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28/02/2014 at 21:28

Hi everyone

I'm having difficulty buying a reasonably priced container that is big enough to plant a clematis plant in it.  I wanted to plant 2 clematis in an L shape i.e. corner in two big troughs but I can't find any that are reasonably priced (£20 or under) and also sized so that I can fit both in the L shape.   Is there a recycled item that I haven't thought of that would be good?

What are the consequences of a clematis not having enough room for its roots?  Will it stunt the climbing height or will it affect the flowers?

28/02/2014 at 21:33

Depends what clematis your going to put in but really if you can I would use deep pots or they just wont do very well and it wont be worthwhile. Can you not make your own up out of old decking or something like that. I would use patio clematis also. 

28/02/2014 at 21:56

You'll probably need to protect it in winter as well I would have thought unless it's in a very sheltered location, probably by wrapping the container in bubble wrap.  I had one in a large plastic pot once and the first winter killed it.  Wood or terracotta would be a better insulator.

28/02/2014 at 22:03

Depending upon how handy you are   I'd go for making my own boxes/containers.  I purchesed a number of containers from B&Q when my roses arrived.  Bad weather and nowhere to heel in.  The containers are rectangular about 18-24 inches square tappering down at the base.  Colour dark green or  earthenware.  Cost around 4.50 each.  They will give plenty of root space.  The main point to consider with clematis roots is.  Some are surface rooting, if not shallow rooting.  Protection is called for during hot weather, such as good mulching or even stones or slate top dressing.  Anything to deflect the heat fro reaching the roots.  Remember also.  It is a good idea to cut growth well back in the winter.  This along with well balanced feeding will ensure good strong growth and fine flowers.

28/02/2014 at 22:17

Thanks!  Mike - are the containers you got from B &Q about 13" deep and 17" wide?  I got some of those today but thought maybe they weren't deep enough.  Do you think they would be?

The clematis that I've chosen are suitable for containers.  Mrs G, that's a good point.  I do have plenty of colourful blue and pink bubblewrap!

A friend where I live (on the Isle of Man) has just found a couple of Belfast sinks for sale.  What do you reckon?  (If I can lift them that is )




28/02/2014 at 22:30

I think the containers shouldn't really be less than 15" deep, mine are about 18", but I'm afraid they cost over £40. When I grew one in a smaller pot it died after 2 years. So making one would probably be your best bet. Clematis are quite greedy feeders.

28/02/2014 at 22:44

I have patio clematis in containers that seem quite happy 4 years on.  I put slow release fertiliser pellets in every year, and the insides of the pots were lined with bubble wrap to stop the roots getting too hot/cold.  I think the varieties are Abilene, Ernest Markham and some type of Countess (Nemours?)

28/02/2014 at 22:56


That's them.  I've just popped down to my front door.  I have five all planted up with climbing roses, daffs, hyacinths, polyanthus, cyclamen.  Yes the sizes are the same.  I have no doubts in my mind that they are deep enough for almost anything.  Check out my post relating to shallow rooting etc.  Dont forget.  Provide some protection in the summer regarding keeping the roots cool.  Come the winter, as with all containers.  Wrap them up a bit against penetrating frosts etc.

28/02/2014 at 23:27

Ok, thanks for your help everyone.  Looks like I'm sorted.  Mike - what sort of climbing roses do you have in your containers?


01/03/2014 at 11:01

Charley I bought some large resin pots from B&Q last year which were £15 each - they had an offer on at the time so it was 3 for the price of 2. They look like terracotta and I have apple trees planted in two of them at the moment. I also bought a big terracotta pot - a plain one - from Homebase for about  a tenner. It's about 18" diameter. I'll find a couple of pix to give you an idea of size. 

01/03/2014 at 12:02

Pix as stated of the resin pot - you can get an idea of size from the other things around it. In the 1st pic it's the one with the Ligularia in it (large purple foliage) The 2nd one has emerging crocus in it but has primulas and robins in front of it.


01/03/2014 at 12:21

Sadly, my clematis in pots have always been rubbish despite large pots, good compost and gravel on top to protect the roots!

01/03/2014 at 12:45

They need a lot of attention in pots Steve as they're hungry plants. They're far better in the ground but if there's no alternative, you can grow them reasonably well in a decent sized pot, and there are varieties specifically meant for container growing. I grew one last year up the railings on my back steps as I'd just moved and there were no places to plant anything really. It wasn't a huge pot - about 12" and there were sweet peas in it as well.  It'll be going into a permanent border this year though! 

01/03/2014 at 16:52

you can now buy  them for small pots and hanging baskets,I have not seen them myself but have read they are available .

01/03/2014 at 22:05

Charley D.  I have three roses in two tubs, as I want a quick thick cover.  The roses are.  Zephirine Drouhin.  New Dawn and Rosa Helenei.

02/03/2014 at 09:19

Clematis really don't like growing in containers they are much happier in the ground. I know plastic dustbins are not that pretty but they are cheap and plenty deep, hope that helps. Linda from Wales.

02/03/2014 at 09:26

I have a dustbin pot which I painted with thick render sort of paint in two mixed colours, sort of beige and cream to look like limestone. Forgot that in above answer, bin was cheap, paint was in cupboard, left over.

02/03/2014 at 14:47

Ok, this is proving a very difficult decision.  From your replies, it doesn't sound as if clematis are that happy in containers and given the fact that I've found it so difficult to get the right depth of container anyway, and now I'm wondering even if the soil part of the plan is deep enough for clematis.

Mike, your mention of quick thick cover and roses has made me think.  For some reason, I didn't think I could get climbing roses to grow in containers (pls forgive my ignorance).  I wanted roses in this area in the first place and removed a big old neglected honeysuck bush thinking that there was all soil underneath it, only to find a big slab of concrete for half of the area, hence resorting to a container. 

I would really appreciate some recommendations.  It is a shady area, may be lucky if it gets a couple of hours sun in the morning but it's a very bright area albeit not a lot of sun.  It's an L shape and there are concrete walls/trellis work for them to grow on. 

I like what I call a "proper" old fashioned rose shape - not the ones that look like ranunculus or the single petal ones.  Ideally I would like deep red, tangerine/peach and possibly one of those gorgeous pale lilacs. 

I've found a huge tub at B&Q for £12 - I'm talking probably 70cm wide and 50cm deep which would house 2 of the roses and 1 would go in the soil.  I've got wire ready to go on the concrete bits. 

02/03/2014 at 14:59

Charley that would be fine for a Clematis. Don't be put off by what we've said about having them in pots. It's just that they thrive better in the ground, which makes it easier to maintain them. As long as you give them enough food and water you can grow Clematis successfully in a pot that size. I was constructing raised beds last year so I had three of them in pots from about May. I mentioned one already, but I had an Etoile Violette in a 12" plastic pot  which grew well and  flowered all summer. I just had to be vigilant - especially with watering - but I had other plants in pots shading it's roots which helped enormously. Here's a pic -you can see there's plenty of buds. It had only been in the pot a short while and made plenty of growth :




02/03/2014 at 14:59

I put 2 patio clematis in 2 large pots last year; they were not very impressive, hopefully they will do better this year. I will be feeding them tomato food.

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