Last updated on March 6th, 2022
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When you have smaller spaces in your garden or the soil is incredibly difficult to work with, your only option might be container gardening. If that’s the case you can cultivate beautiful flowers in containers of any type and still enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding garden space.
Using clematis in pots are particularly beneficial in covering up areas like fences or other unattractive structures in your garden. What’s more, you can even use clematis in planters placed around the perimeter of things like decking or patios to create privacy screens with them, as long as you provide them with a trellis or similar structure to climb up.
Many homeowners create partial privacy walls around different areas in the garden using containers, clematis and trellises. Of course, it’s important to know which plants to choose and that is why we have a list of the best clematis for containers. Not all clematis grow well in pots and this is why it’s important to pick varieties that do well, usually, ones that don’t get too tall and aren’t overly vigorous, which means they’re easier to control the size of.
If you need need a good trellis planter don’t forget to check our review of the best trellis planters.
1. Clematis florida ‘Alba Plena’
As the name would suggest this variety has creamy white flowers. However, the flowers themselves have separate layers of petals and when it blooms you will enjoy opulent, double flowers that take on a green tinge. This offers a beautiful, classy and distinguished feel for any garden space from the end of spring until the end of summer.
It grows quite well in containers and can be used to capitalise upon having a clematis that doesn’t stand out or draw too much attention as it would with a purple shade. Once it is established (after the first season or so) you should get beautiful blooms multiple times. Make sure to keep the soil cooler by adding mulch to the top of the container seasonally.
It can grow to around 2.5 metres tall and prefers a sheltered site but will grow in most soil types.
2. Clematis florida ‘Sieboldiana’
A truly stunning option for those who perhaps want a combination of the whites provided by the Alba plena and the purples provided by almost any other variety. It isn’t hard to see why this clematis is another one of our favourites. This is going to provide an abundance of creamy white flowers that span between 7cm and 10cm across and are adorned with thick, richly purple stamens. You will get your primary flush between the end of spring and the beginning of summer with sporadic secondary flushes during the autumn.
This clematis will thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. It can tolerate partial shade but it does need sun from the ground up in order to produce better blooms. As is the case with all clematis, they prefer to have their feet in the shade and their head in the sun. You can keep the roots cooler by adding flat stones around the base or mulching. This variety, once fully established, can reach heights of 240cm. This clematis is a bit of a challenge to grow effectively, the vines can appear weak at times and they won’t necessarily flower profusely so it is up to you to deadhead after the first wave to promote the second. A great variety for growing in containers.
3. Clematis ‘Ooh La La’
If you want something pink in colour and perfect for tubs, this is the variety for you. It is pink accented by darker pink so there is no collection of colours, but rather multiple shades that provide a beautiful but monochromatic backdrop in your garden.
It thrives well in containers because it is a compact variety. which is the main reason it is a good choice for containers. Of course, it will need something to climb up and will grow well in an otherwise shadier area of the garden.
If you are growing it in a container, in the shade, rest assured that it will provide a stunning contrast with its brightly coloured flowers. With this variety, you only need to reduce the stems to about 15cm at the end of winter and this will encourage stronger growth for the upcoming season. Be aware of the fact that once it reaches full maturity (after a few years) it can get up to 100cm in height, which is relatively small compared to most clematis and this is what makes it so suitable for smaller gardens.
4. Clematis ‘Josephine’
The Josephine variety is regarded as one of the top double-flowering pink clematis on the market because the flowers are quite large, spanning about 12cm. They are adorned with pink centre stripes and outer sepals, surrounding a smaller inner set of similarly coloured rosettes.
Individual flowers will last up to four weeks with this climber so there is a lot to enjoy visually as it goes through its cycle. This variety is easy to grow and maintain as long as it gets full sun or partial sun with well-drained soil.
It is important to note that while it does thrive in containers, compared to those that are in the partial sun you will only get the richest of colours if you plant them in full sun. It will grow very quickly and once it reaches maturity can span between 210cm and 240cm in height. In order to encourage two rounds of flowers, you should deadhead after the first show. Otherwise, you should prune dead or weak stems before they grow new buds and prune them hard, down to about 15cm at the end of winter.
5. Clematis ‘Multi Blue’
This very popular ‘Multi Blue’ clematis gets its name from the multiple layers of stunning blue shades it has in the double flowers, these are so large that they span between 10cm and 15cm. As the flowers mature, the silvery blue centre expands and creates a multi-layered flower that comes in waves, one of which takes place at the end of spring and the other at the end of summer.
