Bamboo plant supports are the perfect supports for tall and vining vegetables like tomatoes, pole beans, and cucumbers. They’re strong and sturdy, so they serve a practical purpose, but they’re also extremely ornamental and add a natural element to the garden. Plus, there are many types of bamboo structures for every sized space, including containers. In this article, we’re going to share some of our favorite bamboo staking and trellising products, offer advice on when and how to use them, and the best plants to pair with these attractive structures.
This article is featured on Savvy Gardening because of the support of Gardener’s Supply Company (GSC), an employee-owned business that develops a vast array of gardening products and accessories, including some great plant supports. The bamboo plant supports featured in this article were all designed by GSC.
Bamboo is a renewable resource that grows rapidly, even in poor soils, and doesn’t require irrigation, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. It produces over 35 percent more oxygen than trees. And despite being lightweight, it’s very durable. In some parts of the world, it’s used as a construction material, having more tensile strength than steel and sometimes being used as a concrete substitute. So it’s fair to say bamboo is a great long-term purchase that is perfect for outdoor use, especially in the garden.
Also, if cared for properly, bamboo stakes last much longer than supports made of wood. There are bamboo garden stakes in a variety of lengths. I’ve had some for years that I always grab from the shed as needed.
It’s worth noting that the color of untreated bamboo fades to a light, silvery grey over time—much like untreated cedar. Untreated bamboo can last anywhere from eight to 12 years. A protective coating can add even more years to its lifespan.
Fruit and vegetables that benefit from bamboo plant supports
There are a number of vining and branching fruit and vegetable plants that often need support as they grow. In some cases, it’s more beneficial to train the foliage up, so you can save space in the garden to grow other things. We all know how big a zucchini plant can get, not to mention the zucchini itself! Bamboo plant stakes and trellises keep the fruit off the ground, reducing the chances of it rotting, while promoting good air flow, and minimizing pests and diseases.
Here are some vining veggies that can be trained up a plant support. Just be mindful of the weight of the plant and fruit, compared to the support you’re using.
- Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
- Squash: Summer varieties, like zucchini and pattypan, and winter varieties, like spaghetti, butternut, etc.
- Pole beans
Bamboo A-Frame Plant Support
With only four small screws for assembly, the Bamboo A-Frame Plant Support takes no time to put together. It will support lightweight to mid-weight vining flowers and vegetables. Hand-woven bamboo latticing provides enough space for lots of airflow and vine support. Place it in the garden early in the season, so your vines can immediately start climbing as they become established. Jessica has used hers for growing plants, like mini watermelons and cucumbers. Panels are 30″ x 42.5″ (2.5 feet by 3.5 feet).
Elevated Bamboo Tomato Planter and Trellis
I predictably run out of room to plant everything each year. Or more accurately, I grow and buy more plants than I have space for! Which is why I love that I can place this Elevated Bamboo Tomato Planter and Trellis on a sunny part of my deck. This is a great option for small-space gardeners because you can plant tomatoes without having an in-ground or raised bed garden. The trellis reaches nearly 40” (3 feet), creating a sturdy support for tomatoes.
There is some assembly required, but the instructions were helpful and the holes were pre-drilled. It didn’t take too long to come together. I just needed a hard surface to be able to attach the long supports. After that, I just slid the basket in and then attached the rings that help support plants as they grow.
The kit comes with an Allen key for one big screw that attaches the main supports. And then you just need a Phillips screwdriver to make and attach the trellis parts. A coir liner is included to line the bamboo basket and can be replaced once it’s past its prime.
Tomato Six Pack Support
The Tomato Six Pack Support was super easy to assemble and came together quickly with two people putting the bamboo poles together. Niki says that overall, the trellis is sturdy and strong enough to easily hold six indeterminate tomatoes. The bamboo material is very stylish which means the structure is both practical and ornamental. And when put together, the plant stakes are over six feet tall! The support makes it easy to keep the vigorous plants off the ground, which promotes healthy growth and fewer issues with soil-borne diseases. You could also use it to support tomatillos (which in my experience can become quite massive), eggplants, and peppers.
Bamboo Zig-Zag Trellis
The Bamboo Zig-Zag Trellis is perfect for lightweight veggies and vining flowers—think peas and nasturtiums. It doesn’t require any hardware to put it together. All you have to do is lash the sides together with the jute twine that’s included with your kit. The trellis is like a gentle wave in the garden, rather than a straight fence.
Consider using it to create a bit of privacy from the veggie patch or an ornamental garden. The structure consists of three 24″ x 36″ (2 feet by 3 feet) panels.
Now these hand-woven bamboo cloches might not hold up a plant, but they’re still technically plant supports because they are protecting your precious young plants. So they are support-ive. I have deer that like to roam through the yard, so I used my Bamboo Cloche Set early in the season to cover a young native purple flowering raspberry bush and an elderberry bush to let them become established with no interference. A few weeks later, when I planted out some cabbages, tomatoes, and peppers, I moved the cloches to protect those seedlings because last year a deer topped all my tomato plants in one night!
If you need to secure your cloches in the soil to protect plants or freshly sown seeds from marauding wildlife, you can secure them using Garden Staples.
Storing your bamboo plant supports for the winter
While bamboo resists moisture and isn’t prone to rotting, it’s still a good idea to put all your plant supports away for the winter. Remove remaining vines or plant material, untie any twine, give them a good dusting off, and place them somewhere easy to access in the spring. You’ll probably want to pull out the A-frame, for example, to support those early spring peas. And, if you do leave the bigger bamboo plant supports in the garden, they may just come through the winter looking a bit more weathered, but they’ll be in place for spring planting.
Want to see more of these bamboo plant supports? Watch this video.
Other great gardening gear and accessories from GSC
To find more plant support options, visit the Gardener’s Supply Company website. A big thank you to GSC for sponsoring and continuing design innovative gardening products.
Here are some of the products we’ve tried: