Plant supports – Grow your own


A cheap and effective alternative to bamboo cane plant supports can be stems of trees and shrubs from your garden.

Not only can it be a fun alternative, but it is also more economical and eliminates the carbon footprint of importing bamboo canes. Also the stock plants in which the stems are harvested create supplementary habitats for wildlife.


Hazel (Corylus avellana) is well suited for this purpose. A coppiced hazel can live up to 100 years or more. It is frost hardy, suited to withstand soils with a variety of PH, and is tolerant of shade and exposure. Furthermore, it is pliable and has durable stems that can be used as plant supports.

The stems of other ornamental woody plants are also good candidates. If you wish to support smaller plants such as Dianthus and Papaver, watershoots produced on apple and pear trees can be great. When watershoots are pruned out in winter, these stems are ideal for making structures to support low-growing legumes. Similarly, birch branches make excellent pea-sticks. Dogwood (Cornus) produces stems that are easily woven as willow for a range of projects.

Growing your own plant supports can be worthwhile for many reasons. Not only can it be a support to other plants, but they can also provide colour, contrast and seasonal interest to any garden.

If you require more information on Plant Support or if you would like to know if there are any alternative ways of dealing with certain gardening issues contact Blue Iris Landscapes.