This looks beautiful when combined with golden foliage in a container and it will climb up arbours or trellises and even fences. The Multi Blue clematis will thrive in well-drained soil in full sun. Like most clematises, it prefers to have shade around the base and sun near the top. It will grow very quickly and can reach a height of up to 240cm so we strongly recommend giving it something to climb up. It will attract bees and butterflies to your garden and is quite tolerant of deer or rabbits, so can be a good choice for anyone who does experiences problems with these.
6. Clematis ‘Piilu’
This variety is regarded as one of the best clematises for pots, and it is probably our personal favourite. It produces vigorous flowers, the first flush takes place at the end of spring, typically with double-flowers and the second takes place at the end of summer with single flowers.
These pale pink bloom span between 7cm and 10cm each and they have a ruffled edge that stands out in great contrast to the creamy white centre. This is one of the heaviest bloomers so if you live in a cooler climate it will bloom non-stop from the end of spring through the beginning of autumn.
In fact, it flowers so profusely that it obscures all of the foliage behind it and this makes it ideal for areas that you legitimately want to cover up, such as the side of a fence or an unattractive shed.
This is a very strong clematis that will grow quickly up to 180cm in size, making it reasonable for a clematis being grown in a pot. In order to encourage both of the flowering time frames, you can deadhead in between the first and the second. This is one that flowers in early spring on the shorter shoots that develop from the previous year’s growth and the flowers that develop later in the second flush do so on the new growth, so you should only prune it at the end of winter before any of the growth has started.
7. Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’
Our final recommended clematis for using in pots is amongst one of the most popular varieties available because it produces large, velvety flowers with a rich royal purple that reach up to 18cm. Inside each is golden stamens.
This clematis provides some of the biggest flowers out of all of those on this list and will grow at a moderate rate making it perfect for containers that are placed on terraces or balconies that are smaller in size. This variety has received the Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society because of its floriferous qualities.
It will provide beautiful blooms at the end of spring and the beginning of summer and then a second flush at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. This is a free-flowing variety that grows quickly. In fact, it is one of the largest on this list and when left to its own devices can reach up to 300cm at full maturity. It is well suited to containers and will contrast beautifully with things like climbing roses. Make sure that you give it something climb up like an arbour, wall or fence.
8. Clematis ‘Carnaby’
The first on this list is the clematis Carnaby and it is one of our favourites. This is a compact bloomer that fares quite well in containers or tubs and will provide you with two rounds of flowers. The first of which comes in the early spring after which a light trim is recommended and the second flush is later in the year, indicating the upcoming autumn season.
This variety brings with it pale pink coloured flowers that boast a deep pink stripe down the centre of each petal. Even though this is a more compact variety it can reach up to two metres tall if it is allowed to fully flourish. This is why you need to give it something to climb up, but pay attention to the height that it reaches.
If you have it as a freestanding tub structure with a trellis built into the planter, or next to it, you can always gently weave the branches over and back down the other side. With this variety, you only want to fertilise in the early spring before the flowering has taken place, and deadhead after the first flowers have finished encouraging the second flush.
9. Clematis ‘Angelique’
The next on the list is the Angelique. This is the perfect clematis for tubs or containers with blooms that take on a pale lilac shade offset by a crown of beautiful stamens.
This will do well in pots and thrives just fine in partially shaded areas. Some of the smaller options on this list might still require partial or full sun but the ‘Angelique’ will do well in shade all the same.
More importantly, if you are placing this around your home be aware of the fact that this particular variety doesn’t have a scent, so if you want something that won’t aggravate visitors this would be a great option, however, if you do prefer a stronger fragrance to liven up your patio, you might want to incorporate another variety than this one.
10. Clematis ‘Cassis’
The colouring you get with this third option is so striking that it almost makes the flowers look like a painting. The flowers can hold a single colour or two colours whereby the edges and the centre have a concentrated rich colour and in between that is a paler, white colour. As these two come together they do so in a striated fashion so there isn’t a distinct line between one and the other but rather multiple lines similar to the natural mixture you would get in hair.
This is an eye-catching hybrid that can withstand tumultuous weather will grow very effectively in pots and only requires minimal maintenance once it is in place. At the end of summer, rest assured that this variety will give you an eye-catching display. This is a Raymond Evison clematis and belongs to pruning group 3 so hard pruning is recommended.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API