Fabulous Flowering Vines for Your Containers

container gardening picture of Passion Flower, Monkey Flower and Flowering Maple
Photo © Kerry Michaels

Many beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering vines grow well in containers. 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 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, like a colorful teepee. You could also place vining plants in containers against a wall to which you've attached a trellis. This will encourage the vines to grow up the wall. 

  • 01 of 06

    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. 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 during the growing season. Depending on the variety, these tropical plants likely need to be brought inside during winter in colder climates.

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

  • 02 of 06

    Morning Glory

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

    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 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 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.

  • 03 of 06

    Cardinal Climber

    cardinal climber

    Related to the morning glory botanically, the Cardinal Climber is also beautiful and will flower during the daytime and close up in the evening. The two-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 and needs the sun to flower to its fullest, but will tolerate partial shade. Like the morning glory, it can become invasive. 

  • 04 of 06

    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 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.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06


    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.

  • 06 of 06

    Mandevilla and Dipladenia

    Mandevilla or Dipladenia
    Photo © Kerry Michaels

    While it is often thought that mandevillas and dipladenias are the same plants, 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 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 degrees Fahrenheit.