Growing clematis in containers is possible when you choose the right plant, pot and space to grow it in. When you don’t have the garden space to add these beautiful vines directly in the soil, pots are the next best thing. Several different clematis varieties have now been introduced that were bred specifically for growing in pots, making the job even easier.
If you love the flourish of blooms that clematis can provide you with, but were worried about the plants survival if added to a container, use this guide to help you pick out the perfect plant to grow this summer.
Picking the Right Container
A clematis vines survival relies heavily on the container that you plant it in. You want a very large container, both in height and width because it needs to be able to support the plant and its roots, which will grow deep into the soil to provide stability to the vine. The type of pot is important because some materials withstand weather better than others, protecting roots in the summer and winter months. If you live in warmer climates, ceramic is ideal. Clematis grown in colder climates will benefit from wooden artificial plastic containers.
Choosing Your Clematis
There are a lot of new varieties of clematis that have been made just for container gardening, but even some of the more traditional varieties can be added to the right container. Sea Breeze, Filigree and Silmakivi Clematis are all great container dwellers that will grow well on a sturdy trellis near a wall or up a pole. Look for any variety that has a flexible stem and grows under six feet in height, which is as much of a root system a container can provide for. Also, winter hardy plants are the best options for hardiness zones further north.
Planting Your Clematis
Once you have chosen the perfect clematis vine for your climate, container and personal preference, its time to plant it. The right planting materials will keep your plant growing and producing leaves and blooms all summer long. Add an earthy loam that is not too high in organic material, but contains enough nutrients for at least three months. It is best to add a combination of potting soil and organic material to fill your pots with just the right amount of soil. Do not pack in the soil, but fill in around and over the plant’s roots so that they are able to easily spread out and find water.
Overwintering Your Plant
Growing in a container means that your perennial will need to be overwintered. If you have a hardy plant, wrapping the entire pot and woody portion of the clematis in burlap will help it survive the winter. Protecting it from wind damage and moving it from an area where there is the possibility of large amounts of snow falling on it will improve the chances of it surviving. If possible, move the plant and the trellis it grows on indoors, to a cool, dark location, but this should only be done if its possible to move the pot and the structure it is growing over.
Pam Buttikofer is a co-founder of Imperfect Women. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 37 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, sons and her lovable pups.