Photo KnowInsiders
Photo KnowInsiders

There are some beautiful specimens of climbing plants available at your local garden center or DIY store. If you, like so many others, want to grow tall plants and vines but are stuck on a rental property and worry about any damage long, trailing plants could cause, you can rest easy.

There’s an easy way to have climbing plants in your home, and you don't even have to plant them directly in the ground. Simple containers can often be the best spot for climbing plants. Imagine how beautiful it would be to have two planters on either side of your front door featuring a classic ivy or iconic climbing roses. You’ll get the spectacle of vertical gardening with much more versatility.

Here are top 10 most beautiful climbing plants suitable to be grown in containers

1) Clematis

Photo Flipkart
Photo Flipkart

Clematis are one of the most popular climbers with distinctive flowers in a range of colour including reds, purples, blues, pinks and whites. They prefer sun or partial shade, are mostly fully hardy and generally quite easy to grow.

Small-growing clematis are a good choice for container growing as they will stay compact and flower when young. Consider combining 2 complimentary coloured varieties in the same pot for a striking floral display.

Clematis are divided into 3 main groups which determine how they should be grown:

Group 1 - early flowering Clematis blooming on previous year's growth in winter or spring. Prefer a sunny, sheltered position with little or no pruning and include most evergreen clematis.

Group 2 - deciduous Clematis which produce large, showy flowers either on previous year's growth in late spring and early summer or the current season's growth in mid to late summer.

Group 3 - mixed group of late flowering and herbaceous Clematis which die back to the ground in winter. Includes varieties with large, showy flowers and smaller-flowered fragrant Clematis.

Quick Care Tips

Container grown climbers rely on you to give them everything they need.

Keep well watered, especially on hot summer days, and fertilise smaller-growing varieties regularly.

Replace the top 2.5-5cm (1–2in) layer of soil each spring with fresh potting compost.

Protect your containers from freezing in the winter by insulating with a few layers of bubble wrap.

2. Lonicera (Honeysuckle)

Lonicera are another popular climber with sweetly scented summer flowers held in attractive clusters. They're easy to grow, ideally in a spot where their roots will be in the shade with upper growth in the sun.

Lonicera x Caprilia Ever 'Inov42' is a compact honeysuckle producing beautiful small clusters of scented flowers with lilac buds opening to orange-yellow in the summer. These are followed by dark blue fruits that persist through autumn and winter, providing a valuable food source for wildlife.

Lonicera periclymenum 'Scentsation' is a more recent addition to the native honeysuckle varieties with large showy clusters of beautifully perfumed ivory and golden yellow flowers in late spring to early summer. These are followed by red berries that are attractive to small birds.

Lonicera fragrantissima also known as winter honeysuckle, is a deciduous/semi-evergreen climbing shrub ideal for brightening up your garden in winter and early spring. Fragrant, creamy-white flowers appear on almost leafless branches, and are sometimes followed by dull red berries.

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' produces beautiful, small fragrant clusters of orange-red tubular flowers with bright orange throats in summer. The flowers are unscented but their vivid colour makes up for it with a beautiful display, and are followed by orange berries in the autumn.

Finding the Right Containers

Knowing how to choose the right container for your garden comes down to two factors: size and depth. Consider the root system of the species you're planting, and ask yourself if you're working with a climbing plant that has roots that grow downward or a creeping plant with roots that tend to spread out in a wide berth. A lot of planters make the mistake of focusing solely on water drainage when setting up their container gardens, and while proper planter irrigation is important prevent the roots of your climbing plant from getting overly wet and rotting, so is picking the right size, shape, and depth.

3. Passion Flower

Photo ivy
Photo ivy

For a truly exotic display look no further than the passion flower (Passiflora caerulea), providing you're able to position it in a warm part of the garden and reliably provide frost protection.

The passion flower is a truly unique climber with dark green leaves accompanied with fragrant white flowers, flushed with purple blue and pink shades, varying on individual leaflets around a central display of purple tinged filaments. When grown in a sheltered area it also produces orange-yellow egg-shaped fruit.

