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I've started growing in pots, which I've not done before, so I'm hesitant about pot sizes. How do I find out about the "appetite" or "voracity" of plants? I've seen wall-covering bourgainvilliers growing out of 12inch pots in France and quite voluminous shrubs similarly here in GB. I'm planning to begin with climbing roses and clematis. Any help with this would be much appreciated.



Roses are hopeless in pots - you might get away with a small rose such as Korresia in a large pot, but climbing roses are a no no, they like to put down really deep roots and they just can't do that in pots.

Clematis though is possible, but bear in mind you should only choose the smaller varieties (The President, for instance) not species (which get too big and won't do well in pots) and that any you do plant will not reach their full potential in terms of height and spread, even in a pot 2 feet deep by 18 inches wide.

There are rules about plants growing in pots - even if you know that Pieris you've chosen has an ultimate height of 10 feet in the ground, and will obviously need a large pot, you must not plant out into a large pot straight away - any pot you use should only be about 2 or 3 inches bigger all round than the current rootball size, and the plant should be potted on into larger containers as it grows. For large shrubs, eventually, use the largest pots you can find. In terms of aesthetics, if you're using lots of pots, its better if you can stick to just one or two types in terms of materials and colour - a haphazard collection of variously coloured pots in different materials can look really messy.

30 Jul, 2016


I have a dahlia growing in a 12 inch pot on my patio. I must water it 3 times per day just to keep it alive. Tuberous begonias do well in pots and those smaller ornamental plants are OK in pots. The larger plants/shrubs guzzle so much water, they become a tiresome chore to maintain in pots.

30 Jul, 2016

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