Pre Order the New Book Leaves Roots and Fruit and Get Free Access to the Online Video Course Right Away

garden design
Published July 7, 2022 by Nicole Burke

Obelisk Trellis Ideas for the Vegetable Garden

Filed Under:
obelisk trellis
vertical gardens
obelisk trellis in the kitchen garden

Obelisk Trellises Are the Best Trellis Option for Smaller Vining Plants

Want to increase airflow to your plants, maximize your growing space, and keep your vining plants happy and healthy? Then you need a garden trellis. Obelisk trellises are a happy medium between the flat panel trellis and the large arch trellis.

Adding an obelisk trellis to your garden gives you room to grow smaller plants around its base, while your vining plants can grow right up the center and be easily tended (unlike with tomato cages). While you can certainly grow just one large plant inside the bars of the obelisk, I recommend growing three to four plants up and around the outside to maximize your vertical growing space.

garden trellises metal

Obelisk Trellises Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Some obelisk trellises are shaped like the Eiffel Tower or a tall pyramid, wide at the bottom and narrow up top. These are best suited for the corners or the middle of square or rectangular gardens, lending height and unique interest to your space, even when the garden is empty in winter. The disadvantage of this shape is that you have way more planting space at the bottom than you do at the top due to the trellis coming to a point. By the end of each season, you might have vines reaching over the top and have to decide whether to cut them or trail them back down.

Other obelisks (like our Wide Pillar Obelisk Trellis Kit) stay wider until the very top, when they close like an imperial crown, which helps prevent this overcrowding issue. 

I prefer obelisks that are less than a foot wide; otherwise, they take up too much room in the bed, without actually maximizing your growing space (that’s also why I don’t typically recommend them for smaller border gardens). Many of the obelisk trellises sold in our Gardenary shop come in multiple sizes (small, medium, and large) so you can pick the best size for your space. The smaller obelisk trellises can typically be used in large pots or containers, as well as raised beds.

Shop Gardenary's Obelisk Trellises

Obelisk Trellises Work for All Budgets

If you've decided that an obelisk trellis is right for you and your garden, you have three options for adding one into your outdoor space: you can make one yourself, buy a done-for-you kit, or commission a custom piece.

I'll link to supplies and products below to give you ideas of the many options available to you if you're adding an obelisk trellis to your space.

obelisk trellis metal

DIY Obelisk Trellises

The Most Budget-Friendly Obelisk Trellis Option

When I first started gardening, I scavenged for bamboo sticks for free. I formed them into little teepees and tied the sticks together with twine. Later, I used nails to secure the joints. This was a great budget option for that first year, but I found that I needed to constantly reinforce my DIY trellises to prevent them from falling over and came up with something different the next year.

If you have a lot of sticks on hand and don't mind rebuilding your obelisk structures each year, then DIY wooden obelisks could be a great option for you.

Obelisk trellis DIY

Done-for-You Obelisk Trellis Kits

There are plenty of options to purchase obelisk trellises that come either already assembled or in a couple easy-to-assemble pieces. If you plan to install your obelisk in your raised bed, bury the legs of the trellis as deeply as the structure will allow so that the soil will hold it in place.

Most kits cost between $150 and $200, so this is still an accessible option when you consider how many years this will bring structure and aesthetic appeal your outdoor space.

Popular materials for obelisk trellises include wood and metal. I've tried to collect a variety of trellises that would appeal to all styles of home and garden so you can find an option that suits your space.

Explore our obelisk trellis picks on Amazon.

Obelisk Trellises in Wood

If you're going for that charming cottage vibe to your garden, you can't go wrong with a nice cedar or cypress obelisk trellis to bring some warmth to a metal raised bed or match a wooden raised bed.

Wood trellises are a basic and inexpensive option. Again, the downside of wood trellising is that it often only lasts one season or so. It also needs a lot of reinforcing to prevent it from falling over. 

Here are some wooden obelisk trellises I've found available online but have not tested:

obelisk trellis wood

Obelisk Trellises in Metal

While they're oftentimes more expensive, steel trellises will resist rust and discoloration and grace your garden with beauty for way longer than wooden trellises. The most durable trellises are made of powder coated steel. Budget for the best, most weather-resistant material possible when buying your trellis, and you won't regret it.

To me, there's nothing quite like a metal trellis covered in vines to instantly elevate a garden space.

