arbor

Taking Care of Your Vinyl Arbor

A vinyl arbor is a great way to add some visual interest to your property. Here are some tips on how to best care for this beautiful addition to your yard! Vinyl arbors are a beautiful addition to any yard. Whether you’re using it as an entry through a vinyl fence or just a decoration in a garden or over a path, an arbor is a great way to add some height variation to your landscaping. However, if you don’t take proper care of the arbor, it can quickly become an eyesore, covered in dirt, grime, pollen, and more. It can also be difficult to figure out how to get started if you want an arbor covered in flowering vines. Below are some tips on how best to care for your vinyl arbor.

Cleaning Your Arbor

The most common upkeep you will need to do on your arbor is basic cleaning. Most vinyl arbors are white, and the outdoors aren’t always kind to white things — pollen, dust, and dirt will show up easily on such a bright color. That makes it especially important to keep the arbor clean, but it is important to clean it properly to avoid damage. In most cases, spraying the arbor down with a hose will be enough to get rid of most surface dirt. However, sometimes a more intensive cleaning will be needed to get rid of the grime. In those cases, use a mild cleaner and a soft bristled brush. Be sure that the brush is soft, as stiff bristles can damage the surface of the vinyl. Another cleaning option is to use a power washer, but be sure that you’re using it on one of the lowest settings available. Strong settings on some washers can strip paint and damage vinyl.

Managing Appearance

As mentioned above, most vinyl arbors come in white as the default color, though other colors are sometimes available. Whatever color you end up with, there may come a time when you decide you want your arbor to be a different color. Does that mean you need to order an entirely new arbor? Not at all! Vinyl arbors can be painted any color your heart desires. Simply make sure that the arbor is clean and dry before you start painting. Find a paint that is both safe for use on vinyl and for the outdoors, and make your arbor look exactly how you want. Many people prefer to use spray paint, as it is easy to apply even coats, but there are a number of options available to meet your needs.

Arbor Gardening

Many people purchase an arbor with the intent of using it to garden or create shade, but knowing how to get from a bare arbor to one dripping in vines and flowers can be difficult. Some of the most popular flowering vines to grow on arbors include:
  • Bougainvillea
  • Sweet pea
  • Morning glory
  • Clematis
  • Trumpet vine
  • Jasmine
Take the time to research whichever vine you are most interested in. You’ll want to make sure that it can survive in your climate, and that your arbor is placed where it can receive the proper amount of sunlight. It is also good to look into how much care the vine requires, and decide if you can dedicate the amount of time it will need. You will also want to consider the cooler months — will you need to clean all the vines off of your arbor every winter, or will the vine you choose be able to survive year round? Avoid woody vines like wisteria. While beautiful, they can be a bit heavy for a vinyl arbor, and the woody stems can tighten too much on the arbor, causing cracks or even breaking the arbor entirely. No matter which vine you choose, you need to keep in mind that it will take some time and patience to get it to grow how you want it to on your arbor. You will need to guide the vine around the arbor as it grows, which may require you to tend to it as often as every other day. Once the vine is well-established, you will also likely need to prune fairly often to keep it from growing too much. Whether you want your arbor to stand on its own in your garden over a path or bench, as a simple addition to your fence gate, or to be a support for a thriving flowering vine, maintaining the arbor is important if you want it to last. With a little cleaning and, if needed, a little gardening, you can keep your arbor looking like new and even give it a facelift when you want to change colors. Follow these steps to enjoy a beautiful arbor in your yard year round!