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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
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.
Clematis for containers is particularly beneficial in covering up areas like fences or other unattractive structures in your garden. What’s more, you can even use clematis for tubs placed around the perimeter of things like decks or porches and create privacy screens with them as long as you allow them a trellis or similar structure up which to climb.
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 which is why it’s important to pick varieties that do well, usually, they don’t get too tall and are not overly vigorous which means they’re easier to control the size of.
The first on this list is the Carnaby clematis which 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 at the early spring after which a light trim is recommended. The second flush later in the year indicates the upcoming Autumn season.
This variety brings with it deep, pink coloured flowers that boast a red stripe in the centre. Even though this is a more compact variety it can reach up to two meters tall if it is allowed to fully flourish and climate will. That is why you need to give it something up which to climb but also pay attention to the height that it reaches.
If you have it as a freestanding tub structure with a trellis built into the tub or next to the tub, 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 in between the first flowering to encourage the second flush.
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 but also thrives just fine in partially shaded areas. Some of the smaller options on this list might still require partial or full sun but 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 does not 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 scent to liven up your patio, you might want to incorporate another variety with this one.
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 Evision Clematis and belongs to pruning group 3 so a hard pruning is recommended.
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 both at the end of spring and the end of summer.
It grows quite well in containers and can be used to capitalise upon having a clematis but not having one that stands out or draws too much attention with a purple shade. Once it is established after the first season or so you should get beautiful blooms multiple times and make sure to help keep the soil cooler by adding mulch to the top of the container seasonally.
It can grow to around 2.5 meters tall but does prefer a sheltered site but will grow in most soil types.
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, this clematis is the winner. This is going to provide an abundance of creamy white flowers that span between 7 and 10cm across which 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 variety 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 a better bloom. As is the case with all clematis, it prefers to have feet in the shade but head in the sun. You can keep the roots cooler by adding flat stones around the base or mulching. This variety once it reaches maturity can get up to 240cm. This is a bit of a challenge to grow effectively. The vines can appear weak at times and it 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.
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 pink so there is no collection of colours but rather multiple shades that provide a beautiful but monochromatic background to your garden.
It thrives well in containers because it is a compact variety which is one reason its a good choice for containers. Of course it will need something up which to crawl and will grow well in an otherwise dark area.
If you are growing it in a container in the shade rest assured that it will provide some stunning contrast with its brightly coloured flowers and is perfect for containers placed on your patio, in your garden, or on your deck. With this variety, you only need to reduce the stems to about 15 cm at the end of winter seasonally and this will encourage stronger growth for the upcoming season. Be cognizant of the fact that once it reaches full maturity after a few years can get up to 100cm in height which is relatively small compared to most clematis which makes it suitable for smaller gardens.
The Josephine variety is regarded as one of the top double bloom pink Clematis on the market because the blooms 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 so there is still a lot to take in visually even 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.
Note that while it does thrive in containers that are in partial sun you will only get the richest of colours if you plant it in full sun. It will grow very quickly and once it reaches maturity can span between 210cm and 240 cm in height. In order to encourage two rounds of blooms, you should deadhead after the first. Otherwise, you should prune dead or weak stems before they grow new buds and prune it hard down to about 15 cm at the end of winter.
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 which are so large that they span between 10 and 15cm. As the flowers mature the silvery blue centre expands and creates a multi-layered flower that comes into waves one of which takes place at the end of spring and the other the end of summer.
This looks beautiful when combined with golden foliage in a container and it will climb up Arbors or trellises, even fences. This will thrive in well-drained soil in full sun. Like most clematis, it prefers to have shade around the base and sun near the top. It will grow very fast and can reach up to 240cm so give it something up which to climb. It will attract bees and butterflies to your area and is quite tolerant of deer or rabbit so can be a good choice for anyone who does have problems with these.
This variety is regarded as one of the best clematis for containers and is probably our personal favourite. It produces vigorous flowers, the first flush of which take place at the end of spring typically with double blooms and the second takes place at the end of summer with single blooms.
These pale pink bloom span between 7 and 10cm each and they have a ruffled edge which stands 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. 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 so 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 some of the flowers that developed later in the second flush on the new growth so you should only prune it at the end of winter before any of the growth has started.
Clematis Warszawska Nike
Our final recommended clematis for pots is among one of the most popular because it produces large, velvety flowers with a rich royal purple that reach up to 18cm. Inside each are 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, perfect for containers that are placed on terraces or balconies but 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 beginning of summer and then a second round 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 we’ll climb beautifully with things like climbing roses. Make sure that you give it something up which to climb like an arbour, wall, or fence.