Clematis in pots?

Asked March 15, 2019, 10:46 PM EDT

Last fall I planted several clematis in large pots, necessary because I want to grow them up columns which sit on a paver patio. I chose two “bulletproof” varieties, Montana Frida and evergreen jasmine...pictured. Neither are dead nor doing well although the jasmine appear ready to pop with several blooms even though the leaves have a lot of brown. At plant nerd night, I was told clematis don’t like to be in pots!

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Clematis may grow well in containers, if you choose the correct types. These choices, though, are robust and not usually recommended for growing in pots. This doesn't mean it can't be done, but will be challenging to keep adequately watered, fertilized, and repotted into larger containers. Some plants resent the heated soil at the roots as well, if containers are in sun.
Your plants won't bloom together many years. This year especially, leaves are late to emerge on many plants. So, don't assume the 'Freda' died in the cold yet.
The Rogerson Clematis Garden in Lake Oswego is a great place to visit and learn more about the plants. There are open days when volunteers are available to answer questions about the best plants for your situation, and how to work with your plants if you choose to keep them.

Thank you for your response. Is there any material I can add to the existing pots that might help the plants health?

I’ll include a link to OSU Extension’s basic soil, fertilizer and repotting information for containers. If you are worried about the browning on the older Evergreen Clematic ‘Freda’, I find it is fairly normal. The leaves are considered evergreen, but older ones still shed-out. It maybe more pronounced growing in containers. I’m not sure what pruning advice to offer, either, as these aren’t usually grown this way. Container growing information: The information on evergreen Clematis mentions pruning needs. If you’ve seen large, old, unpruned plants (my neighbors have one) you understand.