Ask An Expert: Which Direction Should A Trellis Face?

Trellises can offer beauty and structure to any garden. They can be used to help plants grow vertically for many different reasons, such as making space in your garden to allow for other plants to grow successfully. This is why many gardeners think that trellises are a great tool to have for your garden. However, to ensure your plants stay healthy, you need to place your trellis in a specific orientation. So, which direction should your trellis face?

The direction your trellis should face depends on where you live. In the northern hemisphere, the trellis should face south. In the southern hemisphere, the trellis will need to face north. This ensures that the plants get the largest amount of sunlight they need throughout the day to grow.

Trellises are made from multiple different materials, so you can pick a material that suits your garden style. There are many different shapes of trellises too. Each is suited to different types of plants and different plant weights. Let us go through a few to help you choose the one that is best for your needs.

The Best Orientation For A Trellis

The best orientation for the trellis in your garden depends on where you live. For those who live in the northern hemisphere, the direction your trellis will face is different compared to those who live in the southern hemisphere. 

This ensures that your vegetables will get the optimum about of sun they need in each hemisphere. Let us go through the directions for your trellis in both hemispheres.

Northern Hemisphere

For people living in the northern hemisphere, the trellis should face south. A trellis that is facing south in this hemisphere will receive the optimum amount of sunlight each day as the sun passes overhead. 

It is also recommended that you plant your entire garden on the south side of your home to ensure that your house does not cover the plants in the shade at certain times during the day. 

If this is not feasible for your garden, then an alternative location for your garden is on the east side or west side of your house. This will ensure that your plants get as much sunlight as possible throughout the day.

It is not recommended to plant your garden with your trellis on the northern side of your property if you live in the northern hemisphere, as this location will receive the least amount of sun throughout the day. 

You should also keep in mind the buildings and surrounding homes near your trellis and garden, as these will also cast shadows on your garden and trellis if your garden is planted in a northern direction. This means that your trellis and garden will be covered in the shade for a large portion of the day.

Southern Hemisphere

For people that reside in the southern hemisphere, your trellis should face north to north-east. A trellis that is facing in this direction in the southern hemisphere will receive the most desirable amount of sunlight throughout the day.

In the southern hemisphere, it is highly recommended to plant your entire garden on the northern side of your home to ensure that your house does not cast a shadow over the garden, depriving the plants of sunlight.

As the sun in the southern hemisphere rises from the east but has a slight tilt to the north, you can also plant your garden to the east of your property. This will allow your plants to soak up as much sunlight as they can.

It is not recommended to plant your garden and trellis on the southern side of your property in the southern hemisphere, as this will place your plants in the shade for an extended period throughout the day.

As you would in the northern hemisphere. You should watch the buildings and surrounding houses, trees, and shrubs in the southern hemisphere that are close to where you want to place your trellis. You need to watch where their shadows fall throughout the day, and then you should avoid those shaded areas.

Now that we know which direction your trellis should face in your garden let us go through the different types of trellises you can use for various plants to ensure you get the one best suited to your needs.

What Trellis To Use For Different Plants

There are many different styles of trellises made from various materials out on the market today, and choosing the perfect one may be a bit tricky. 

Choosing the correct one will depend on the space you have in your garden, the plants you are wanting to trellis, and if you want to use the trellis as a feature piece in your garden. The following are a few different styles of trellises and what is best suited to growing on each type.

Staked Row Trellis

These trellises are utilitarian in design, but they are easy to construct. These trellises are not a pretty style. They are rugged and plain as this trellis is just pieces of wood that are planted in the ground and connected by chicken wire or wire mesh. However, they do provide a sturdy structure for heavy plants. 

This style of trellis is perfect for growing gourds, peas, grapes, tomatoes, and other plants with heavy vines

A-Frame Garden Trellis

This style of trellis is perfect for small gardens that have very little space. They are made of wood or bamboo frames that are then covered by chicken wire or plastic mesh, and then the frames are placed together to create the A shape. 

The top points of the two frames are connected with hinges or wire to keep the trellis sturdy. You can then plant your plants along the bottom of the frame, and they will climb over the frame as they grow. These trellises add an attractive geometrical shape to your garden and can be very pretty.

The plants that grow wonderfully on an A-Frame trellis include tomatoes, squash, beans, and peas.

Teepee Shaped Garden Trellis

These trellises are teepee-shaped; they are a fairly simple design. However, once they are covered in plants, they are beautiful and can act as a feature piece in your garden

This style of trellis is usually made with wooden poles placed at an angle, with the tops interlocking, securing the tops together with wire or twine. Then you plant your plants around the bottom of the poles, and they will climb up the trellis as they grow.

Plants that are best suited for this style of trellis are pole beans, hops, peas, tomatoes, peppers, and normal flowers.

Natural Branch Garden Trellis

There are a few gardeners who would prefer a more natural look in their gardens and may want to use a branch instead of a man-made trellis. This style is the simplest trellis-style you can make, but it only allows for a small number of plants to climb it. You can usually only plant one or two plants to climb a branch trellis.

This trellis is just a branch or tree limb that you find in your garden. The length needs to be a minimum of two inches to allow the plants to climb properly. You place one side of the branch into the ground and plant your plants at this base.

This trellis is similar in style to a staked trellis, allowing for less plant capacity. The plants you can grow with this trellis include peas, beans, and other light vined plants. 

Cage Garden Trellis

This style of trellis can be square or round and can be constructed from wood or wire. This is a style of trellis that can be used as a feature piece in your garden as it can be beautiful. You can plant both vegetables or ornamental plants and flowers using this trellis. 

This trellis allows for easy harvesting of vegetables as the holes in the cage will enable you to reach all parts of the plant. 

If you place some wooded stakes into the cage, you will be able to grow heavier vines, as this will help to reinforce the cage trellis.

Plants that grow well with this style of trellis are tomatoes, peas, beans, and peppers.


The direction you should face your trellis depends on where you live in the world. Each hemisphere has a different direction for optimal sunlight to reach your plants. When placing your trellis in your garden, you should also take into account the structures and buildings surrounding the location to ensure your trellis does not get covered in the shade during the day.

Trellises are a great addition to every garden. They are very versatile with many different styles and shapes to choose from, which allows any size garden to house a beautiful trellis.


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