6 Fabulous Flowering Vines to Grow in Containers

morning glory
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Many beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering vines grow well in containers. Most are true annuals or warm-weather perennials grown as annuals. If you happen to live in a warm-weather climate, there are also perennial vines that can work well for large containers on a deck or patio, such as clematis.

Container-grown vines are best planted in a moist, general-purpose planting mix, and in a fairly large container. If you don't want your vines trailing down out of the pot, you'll 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 a structure 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, like a colorful teepee. You can also place vining plants in containers against a wall to which you've attached a trellis for them to grow on.

Here are six great choices for a flowering vine for your container gardening.

  • 01 of 06

    Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

    Passion Flower
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    Passion flower is a perennial vining plant, an all-time favorite flowering vine. The flowers are stand-out gorgeous, a little like a cross between a flower and a spaceship. Passion flowers range in color from red to white, including gorgeous blues and purples. Many of the vines can grow 15 to 30 feet very quickly, grabbing onto trellising with thin tendrils. Passion flowers will bloom all season, though each beautiful blossom lasts only about a day. 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 to train the vines.

    Passion flowers require good drainage and are heavy feeders, so they need regular fertilizing during the growing season. Depending on the variety, these tropical plants need to be brought inside during winter in colder climates.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 12
    • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, pink, white, red
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • 02 of 06

    Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea, Convolvulus purpureus, etc.)

    Blue Dawn Flower/Morning Glory (Ipomoea acuminata, Ipomoea indica)
    Simon McGill / Getty Images

    Morning glory is the common name given to a large number of flowering plant species in at least 10 different genera, all in the plant family Convolvulaceae. The morning glories planted in the garden are most commonly the annual species Ipmoea purpurea, Convolvulus purpureas, and their cultivars. This is the common blue-purple morning glory most of us recognize, though cultivars offer additional colors, such as pink and red.

    There is something old-fashioned yet contemporary about morning glories. Easy to grow from seed, with heart-shaped leaves and abundant and luminous flowers, morning glories are perfect for containers. Morning glories prefer full sun but will grow in partial shade. The vines will reach 5 to 15 feet, depending on the variety, so provide a tall trellis. Morning glories are very easy to plant from seeds in containers. Seeds are best started indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before last frost, then transplanted. Be aware that morning glories are considered invasive in some areas because they self-seed so profusely.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11; this plant is a true annual
    • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, white, pink, red
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Consistently moist, well-drained soil.
  • 03 of 06

    Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea sloteri)

    Ipomoea quamoclit (Cypress vine). Tropical plant in the form of a star white, scarlet and pink
    undefined undefined / Getty Images

    A relative to the morning glory, the cardinal climber is another beautiful annual vine. It flowers during the daytime and closes up in the evening. The 2-inch 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. Like the morning glory, it can become invasive. Dry soil will cause the plant to perish, so keep it moist.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11; this plant is a true annual
    • Color Varieties: Red, with yellow or white throats
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil
  • 04 of 06

    Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)

    flowering black eyed susan vine
    liveslow / Getty Images

    A tropical perennial vine normally grown as an annual, black-Eyed Susan vine planted in a pot creates a profuse blanket of green foliage dotted with small bright spots of color. They are easy to grow, cheerful, look great, and flower all summer long. Growing from 5 to 10 feet long, this vine prefers well-draining soil and needs to be fertilized during the growing season.

    Black-eyed Susan vines look particularly stunning in tall, narrow pots with a rustic trellis. They 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.

    • USDA Growing Zones: Perennial in zones 10 to 11; grown as an annual elsewhere
    • Color Varieties: Yellow, salmon, bright orange, white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

    White Morning Glory Flowers
    Ellenmck / Getty Images

    Moonflower is a warm-weather perennial vine that is usually grown as an annual. It looks similar to morning glory, with heart-shaped leaves on vigorous vines, but this plant blooms only at night. The large, white flowers unfurl after the sun sets or on cloudy days. 

    Preferring full sun, in some areas moonflowers will tolerate partial shade. As with morning glories, be careful not to over-fertilize. Moonflowers are easy to grow from seeds, but they need to be started indoors six to eight weeks before planting outdoors.

    • USDA Growing Zones: Perennial in zones 10 to 12; grown as an annual elsewhere
    • Color Varieties: White
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil
  • 06 of 06

    Mandevilla (Mandevilla × amabilis or Dipladenia x amabilis)

    Mandevilla Pink
    AlecOwenEvans / Getty Images

    This plant is a warm-weather perennial that is normally grown as a container plant that is moved indoors and outdoors with the seasons. The flowers of mandevilla are beautiful and pinwheel-like. The plants are very fast-growing and flower profusely for the whole growing season. Planted as an annual, they grow 4 to 5 feet in a single season; as a garden perennial, they can achieve 20 feet in length. 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 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Very closely related to Mandevilla, and often confused for it, is the Dipladenia vine. They may even be sold as the same plant in some garden centers. Dipladenia plants are slightly more shrubby in appearance, with smaller leaves that are a deep glossy green. Both plants are grown the same way and can be used for similar purposes in containers.

    • USDA Growing Zones: Perennial in zones 10 to 11; grown as an annual elsewhere
    • Color Varieties: Pink with yellow throats
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil

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