Clematis for the balcony: planting tips and proven varieties


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You love clematis, but unfortunately do not have a large garden, but only a balcony? No problem! Many proven clematis varieties can be cultivated in the pot just as well. Prerequisite: The vessel is big enough and there are a few important aspects of care. Here are the most important things at a glance.

Proven clematis varieties for the pot

In principle, every clematis in the pot can be cultivated on the balcony. Some species and varieties are simply too high. For example, it is difficult to plant in a pot a mountain clematis (Clematis montana) climbing up to five meters, as the vessel would have to be very large to ensure the necessary stability - unthinkable on a balcony. In addition, the larger a clematis becomes, the higher its nutrient requirement. The earth in the vessel would therefore be quickly drained. For this reason, you better fall back on low-end species and varieties. After all, you may also want to move the pot sometimes, for example, to move it to the protective wall in winter. It is best to choose a clematis no taller than two meters. Because the higher the clematis, the more stable the trellis must be, which also has to fit into the pot.

Prince Charles

'Nelly Moser'

Classics like 'Prince Charles' (left) and 'Nelly Moser' (right) also feel comfortable in the pot

Anyone looking for a clematis for the pot will find many suitable candidates. For example, there are numerous varieties of Italian clematis (Clematis viticella) that thrive well in buckets and do not grow too high. Among the Integrifolia hybrids, there are also some that feel very comfortable in the pot, such as 'Durandii' or 'Alba'. Even lovers of the Texas Clematis (Clematis texensis) do not have to renounce popular classics such as 'Princess Diana' or 'Etoile Rose' - these only just over two feet high becoming varieties also enchant in pot culture with its elegant, tulip-shaped flowers. Many of the large-flowered hybrids - 'King's Child', 'Nelly Moser', 'Prince Charles', just to name a few - can also be cultured in the pot on the balcony. And: Even species and varieties that are sensitive to frost and whose planting in the garden always involves a certain risk, are suitable for a pot culture - provided you can leave them in a sheltered place in winter.

The right pot for the clematis

A sufficiently large pot is the nuts and bolts, if you want to keep a clematis in the pot on the balcony. Here, the bigger, the better. We recommend vessels with a volume of at least 20 liters. When selecting the pot, keep in mind that the clematis pulls the nutrients out of the substrate surrounding the roots. The small plastic pots, in which Clematis are offered for sale, tempt to choose a vessel that is only slightly larger. If one chooses the pot too small, the substrate is not only quickly drained: the higher the clematis becomes, the more unstable it becomes even when the pot is very small. And the more soil there is in the pot, the better the roots are protected from frost and drought. When choosing the pot, make sure it's made of a durable material so you do not have to repot your clematis too often. Pots made of light materials such as terracotta or wood are the most suitable because they do not heat up as quickly as, for example, black plastic pots. Because: As a plant of the forest, the clematis prefers a cool and damp foot.

Plant clematis

For your Clematis, choose a pot with a volume of at least 20 liters, in which the plant and climbing frame have sufficient space

Planting and care tips: How to grow the clematis on the balcony

At the bottom, add a drainage layer of expanded clay to the pot to prevent waterlogging. Although clematis prefer a rather moist substrate, standing wetness does not mean them at all. If necessary, drill additional drain holes in the pot. So that the irrigation water can drain well, it is advisable to put the pot on small feet. For your Clematis, use a structurally stable, humus rich substrate, such as high-quality potting soil, into which you place the plant a little deeper than it used to be in the original pot. Choose a sturdy climbing frame that approximates the expected height of your Clematis, and secure it securely on or in the pot - nothing is more annoying than a strong gust of wind that tears the scaffold and half clematis out of the jar! Since clematis prefer a shady root space, you can also add some perennials or summer flowers in the pot - but only to the edge of the pot, so that the roots do not come into the enclosure.
Since clematis prefer a fresh to moist substrate, regular watering is essential, especially during the summer months. To meet the high demand for nutrients, you should provide your Clematis with some liquid fertilizer about every two to four weeks. As far as the pruning is concerned, the cutting rules for the various Clematis species must be observed.

Hibernate clematis in the pot

Even winter hardy clematis need some protection on the balcony during the winter months. Here it is important to ensure that the root ball does not freeze. Therefore always place your Clematis on small coasters, for example made of clay. This will prevent the plant from getting cold feet. Wrap the pot with a coir mat or fleece. Smaller pots should be placed close to the house wall to protect them from cold winds. Large specimens that are no longer easy to move should also be covered with some leaves or brushwood.

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