Top 10 Best Climbers For Pots & Containers
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If you are looking for the best climbers for containers, you want things that are easy to grow, will thrive in containers, do well with a combination of partial shade and full sun such that you can effectively plant them anywhere and watch as the blooms unfold before your eyes on the interior of the climbing structures and the exterior.
Each of these climbers for tubs mentioned below will bring beautiful blooms to your garden, bloom prolifically, and climb up any structures nearby offering a beautiful richness and geometry to your garden especially if you have things like trellises, pergolas, or fences that appeared dull to the eye.
All of these top 10 climbers for containers will thrive in any size container but in general, the deeper container the better, require very little maintenance and can bring ambience and aroma to your garden.
Clematis are climbers that are unsurpassed in terms of their flowering length and the diversity of shapes that they offer. These are perfect for smaller gardens in so far as there are varieties designed specifically for containers. You can find a variety that grows and produces flowers for almost any month of the year. Some types such as clematis montana only flower in spring but require very little maintenance and almost no pruning.
There are over 300 species and hybrids which makes for a variety of options terrific to plant in pots or containers especially if you train them up a small trellis. The compact plants that you grow well in containers will produce magnificent flowers that take on beautiful pink and purple shades some of which even have stripes running up the perimeter of each petal or a beautiful design along the perimeter.
Climbing patio rose ‘warm welcome’
The beautiful warm welcome is an award-winning miniature climber that blooms continuously throughout its blooming season. It gives off semi-double blooms that take on a bright orange colour displaying hints of gold at the base. These sprays of flowers are slightly fragrant as well and are developed on red or purple coloured stems which allow them to stand out, juxtaposed to the otherwise dark green leaves.
This is the perfect patio climber for smaller gardens, very disease resistant and accepting of container growth. If you put it in your a border or a wall it will grow over it and reach Heights of 180cm and width of up to 90 centimetres.
Sweet peas (perennial & annual)
Sweet peas come in the form of perennial or annual vines and in either case they are European natives that require very little care except for deadheading to encourage new blooms. The annual Sweet Peas bring with them a sweet fragrance from which they get their name while the perennials do not have a fragrance but they still add colour and charm and flower year after year only requiring a quick hair cut in autumn.
Sweet peas will quickly reach 6ft tall, especially if you have a structure against which the pots are placed. You can place large pots in front of an otherwise unattractive wall or fence in the sweet peas will grow over them, with grey-green vines that are perfectly punctuated by flowers taking on purple, pink, red, and white Hughes.
The flowers bloom at the beginning of Summer and continued well into Autumn. More importantly, you can attract bees and butterflies naturally to this particular flower. They will grow well in neutral, acidic, or alkaline soils with virtually no reference to the soil type which means you can place them in pots without having to worry about changing the pH of your potting soil, just choose a good quality compost and they will grow well.
Jasminum nudiflorum (winter jasmine)
Winter Jasmine is a very unique flower given that it starts to bloom in Winter, hence its name. You will start to see flowers as early as January. The cold season blooms are rare but they do happen. More importantly, as part of the Jasmine family, you will enjoy a sweet scent from your porch with beautiful, starry blooms that add delightful colours to your landscape.
Winter Jasmine is not a true climbing line but it will scramble up right over structures and then hold itself up if you have a support structure like a trellis in place. The petals are buttery yellow and the stems are a deep, rich green which will grow better in full sun and well-drained soil. Winter Jasmine can be used very effectively in pots place near ugly walls or fences and they will cover the area prolifically.
Passiflora caerulea (blue passion flower)
The blue passion flower is one of our favourite climbers, not only is it award-winning but a glamorous climber. This semi-evergreen climber brings with an exotic beauty in the form of its flowers which have white petals rings with blue and purple filaments. It reaches 8cm flower wise followed later in the summer by deep orange fruit, perfectly edible although with a taste similar to that of blackberries.
Passion flowers will die back to the ground during a very cold season but then regrow from the deep roots thereafter, in most parts of the UK they are actually evergreen and almost always hold there leaves.
The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded it the Award of Garden Merit. You will see once it’s planted that it begins to bloom sporadically from the beginning of Summer through the beginning of fall. It thrives in partial shade or full sun with moist, well-drained soil. The twining vine can reach up to six or nine meters quickly so it shouldn’t be trained to form compacts rings around a structure but rather allowed to hang loosely and droop ever-so-slightly in whichever directions the flowers are most inclined.
It is perfect for a container, will thrive as a climber against trellises or fences or even arbours. It is truly a trouble-free climber which will cling with tendrils which means you can place it against fences or brickwork and it won’t damage the structure. Prefers a more sheltered position as it can be a little tender.
Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine)
The star jasmine is a vigorous and medium-sized Evergreen vine that brings to your garden dark green leaves up to 8cm in length along wiry stems. At the end of spring, you will see an abundance of sweetly fragrant flowers that are white in shade and star in shape, reaching 2.5 centimetres on average. As the flowers age, they take on a creamy hue.
This particular plant is commonly used as a climbing vine and create great privacy, adds a bit of natural appearance to concrete walls, and grows very quickly and densely. It can reach up to 4-8 meters wide and root laterally with heights up to 4-8 meters if given a structure on which to climb.
These plants do very well in full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil, particularly in pots. You can grow them and move them inside to protect them from cold winds in the winter time and leave them outside knowing that they are fairly drought tolerant once they have established themselves.
Lonicera periclymenum (Common Honeysuckle)
Honeysuckle is a traditional woodland climber that you will commonly see trailing over walls and fences. The reason being it’s a very fast-growing climber and produces flowers between June and August that vary in terms of their shades, taking on light yellow and creamy white hues. The flowers themselves are quite delicate and small with a trumpet shape. They provide a very sweet scent that is particularly noticeable in the late evening and is known to give children a fun-filled activity for the afternoon given that they can be plucked from the vine with the centre removed to reveal a little dollop of honey from which they get their name.
The flowers are not all that this vine has to offer. They are followed almost immediately by groupings of red berries which ripen in the autumn and are typically consumed by wild birds during the winter, speaking of birds, we recently reviewed some garden wildlife cameras which are great for capturing footage of birds. The native honeysuckle is the most common and it grows wild throughout European Woodlands. It is deciduous and can reach heights of five or six meters. In Britain, it’s common to see the wild honeysuckle growing up trees in the woodlands and it can be used in your garden in the form of evergreen or semi Evergreen varieties. It can be pruned or shaped if required in the winter or the beginning of Spring but it’s not necessary unless the plant is getting out of control.
Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’
Wisteria ‘Amethyst Falls’ is perfect for arbour plantings or trellises. It takes on the shape in terms of flowering blooms that one would get with a hydrangea paniculata, producing large cones of flowers that are beautiful and violet in colour. The dark lavender blooms form grape-like clusters throughout the summer that add a beautiful, whimsical appearance to your garden. More importantly, these are easy to care for, they rebloom and return year after year, they don’t take a lot of water, and they provide an aroma wherever they are planted.
They thrive in well-drained garden soil, require minimal pruning as mentioned, and will do well in partial shade or full sun. To that end, they are ideally grown in containers or tubs especially if you give them something up which to climb. This variety also flowers much sooner than most other types of wisteria.
Thunbergia alata (black-eye susan)
The Black-Eyed Susan is very frequently seen in hanging baskets at your local garden centre. This vine is not only charming but very easy to care for and perfect for containers or tubs. The flowers will truly stand out with a daisy-like appearance from a distance but in reality, they’re tubular. There are five overlapping petals that boast a purple-brown centre. Only if you look at the flowers from the side will you see how it funnels. The rich green leaves grow opposite one another making a beautiful display. This is an annual flowering vine that can reach up to 200 centimetres on average in height and width in just one growing season. It will grow very quickly as well and does perfectly fine in full sun or partial shade which is in part what contributes to its success as a climber for pots in so far as you can put it against a pergola or a gazebo and it will thrive in the shade of the interior as well as the sunlight of the top or the exterior.
These vines will naturally tangle themselves around the nearest support structure and they will spill over the edges. They will flow very easily over a wall or a raised bed and it’s great to put a lattice or link fence near them so that they can be weaved through and create a living wall. Rest assured they will climb over just about anything. There is no deadheading required to keep this plant in full bloom and they will repeatedly Bloom from May through the beginning of fall. Putting them in plants is actually better for the rest of your garden as they will typically overtake any nearby plants and outperformed them but if you put them in a pot they don’t have that option.
Ipomoea Morning Glory
Highly regarded as an exotic climber, the common morning glory is another very pretty annual vine that is well known for having heart-shaped foliage with beautiful purple and blue trumpet-shaped floral designs. Eventually, the flowers will open to reveal a white throat inside and the flowers reached approximately 5-7cm in size. They close in the afternoon which is why they get their name Morning Glory as they are open in the morning only. The flower produces new blooms continuously from the beginning of Summer through the beginning of fall. You can find many different varieties that bring to your garden different shades no matter which container or pot you choose to plant them in. You can find colours that range from blue to red to white to pink to magenta.
These are very fast growing which means that you can put them in a container and effectively walk away, watching them reach between 180 and 300 centimetres tall in one season and between 90 and 180 cm wide given enough space. They self seed very easily and they thrive in full sunlight. They will attract bees and butterflies and are perfect to put in pots or containers near a wall, fence, or pergola because they will climb very easily onto a support structure. The best part about a morning glory is that it’s effectively mostly resistant to pests and diseases.