Ideal for a tropical planting scheme in milder parts of the country. An alternative to growing passion flower permanently in the border is to 'plung' a container-grown specimen into the ground in the border over the summer, then lift the container our of the ground for over-wintering in frost-free conditions.

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4. Ivy

Photo Independent
Photo Independent

English ivy, also known as Hedera helix or branching ivy, is a self-clinging climber which spreads rapidly by aerial roots, without requiring a support structure once established.

It's great for covering a large wall area very quickly and creating a homely, cottage feel but also looks stunning cascading over the side of a container or hanging basket alongside colourful annuals.

Ivy is an unfussy grower that will succeed in anything from full shade to full sun and is able to withstand periods of drought. It is also pest and disease resistant and fully hardy, although remember that plants in containers do not always survive cold temperatures as well as the same variety planted in the ground.

Just be aware that it can become invasive and will drown out everything in its path if you're not careful, so keep it away from other container grown plants to prevent it from taking over and killing them.

5. Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper has large, bright green leaves that turn deep crimson, delivering beautiful autumn foliage colours. It is easy to grow, tough and unfussy - thriving in sun or shade and reasonably drought tolerant.

When grown in the border it can be fast-growing and become invasive when mature, spreading by self-clinging aerial roots. It will naturally grow more slowly within the constraints of a container but you should still be prepared to keep it in check.

Similar to ivy, avoid growing it too close to other plants so it can spread without drowning out the competition. It may need to be lifted and re-planted in fresh compost every few years.

Prune using shears to prevent Virginia creeper from taking over unwanted spaces where its not wanted, like windows and lofts. Spring is the best time to prune but don't put it off if required to control growth.

Climbing Plants vs. Hanging Plants

Suspended basket with vines and leaves hanging over edges

Containers should also be sturdy enough to support the upward weight of their climbing plants as they grow. Some planters may tip as your plant gets taller and more substantial. For instance, Chinese Wisteria is an amazingly beautiful plant and can spice up any area, but it’s also surprisingly heavy, and the larger it grows, the more strain will be put on your container. You should look for a container that has room for an added support system, or even one that’s got a built-in trellis in place.

Alternatively, you can transform your climbing plants into hanging plants by suspending your containers and skipping the trellis. Virginia creeper, for example, is a fast growing vine that can quickly climb a trellis and reach for the skies or beautifully spill out of a hanging planter with cascading blooms.

6. Trumpet Vine (Campsis)

Campsis is a perennial vine famed for its exotic-looking trumpet shaped flowers produced in shades spanning reds, orange and yellows all summer long and into the autumn. It flowers most prolifically when grown in a sunny spot, ideal for attracting wildlife such as hummingbirds to the garden.

It spreads via self-clinging aerial roots, meaning it will not require a support structure once initial training is complete. Trumpet vine is fast growing and will quickly cover unsightly walls or fences, but it can become invasive when mature so needs to be regularly kept in check to prevent it from spreading to unwanted parts of your home and garden.

The best time to prune is spring or autumn, but don't put it off if required to keep growth under control. If allowed to take over, Campsis can be very difficult to get rid of. Water only as needed and do not fertilise.

The woody vines are usually strong enough to endure winter while other growth may die back in cooler parts of the UK, returning again in spring.

7. Climbing Hydrangea

Photo Den Garden
Photo Den Garden

Climbing hydrangea produce clusters of dainty white flowers throughout the summer. Slow growing at first, becoming faster growing with age, they will thrive even in shady, inhospitable parts of the garden.

Spreading by self-clinging aerial roots, climbing hydrangeas have oval, almost heart shaped, dark green leaves, turning a rich yellow and delivering beautiful autumn foliage colours.

It's important to keep climbing hydrangeas well watered until they are established. They flower on the previous season's wood, so if you need to prune them back this must be done in late autumn or early spring to avoid restricting the flowering display in the following year.

Maintaining Your Planters

Climbing plants in pots supported by trellis

It’s time to start changing your landscape with some lovely climbing plants in containers around your home and garden. As each plant is unique, you’ll want to make sure you're giving them all proper care as the begin to grow taller over time. For instance, any plant in a container will dry out quicker than those planted in the soil. If you've suspended any of your planters, a good way to check the moisture levels in them is to try and lift them a bit with your palm. A damp and heavy feel means that there's a good amount of water in your soil, but lightweight or chalky-feeling soil means that it may be time to water. Before long, your climbing plants will be the envy of all your neighbors.

8.Patio clematis

Clematis ‘Amethyst Beauty’ is one of a new type that is suitable for growing in pots around a small obelisk or tepee support. This variety will flower all the way from the base right up to the final height of around 1.8m, from early to late summer, with large velvety purple-red blooms. It’s also a cinch to look after – simply cut all stems back to about 15cm from the base in late winter or early spring.

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9. Flowering maple

Photo Pinterest
Photo Pinterest

Abutilon megapotamicum is a deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub that prefers a warm, sunny, south facing wall, or to be grown in a container that can be taken inside over winter to protect it from frost. It’s worth the trouble for its beautiful hanging lantern-like flowers of red outer calyx with yellow inner petals, which draw the eye throughout summer and autumn.

10. American wisteria

Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’ is a super compact new wisteria, which unlike other types will flower in its first year and can be grown in a large container. In late spring and early summer, it will burst forth with many clusters of scented lilac blooms, and has been known to repeat flower later in the season too.

11. Morning Glory

Photo The Spruce
Photo The Spruce

This vine is very popular because of its extremely attractive and pleasant look. Growing Morning glory is easy. This climbing plant is low maintenance and does not require constant care nor constant observation.


Photo Insight Greece
Photo Insight Greece

This is one of the greatest climbing plants for containers. It is beautiful, attractive, decorative and above all controllable. It will make your outdoor space very colorful and joyful. You can thin it to keep its size under control. However, this plant does not tolerate cold. You should protect it in winter.

13. Moonflower

Photo Gardener Know How
Photo Gardener Know How

This is one of the most amazing climbing plants for containers. This vine that blooms beautifully at night has also an extremely pleasant scent. Besides, it looks absolutely adorable with its heart-shaped leaves and elegant white flowers. You can use it to decorate your indoor and outdoor space. Make sure that you provide it with morning sunlight to grow.

14. Wisteria

This is one of the most ornamental climbing plants for containers. Wisteria is a popular vine because it is very beautiful and alluring. It is able to transform any garden into an extremely delightful place. Wisteria needs a very large container to grow. You should also provide it with support. For more information about growing Wisteria, check out this article.

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15. Common Jasmine

Photo HGTV
Photo HGTV

Common Jasmine is one of the best pleasant smelling flowers. It releases an extremely strong and nice scent. Common Jasmine or Jasminum Officinalis is an easy to grow climbing plant. You can grow it to decorate your place with its elegant chic look. It is an evergreen that bears flower year round. To grow this gorgeous plant in a container successfully you will need to provide it with warmth and a well-drained soil.

16. Confederate Jasmine

This is one of the strongest Jasmine plants. It is a drought-tolerant plant that can grow in hot and humid weather. Just like other jasmine plants, it prefers a hot climate and requires exposure to sunlight. You can grow it both indoors and outdoors since its height does not exceed 20 feet long.

17. Climbing Rose

Climbing roses are beautiful decorative plants. They are very attractive and their rosy smell is quite sweet. You can grow climbing roses in containers but you should keep in mind these plants are not low maintenance. They require care and attention.

18. Black-eyed Susan

This is an extremely low maintenance plant that you can grow in containers easily. Black-eyed Susan is a colorful climbing plant that can grow up to 2 meters if provided with the right growing conditions such as access to sunlight.

19. Dutchman’s Pipe

Photo Gardener Know How
Photo Gardener Know How

The Dutchman’s pipe is an unusual plant. It has an extremely exotic look. If you want to have an outstanding container garden, you should definitely grow this vine. However, it should be noted that this plant’s flowers have an unpleasant smell.

20. Butterfly Pea

If you want to add a tropical touch to your container garden, you should definitely grow Butterfly pea. This tropical vine can be grown in containers. But, it needs a large one and support to climb on.

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