Fabulous Flowering Vines for Your Containers

  • 01 of 07

    Choosing Flowering Vines for Containers

    container gardening picture of container garden with passion flower, monkey flower, flowering maple
    Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Many beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering vines grow well in containers. Since you generally don't want your vines trailing down out of the pot, you need a trellis, which you can buy or make yourself.

    An easy way to make a trellis is also quite informal: simply stick small, straight branches into the soil around your plant, creating something the vines can climb. Another idea is to spray paint bamboo poles and then use a decorative zip tie or twine to fasten the poles together at the top,...MORE like a colorful teepee.

    You could also place vining plants in containers against a wall to which you've attached a trellis.

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  • 02 of 07

    Passion Flower

    Passion Flower
    Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Passion flowers (Passiflora incarnata) are all-time favorite flowering vines. The flowers are stand-out gorgeous, a little like a cross between a flower and a spaceship. They range in color from red to white, with gorgeous blues and purples. Many of the vines can grow 15 to 30 feet, and they grow very quickly, grabbing onto trellising with thin tendrils.

    Preferring full sun, most will tolerate partial shade. Passion flowers require good drainage and are heavy feeders so need regular fertilizing...MORE during the growing season. Depending on the variety, these tropical plants need to be brought inside during winter in colder climates.

    Passion flowers will bloom all season, though each blossom lasts only about a day. The foliage is beautiful, too. Prune to keep a reasonable size and make sure your trellising is thin enough for the tendrils to grab onto, or use twine or wire.

    Passion flowers are invasive in some areas, so contact a local extension office if you're not sure whether you should plant them.

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  • 03 of 07

    Morning Glory

    container gardening picture of Grandpa Otts morning glory
    Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    There is something old-fashioned yet contemporary about morning glories. These fast-growing vines rate right up there with most gardeners' favorite plants. Easy to grow from seed, with heart-shaped leaves and abundant and luminous flowers, morning glories are perfect for containers.

    Morning glories come in many colors including white, pink, blue, red, and deep purple. They prefer full sun but will grow in partial shade. The vines will reach 5 to 15 feet, depending on the variety, so will...MORE appreciate a tall trellis.

    Two favorite varieties are "Grandpa Otts" and "Heavenly Blue."

    Be aware that morning glories are considered invasive in some areas because they self-seed so profusely.

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  • 04 of 07

    Cardinal Climber

    cardinal climber

    Related to the morning glory botanically, the Cardinal Climber is also beautiful and will flower during the daytime and fold up shop in the evening. The 2" cardinal red flowers are glorious, but the real show stopper of this plant is the fern-like leaves, which are both interesting and elegant.

    The cardinal vine flowers in mid-summer and needs the sun to flower to its fullest but will tolerate partial shade.

    Like the morning glory, it can become invasive. 

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  • 05 of 07

    Black Eyed Susan Vine

    Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Black-Eyed Susan vines feature a profuse blanket of green dotted with small bright spots of color. They are easy to grow, cheerful, look great, and flower all summer long. They come in several colors ranging from salmons to bright oranges, yellows, and white. Growing from 5 to 10 feet long, this vine prefers full sun and well-draining soil and will need to be fertilized during the growing season.

    Black-eyed Susan vines look particularly stunning in tall, narrow pots with a rustic trellis. They...MORE also work great in hanging baskets. They can sprawl everywhere, and sometimes need some assistance to grow up a trellis.

    Consider mixing different varieties  — the orange and yellow, or orange, yellow and white combined are a great combination.

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  • 06 of 07


    Picture of a moonflower
    Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Moonflowers look similar to morning glories with heart-shaped leaves on vigorous vines, but they are quite the opposite, blooming only at night. The large, white flowers unfurl after the sun sets or on cloudy days. 

    Preferring full sun, in some areas they will tolerate partial shade. Like morning glories, be careful not to over-fertilize. Moonflowers are somewhat drought tolerant and do not need super-rich soil.

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  • 07 of 07

    Mandevilla and Dipladenia

    Mandevilla or Dipladenia
    Photo © Kerry Michaels

    While it is often thought that mandevillas and dipladenias are the same plant, dipladenia is a member of the mandevilla family and is a somewhat shorter and shrubbier plant. Both are hugely popular and widely available and you care for both the same way.

    The flowers of dipladenia and mandevilla are beautiful and pinwheel-like. The plants are very fast growing and flower profusely for the whole growing season. The leaves are shiny green and lovely as well.

    While these vines prefer full sun, most...MORE tolerate some shade. 

    In colder areas, bring them in during the winter, keeping them on the dry side and taking them outside again once the temperatures reach 50 F.