How to Grow Flowering Vines in Containers

Many compact climbers, such as jasmine and some clematis, are well suited to living in pots. All they need is a good-sized container, suitable support and regular watering and feeding.
Jasmine and Clematis in Pot With Trellis

Jasmine and Clematis in Pot With Trellis

Jasmine and Clematis are good climbers for pots.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: Spring
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 1-1/2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • jasmine or other climber
  • a large frost-proof pot
  • broken clay pot pieces
  • potting soil
  • trellis
  • twine
  • gravel or pebbles to mulch
  • watering can

Before You Plant

Put pieces of broken clay pot into the base of the container, then cover with a layer of soil. Position the support at the back of the container and then pack some soil around it to help hold it firmly in place. Make sure that there's enough room for the plant roots to spread out.

How to Support a Garden Trellis With Soil in Sturdy Planter

How to Support a Garden Trellis With Soil in Sturdy Planter

Place a trellis in a container planter, cover with clay and soil for added support of climbing plants.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Angle Plant Toward Trellis

Partially fill the container with more soil. Set the climber on top to check that it will be at the same depth as it was in its pot when planted. Plant it with the stems angled toward the trellis. There should be a gap of 2 inches between the compost surface and the rim of the pot.

Planting a Climber in Large Container With Wood Trellis

Planting a Climber in Large Container With Wood Trellis

When planting a climber, angle the plant with stems toward the trellis and fill the remainder of the container with soil.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tie In Main Stems

Remove any supports the plant has been grown on. Tie the main stems loosely to the trellis with twine. When the stems have hardened, remove the ties and tie in new growth higher up the trellis.

Tie Stems to Trellis With Twine to Guide Climbing Growth

Tie Stems to Trellis With Twine to Guide Climbing Growth

Secure the stems of a climbing plant to a trellis to guide its growth and keep walking space or gardening areas organized.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water Well

Water the plant well and place a layer of gravel or pebbles on top of the compost to minimize evaporation from the surface. This will also keep the roots cool and improve the appearance of the pot.

Watering Gravel-Filled Garden Pots Holding Climber Plant

Watering Gravel-Filled Garden Pots Holding Climber Plant

After lining the top of these soil-filled garden pots with gravel, water well. The gravel will help the plant retain water and looks great at the base of the trellis and climber.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Top Tip: Choosing Clematis for Pots

Many clematis are naturally compact and flower when still small, but take care to choose the right type. To keep clematis compact, cut back the stems of summer-flowering plants, such as Clematis florida, in late winter. Leave unpruned those that flower before late spring, such as C. alpina and C. macropetala, because they bloom on the previous year's growth. You can combine complementary colored cultivars in the same pot (Image 1), or opt for just one flower-smothered plant (Image 2).

Compact Cultivars
'Arabella'
'Barbara Jackman'
'Bees' Jubilee'
'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
'Daniel Deronda'
florida var. flore-pleno
florida var. sieboldiana
'H.F. Young'
'Ice Blue'
'Kingfisher'
'Miss Bateman'
'Niobe'
'Ooh La La'
'Perle d'Azur'
'Prince Charles'
'Royalty'

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