How to Grow clematis in Containers

How to grow clematis in containers is one of the questions that clematis lovers often asked especially if they don’t have a lot of space. You can also seek to plant clematis in containers for display at a specific location or hang them.

How to Grow Clematis in Containers

I love growing clematis in containers because I can move them around. Clematis are also great flowers because they are easy to grow. They are also available in many different colors.

Container Selection

It is important to note that clematis like plenty of water but they also like very good drainage. So, when you’re selecting a container it’s advisable not to use a plastic pot.

If you’re going to grow clematis out on the deck, yard, or patio area the plastic pots have no insulation. They’ll heat up too much in the summer and will not give any insulation. It’s preferable to use a ceramic pot, wooden pot, or even concrete containers.  

The container must also have really good drainage holes. A terra-cotta pot is one of the best options available. However, some people still achieve great results with barrels cut in half. It’s good to avoid thin-walled containers though. Drainage holes in the bottom are absolutely vital.

Transplanting the Clematis

When you buy your lovely clematis, you should place the whole nursery pot in a bucket of water for 20 minutes. It allows the root system of the clematis to soak up a lot of water. This allows the entire root ball to be saturated with water. Sometimes the root ball may not look dry but you cannot always tell by just looking at it.

To assist with drainage at the bottom of the pot you should use some pebbles. Add about an inch and a half even two inches of pebbles at the bottom of the container.

Get the plant out of the container you bought it with. You should do so carefully not to damage the plant’s roots or the stems and leaves.

Put some soil and compost on top of the pebbles. Put enough soil and compost to provide a nice base. Spread it around so that all the pebbles are covered.

Position the clematis inside the container and fill the sides with soil. When planting clematis whether in the ground on open soil or in a container, it’s advisable to cover the plant with an extra two to two and a half inches deeper than what it was when in the nursery port.

Planting a little deeper is important because by any chance should the plant succumbs to diseases such as clematis wilt then the crown will survive underground.

It also helps if the plant fails to survive due to other problems such as damage caused by a mouse or severe winter damage then the perennial crown below soil level will survive. Firm the soil by pressing it into position with your hands.

Adding Other Plants

You can add some summer bedding plants or some perennials to the clematis container. Plant them on the sides and let them drop over the edges.

Some people prefer perennials, I personally prefer using summer bedding plants because they are available in different colors and I can change them each year. The many colors also provide a selection to choose from when selecting a color scheme that works with the clematis blooms.

Clematis Support

Providing support is also one of the things you will have to understand when learning how to grow clematis in containers. When the clematis plant begins growing it will definitely get taller than it was in its nursery support. It is important that you provide strong support for the plant. I prefer using a metal grid because it’s strong.

You don’t have to bother with removing any wooden trellis that the plant grew within the nursery. Make sure that the metal grind is firmly placed in the container and then tie the wooden trellis to the metal support. All you want to do is make sure that the metal grid and the wooden trellis are solid and held tightly. They should not be whizzing around in the wind.

The setup allows the plant to grow outside during the summer and can be moved very easily. It can also be taken into a garage or an outbuilding during the winter months to protect it from the very severe cold. During the winter the leaves will be dying down.

When you get to the Spring, you can take the metal trail out as well as the bamboo trellis. This will allow you to prune your clematis properly. For more information check this post on how to prune and deadhead different types of clematis

An example when growing the Diana Delight which is a single flower variety you need to prune hard. Chop the clematis down six to nine inches above the soil level. It will encourage the plant to become really bushy it’ll still produce plenty of flowers because it has been bred and designed to flower on both old and new wood.

You can then reposition the permanent metal support and not worry about the wooden trellis. Then you can enjoy the clematis growing year after year without any worries about its support.

Watering Clematis in a Container

Although the clematis had been soaked for about 20 minutes, it’s important to make sure that the compost and the soil are also watered. Provide sufficient water for the plant, and make sure that the soil and the compost are all wet. To allow the plant to have a better chance of taking off in the container.

The amount of water you provide to your clematis in the preceding days depends on the amount of rain available where you are growing the flowers. You can test the level of moisture in the container from time to time. When watering, provide a full soak for the plant enough to infiltrate all the way to the bottom.

Repotting a Container Clematis

You can enjoy growing your clematis for many years. The flower is a perennial that doesn’t require frequent repotting. If you want your flower to remain in the same container for a while before requiring repotting, the minimum container width should be 18 inches as well as the depth18 inches.

You should also have an open container with an open top. After about four to five years, the plant will have exhausted its compost and will need to be upgraded into a larger container.


Planting clematis in containers is awesome and also useful for people with roof gardens, town gardens, and balconies. You can have one or two plants or install a wooden trough or a box and position several plants next to each other in a beautiful arrangement.

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One Comment

  1. v. good information I will grow red this year in this I didt find what kind of fertilizer we going to use

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