the bottom vertical bars, of which 1 ft will sit in the ground.

Step 3 optional.

Completed Trellis

  • the white PVC pipes make an architectural statement. They contrast with the green of the plants and the color of the possible flowers.
  • one may chose to paint the trellis in a contrasting color
  • alternatively one may chose to let the trellis blend into the background by painting the structure in the same color as the wall.

Step 4

  • dig two holes 1 foot deep and 3 ft apart.
  • place the trellis in the holes and fill the holes and compact the soil.
  • this example trellis is 6 ft tall. One can make the trellis as tall as desired by adding more vertical segments in 1 ft increments
  • depending on the final height of the trellis one should anchor the trellis to the wall on one or multiple levels when exceeding 6 ft in height.

…. and this is the end result:

In this case the trellis has been painted in the color of the wall.

Climb away Confederate Jasmine!!



This entry was posted in Garden Club, Member Articles, Projects. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *