Build A Bamboo Planter With A Trellis

  • Build A Bamboo Planter With A Trellis

Grow climbers over a custom-made lattice of bamboo attached to a timber box and use it as a leafy screen. 

Add shade or privacy to a deck by building a bamboo trellis designed for climbers. It’s attached to a box made of treated pine frames clad with bamboo slats

Drill drainage holes in the base of a plastic tub, line it with weedmat and gravel, add quality potting mix then position it in the planter box. attach the trellis

Lay bamboo poles diagonally on a temporary frame to make a lattice, tying them together with wire. 

Trim the lattice panel to size and mount it on a bamboo frame then secure it inside the planter box.

Secure treated pine screws through the trellis posts into the upper back rails of the planter box, about 30mm below the capping. 

At the base of the trellis posts, position spacer blocks made from offcuts of treated pine, checking for plumb and adjusting the thickness of the blocks to suit, then secure the base of the posts.

TIP Bamboo isn’t a consistent diameter along its length, so start with 15mm thick spacers and gradually sand them down until the posts are plumb.  


To build the box and secure the lattice to the rungs, use exterior PVA adhesive and 35mm x 8g treated pine screws. 

Add the base cleats to the inside of the front and back rails of the box with 60mm x 8g screws.

Use 30mm x 6g countersunk screws to attach the lattice to the temporary frame and use wire reinforcing ties to bind the poles. 

Secure the top rail to the posts and attach the trellis to the inside of the planter box with 60mm x 8g screws.

Build the planter box 

Use a mitresaw to cut the planter box components, clamping a stop block 300mm from the edge of the blade to save time when cutting the slats.

TIP Apply masking tape to the frames before cladding to protect the bamboo if staining the pine.

Step 1. Make the frames 

Make the frames by securing the uprights between the rails with adhesive. Make a curved profile on the outside inner edges using a router with a 6mm roundover bit.

Make the frames by securing the uprights between the rails with adhesive

Step 2. Clad the frames 

Clad the frames by first securing the base cleats to the front and back frames then secure the first slat with screws, applying beads of construction adhesive to attach the remaining slats. 

Clad the frames by first securing the base cleats to the front and back frames

Step 3. Finish the box

Finish the box by using screws and adhesive to join the frames, attach the legs and leg sides flush, secure the baseboards to the cleats, and add the capping.  

Finish the box by using screws and adhesive to join the frames


Make the trellis 

Step 1. Make the lattice

Use scrap 90 x 19mm timber to build a temporary 1240 x 640mm support frame, securing with screws at the corners. Position 19mm bamboo poles diagonally on the frame, using a 60mm wide offcut as a spacer, then drill pilot holes and secure with screws

Step 2. Tie the poles together

Position bamboo poles on the opposite diagonal on the frame and bind them at each intersection with rod ties, bending each tie in half and twisting it until the loops snap off. TIP Use a cordless drill with a hook in the chuck to speed up the process.

Step 3. Trim the lattice

When complete, trim the lattice to 1200 x 600mm with a jigsaw using a fast stroke rate with the pendulum action switched off. Use the inside of the frame as a guide when cutting. TIP Trimming the lattice to size separates it from the temporary frame.

Step 4. Make control cuts

To prevent random splitting as the bamboo dries, use a circular saw to make control cuts lengthways between the nodes of the posts and the top rail. Temporarily secure the bamboo to 70 x 35mm scrap timber using screws through the ends then clamp and cut

Step 5. Cut the housings

Use a 30mm holesaw to cut a housing for the top rail in each post. To house the rungs, use a 20mm holesaw to drill holes through one wall of each post. TIP Do not use a spade bit, as it is likely to shatter the bamboo.

Step 6. Assemble the frame

Secure 100 x 25mm dowel offcuts into the post ends with construction adhesive. Apply adhesive to the rung ends and insert them in the post holes. Position the top rail in the housings, drill pilot holes and secure with screws then attach the lattice to the rungs.

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