What would you choose for this 'pot'?

(Zone 4b)

My brother asked my advice regarding a choice of clematis for placement in a "pot" with an attached vertical climbing support.

I asked him to send along a picture of his 'pot'.

Incredible don't you think?

And he is fortunate enough to have two of these obelisks which he plans to position on either side of the front entrance of their stone farm house.

He would like this clematis to be fast growing and very floriferous (which would have the frame covered as soon as possible into the growing season).

Right away I thought of Piilu but I would like to hear your suggestions based upon your successful experiences with a potted clematis. And importantly how to have it over-winter in the container.

This message was edited Mar 20, 2013 7:14 PM

Thumbnail by rouge21
Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I have one of them too, I got at a discount in Lowes. I would like to hear thoughts of this also.

Athens, PA

My only concern with the pots are that I would choose a clem very carefully regarding zones. He should go at least a zone or two colder as the roots in the pot are going to be more susceptible to the cold, whereas if they are planted into the ground, there is some type of protection to the root system. I would also wrap the pots in the winter in bubble wrap or try to move the pot closer to the house in the winter. That way, there would be some type of protection from the extreme cold.

(Zone 4b)

For sure these 'pots' with clems will be moved inside into a sheltered but unheated garage. I guess I am wondering if that will likely be enough help for them to survive the winter as it isnt practical to replace the clematis each spring.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Maybe he could wrap each one (all sides) with insulation while they winter in the garage, up against the warmest wall. His local university may be able to help with the question since others must have tried it previously.

They are gorgeous containers.

Though I have many clematises, I don't have any that would bloom with great abundance from May through October, so I wouldn't even know what plant I'd use in the containers. Would your brother consider a small continual booming rose that's hardy for the area?

(Carisa) Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

I would choose Daniel Deronda. It is my best grower, very fast, fills in quickly and nicely and is very hardy. I don't think you mentioned what type of sun it takes, but Daniel will take part sun as well as full, just doesn't bloom as prolifically as in full sun. Hope that helps!

(Carisa) Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

What did your brother decide to put in the pot?

(Zone 4b)

I didn't know that he didn't intend to bring in these obelisks to shelter during the winter as he has plans to put holiday lights on them. And so he is now looking for a quick growing, climbing annual that will flower prolifically. What do you suggest?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

His local garden center would probably be the best to advise him due to the growing zone.

(Zone 4b)

This plant could be a perennial climber in zone 7 but still do just fine as a *summer* annual in zone 5.

I was just hoping to get some ideas. For example I was thinking of maybe climbing nasturtiums or even a Hyacinth Bean or....

Beverly Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

My favorite prolific bloomer would be a mandevilla. It can be treated as an annual if he wants to leave the pot outside. After the first freeze, just cut it down and plant a new one the following spring if he likes the way it performed. For many years, I had one in the St. Louis area (don't know what the zone was.) Before the first frost, I would cut it back to about 15" high, dig it up, put it in a nursery pot and put it in my unheated basement. It would go dormant then leaf out quickly about May when the weather warmed up. When all chance of frost was gone I would put it back in the outdoor pot. I would water it a small amount one or two times during the winter. I admit it was a fair amount of trouble, but well worth it to me. The other alternative is spending about $20 for each one in the spring.

(Carisa) Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Oooooh, Mandevillas are a great idea. I was thinking about a cypress vine, but, although I love the look of them and they fill in quickly, they are an up close vine and I don't think they would be impactful enough for that pot. I second the Mandevilla choice, though. That would be gorgeous.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'd give a third vote to the Mandevilla if the zone can handle it. Often plants that look great in warm zones just don't perform well in cool zones.

It's worth it to ask on the Canadian Forum just to see which quick growing vines have performed well for others.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from pirl :
Often plants that look great in warm zones just don't perform well in cool zones.

"pirl", I had mostly thought that there wasn't enough difference to matter re the summer climate of a zone 5 as compared to a zone 7 and even warmer. That is it will be hot and sunny enough in z5 to support many zone 7 (and beyond) perennials (it is just that they will live as only annuals in z5).

This message was edited Apr 12, 2013 12:08 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)


I have had thousands of daylilies and here on Long Island they don't have the buds shown for them but in the south the daylilies do get those buds and so many more flowers.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I have a trellised clem on a pot.Its 4 years and this is a shorter variety so the shorter trellis looks great when the clem blooms.
I also string lights on it.
The pot is 18-20 inches.Everything stays outside oin Z6a.

Thumbnail by ge1836
(Zone 4b)

I would for sure go with a clematis if he was to bring the container in each fall but he will not do this. It is my experience that a clematis really comes into its own after being established for a couple of years and so if one starts from square one each spring he might as well go with an annual climber eg "Black Eyed Susan" vine or "Morning Glory" or...

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I agree.
The clematis in my pot is Vagabond

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