For long-lasting container displays, clematis are hard to beat.


Plant breeders have developed a range of compact clematis cultivars that are perfect for growing in pots. With the right care, they'll last in containers for years, before being planted out in the garden.

For the best displays and repeat flowering, it's worth starting containers early in the year. February is perfect – the widest choice of plants is available and they'll have plenty of time for their roots to develop.

Start by adding hardy plants such as roses, grasses and ivies now, then wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting in tender companions to boost colour.

Check out these four clematis container ideas to get you started, below.

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Patio rose and clematis

An English rose entwined with clematis in a faded terracotta pot makes a lovely statement. The rich velvety clematis is equal to the regal tones of Rosa 'Suffolk'. Small pots of ivy cushion the rose, while nemesia adds another tint of purple. Discover how to plant up this patio rose and clematis container.

Patio rose and purple clematis container
Purple clematis and crimson rose in a patio terracotta pot

We used: 1 x Clematis 'Burma Star', 1 x Rosa 'Suffolk', 8 x variegated ivy, 2 x blue nemesia, 1 x square terracotta pot, 1 x wooden wigwam.

Clematis and grasses

This delightful pairing of blue grass and azure clematis is planted in a log basket, lined in tough plastic, to create an affordable and attractive rustic planter. Allow the clematis to climb up the poles and tumble down.

Clematis and koeleria container
Blue clematis in a container with grey grasses

We used: 1 x Clematis 'Fujimusume', 3 x Koeleria vallesiana 'Mountain Breeze', 1 x log basket, 3 bamboo poles, grit mulch.

Nicotiana and clematis

In this fresh, clean display, the pot shows off the ornamental petals of the unusual Clematis florida 'Alba Plena'. Just as unexpected are the little bells of Clematis 'Blue Dwarf', while the dwarf nicotiana adds scent and shades the base of the clematis.

Nicotiana and clematis container
White clematis in a container with lime green nicotinia

We used: 1 x Clematis 'Blue Dwarf', 1 x Clematis florida 'Alba Plena', 1 x Isotoma 'Blue Star', 2 x Nicotiana 'Lime Green', 3 x Nicotiana 'Perfume Antique Lime', 1 x tall plastic planter with built-in reservoir, 4 x willow pea sticks.

Double clematis

A black pot makes a wonderful foil for the soft pastel shades of these free-flowering clematis. The isotoma and campanula petals echo the colour and shape, while the helichrysum and calocephalus form a cloudy cushion at the base.

Double clematis container
A purple, white and grey themed double clematis container

We used: Clematis 'Countess of Wessex', Clematis 'Cezanne', Verbena rigida, Helichrysum 'Goring Silver', Calocephalus 'Silver Sand', Isotoma 'Blue Star', Campanula poscharskyana 'Nana Alba', black Versaille-style planter, wooden obelisk painted black.

Planting clematis

Clematis benefit from being planted deeper than they were in the purchase pot. Plant about 5cm deeper and new shoots will be encouraged.