The trellis pictured below in a Rooted Garden design is the 5' powder coated steel garden obelisk in bronze. Shop the trellis here.

bronze obelisk trellis

Wide Pillar Obelisk Trellis Kit

I use several of this obelisk in my own raised beds to grow cucumbers, beans, and peas. This one is made of solid steel rods in a black powder coated finish and topped with decorative finials.

Shop this trellis in our store.

pillar obelisk trellis

Border Tuteur Trellis Kit

I've also used this trellis in my own garden and several Rooted Garden designs. In the picture below, you can see just how tall the 75" trellis is, and we have one that's even taller at 84"! Thanks to those tall heights, you can grow any vining or large plant you'd like to on these beauties.

Shop this trellis in our store.

beautiful garden trellises

Tower Obelisk

This obelisk adds height and dynamic style to your garden with its pyramid-shaped frame.

Shop this trellis in our store.

garden trellises ideas

Here are two fun twists on an obelisk trellis

Garden Maypole Plant Support from Gardener's Supply

This trellis gives you plenty of room to grow several vining plants along the wide outer rim. The disadvantage is that you have a fair amount of open space in the middle of the trellis where you can't grow anything.

Shop this trellis.

maypole trellis

Zenith Trellis from Gardener's Supply

This trellis is a fun combination of two obelisk trellises with a panel in the center. You could grow your heavier fruiting plants like tomatoes and eggplants on either side and save the middle for lighter vines like beans and peas.

Shop this trellis.

creative trellis idea

Custom Obelisk Trellises

If your budget and timeline allow for it, there's nothing like a custom-made trellis, a piece crafted to perfectly suit your garden space. Plus, you can support a local business and craftsman.

You'll end up with a beautiful hardscaping piece that you can enjoy for years to come in your garden.

metal obelisk trellis

Tips to Select the Perfect Trellis

Tip #1: Measure the Height and Width of Your Space

When selecting a trellis, keep two measurements in mind.

The first is the height. Be aware how high you're capable of reaching when tending and harvesting from your garden. Unless you're over six feet tall, you probably don't want your trellises to be much taller than eight feet. Make sure to also calculate the height of your raised bed and how deeply the trellis will be buried. You can see in the picture below that I wouldn't be able to get away with a taller obelisk trellis and still be able to tend plants and harvest from the top.

The lowest recommended height for an obelisk trellis would be four to five feet above the soil line. That's enough to support peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and bush tomatoes. You'll need something taller for vining plants.

The second measurement to consider is how wide the base can be. Make sure you'll have space to fit the base and still be able to grow some small plants around it.

These two measurements will give you a better idea of what will fit in your space and whether you should purchase a pre-fabricated trellis kit, build your own, or order a custom trellis for your space.

garden trellis metal

Tip #2: Match Your Trellis to Your Home

Look at the distinctive features of your home, including the windows, doors, columns, gates, light fixtures, and roof lines. Notice the type of metals, woods, brick, and/or stones that are on the exterior of your home and be mindful of the finishes of those materials. Match the style of a new trellis to the style of your home to make your garden feel as though it's always been there.

garden trellis ideas

Look for Trellises That Are Easy for Your Plants to Hold Onto

Small wires are great for pea and cucumber tendrils to easily grab onto. When you're shopping for a trellis, look for small breaks from one section to the next; most plants will only grow a few inches from week to week and will need the next rung to be close by to cling to. If you fall in love with a trellis that doesn't have these small breaks, you can always run your own twine or wire between the larger supports, or use plant clips (with great care).

garden trellis

Just as a beautiful obelisk trellis can lend support to your plants, Gardenary is here for you as you grow yourself and your garden. We want you to have all the support you need to grow to your best selves!

I can’t wait to see what you grow on your own obelisk trellises this year!

Some of the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the link and purchase the item. The links to stores outside of Amazon are not affiliated—they're just products I really like. All opinions remain my own.

Shop Gardenary's Obelisk Trellises

Garden Design Online

Designing your own kitchen garden can be overwhelming. An online kitchen garden design combines the experience of a professional designer with the convenience of a virtual planning session so that you can plan, design, and build your own kitchen garden with confidence. Let Gardenary-trained designers help you grow yourself and your garden.

Obelisk Trellis Ideas for the Vegetable Garden