Training clematis to grow up a trellis can be tricky. It seems that a lot of the trellises are too thick for the plants to grasp. You need something about a quarter inch or less. Clematis don’t have tendrils or holdfasts (like ivy); they have twirling leaf stems that loop around any support that’s small enough.
But what do you do when you have a beautiful trellis that’s made with material that’s just a bit too thick for clematis? The secret: Nearly Invisible Trellis Netting. Simply cut the plastic netting to a size that fits your trellis and attach it with a staple or twine. The netting blends in quickly and the vine gets the support it needs.
I’ve used it to get clematis to grow on picket fences, rustic cedar trellises, stockade fences, the sides of houses, tree trunks—even up the side and roof of my backyard greenhouse.
Ideally, you attach the netting before the clematis begins growing. However, there have been times when I’ve draped the netting over a vine that’s already started growing vigorously. In short order, the netting is obscured by the now-secure vine. I prefer the Nearly Invisible Netting, but you can also use the Heavy-Duty Deer Fence.