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.
When to Start: Spring
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 1-1/2 hours
- jasmine or other climber
- a large frost-proof pot
- broken clay pot pieces
- potting soil
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
florida var. flore-pleno
florida var. sieboldiana
'Ooh La La'