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Plants in Tubs and Pots

Facade plants in pots are an alternative to normal/classical earth planting. In principle, all climbing plants can also be cultivated outdoors in pots or tubs, especially continuous bloomers. We've even dedicated a separate section just for potted vines. Often, the cultivation of perennial plants in containers is a compromise, because they don't produce the desired foliage density, flowers or fruits, and overwintering is not straightforward. Also, due to their reduced growing power of potted plants, easy or light kits (wire rope climbing systems) are often sufficient.

Mandevilla are ideal pot plants for outside

Plant Pots and Tubs

The plant pot should have a capacity of at least 10-30 litres, have good drainage (to prevent any stagnant moisture) and be protected during winter. A shaded spot (as shady as possible) will be best for the pot. It needs a water drain-- a bed of drainage gravel or similar, as many plants don't like to have "wet feet." That is why there shouldn't be any saucers under the pots either! On wooden decks/balconies, it is best to prop the pot up on some bricks to avoid potential water damage to the wood. Topsoil or a mixture of equal parts sand, clay, and compost make for the the best soil. A layer of regularly renewed mulch can prevent the soil from drying out.

Grapevine in a pot, bamboo trellis with espalier clamps
Potted plants: here, standard grapevine
Grapevine on a balcony before the winter pruning, insulated with a bag filled with autumn leaves
Winter protection for potted plants
Grapevine in a pot
Grapevine as a potted plant
Honeysuckle on wire rope, with groundcover
Greening in plant pots

Winter Protection

Many damages in winter are not caused by the cold, but rather by drying out of the soil, because one forgets too easily that the evaporated moisture needs to be replaced by slight watering of the plant. Take note: evergreen plants (e.g. some climbing roses) transpire (evaporate water) and draw water from the pot in winter! 

 

The best winter protection is provided when potted plants are watered moderately again after the leaves have fallen and then placed in an earth pit (hole in the ground) covered thickly with leaf litter, straw or pine branches, so that only a bit of the stem structure sticks out. From March / April the pots can be placed back in their usual spot.

 

As an alternative, the pot can be wrapped up in bubble wrap or something similar, in order to reduce heat spikes from solar radiation, which may trigger in the plant a false feeling of rising soil temperatures and the 'beginning of spring.' However, this packing/insulation cannot prevent the pot from cooling down to the ambient temperatures during particularly cold nights. A grapevine, for example, which wasn't weighed down with too much fruit, can tolerate temperatures up to -20º Celsius.

 

Please Note: overwatered plants can freeze and burst. It is important not to water the pots too heavily! 

Hops
Hops in a pot
Annual Morning Glory
Plant pot with Morning Glory