Looking for a climber

Racine, WI(Zone 5a)

Good Morning!

I have a planter that has an attached trellis that I would like to use for the first time this year. Do I just fill this with top soil? or potting soil? Something else?

I would love to have a fragrant climbing rose but I'm guessing that it wouldn't do well potted? Any fragrant climbers that would do well in this situation? It would be in full sun.

Thanks so much!


Central, WI(Zone 4b)

Definitely go with the top soil. The climbing rose sounds great.
Another choice that is beautiful but not necessarly fragrant is clematis. Great
number of choices and can mix them but if do best to get kinds that are in same group type for pruning.
Sounds like you are doing some gorgeous plantings! If this is first time doing this don't get discouraged by first year not being all that stunning. Lots of perennials take a couple of years to really take off. The old saying is the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.
Wishing you all the best!!

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Is your planter like a raised bed, or is it a container type planter? If it's a container, I would use potting mix but if it's a raised bed then the topsoil is fine. Just to be clear on what I mean by container vs raised bed, a container means it has a solid bottom (hopefully with some holes drilled for drainage--if not make sure you drill your own), and a raised bed has walls but no bottom, it's just sitting on top of your garden soil.

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

If it's just like a flower pot (a container w/ holes) I'd most likely use a good quality potting mix, that'll give you better drainage and not dry out as quickly. Don't forget to put some rocks in the bottom for good drainage too.

Ideas on what to plant? I did a quick search through PlantFiles, putting in your zone and the requirements you want. How about a Honeysuckle? The fragrance part is hard for zone 5.

Have you considered removing (cutting out) the bottom of the container? Then maybe you could plant the rose you want...or a Wisteria.

81302 has a great idea about mixing things too. There are many gorgeous Clematis...maybe mix in some Sweet Peas for fragrance? With all the available Clematis and Sweet Peas I'm sure you'll find something that'll make you smile!

Central, WI(Zone 4b)

When I read this thread I was thinking raised bed and realized I didn't mention that with top soil good to add 2-4 inches of peat moss or compost/manure to help soil drain but still hold adequate moisture. As I went back in to edit my message I read ecrane and heathrejoy's EXCELLENT points and realized I wasn't sure which you have, StressedTek.
With a planter/pot type with an enclosed base even with holes drilled in bottom I would definitely go with potting mix too.
Number of concerns I would have about using a pot or enclosed planter above ground with main ones being that perennials don't usually survive the winter in those unless dig a hole and plant pot/planter and and all in fall. Also unless the planter is fairly big and deep as your vine grows it doesn't have enough room for its roots to spread and difficult to control moisture, usually dry out quickly but if have holes and clay underneath. Heatherjoy had great idea of cutting out bottom. One thing to make sure though is that your soil underneath drains well. If you have clay which much of your area does then may still run into problems with poor drainage. If it is above ground and freestanding need weigh down (a big rock in bottom of planter will help if have room for it and choose sheltered spot and/or anchor down well so wind doesn't blow it over. That said there are ways to make it work. If not sure what want to plant or how it will work can always start with an annual vine for this year. Heathrjoy made the great point that could plant sweet peas some of those are fragrant and there are a number of choices in an annual.
If you are looking at other choices I agree that honeysuckle is a good one too. Some can be invasive but since going with planter would be contained so not so likely to be a problem. Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle is particularly lovely and does well in Wisconsin.
Wisteria is gorgeous but needs sturdy support, takes some years to flower and sadly our winters tend to get too cold for it so often buds freeze and end up with leaves but no flowers unless go with the Kentucky variety although the flowers are not as showy on that one.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 2:20 PM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 2:40 PM

Racine, WI(Zone 5a)

I knew you all would have EXCELLENT suggestions! The trellis that I have is attached to a rectangular potting container. I'm not sure of the size of the whole thing because I haven't put it together yet... (this weekend's project). I LOVE the idea of cutting the bottom out of it and using it that way! (Thanks heathrjoy!) I may consider that next year - hubby will freak out if I dig up another part of the yard! Hehehe. I love the smell of honeysuckle....that sounds wonderful, maybe next year when I take the bottom out of the trellis. I think I may start with a clematis, I remember my mom growing them when I was a kid.

Wonderful ideas! Thank you all so much! It seems that everyone in my neighborhood has the same few types of flowers, tulips, daffodils, irises etc... it's amazing all of the different plants and flowers available! I think I'm going to need a bigger yard... ;-)

Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

It sounds like you have a plan! Come back and show us pics of the completed project.

Oh, and about the DH and "one more" flowerbed....just remind him it's less grass he has to mow! lol

Gregory, MI

heathrjoy, that is what I keep telling my DH when he whines about my expanding flowerbeds!!

stressedtek - there are some lovely roses that are smaller and will be okay for container planting (I can't remember names or if any had exceptional scent), but you would have to be sure to bring the container in over the winter, so the plant wouldn't freeze and die. Cutting the bottom out seems like a great idea!

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Just one more suggestion. I have two large pots with a trellis in them that I put star jasmine in. It's easy to grow and keep pruned to size and smells wonderful. It's not real expensive (I buy small since it grows fast) and if it dies during the winter, it's not much trouble to start again next year. Down here where I'm at, they die back during the winter but always come back every spring--don't know about your zone though.

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