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Overwintering Clematis in container?

Posted by rodco zone 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 2, 11 at 17:47

I just picked up 32 Clematis plants in one gallon containers at Lowes. The original price was $34.95 and they were on clearance for 20 cents each. I could not pass up the deal.
I don't have any place to plant them this fall.
How do I winter them over in the pots?
Should I cut them back?

Pittsburgh , PA Zone 5

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

to overwinter them in pots in your zone you should dig holes and bury the pots to insulate them. Mulch will help too. You can cut them back after frost causes them to lose their leaves, you don't want to encourage any growth while they are still green.

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

Lucky you!!

B or S is right about needing to bury pots to protect them from temperature extremes and freeze thaw cycles. I have found that if I bury the whole pot in soil, I often have drainage difficulties when the soil in the pot freezes and then just the surface melts, floods and refreezes during what is referred to as "mud season" in this part of the country. I guess if you have a slope you could bury them in soil there so that any melt water will drain away. I usually bury pots to the rim in mulch that won't pack down, most often wood chips or shavings since it seems to allow better drainage. I usually give the surface of the pots a lighter layer of mulch as well. I've heard of other folks putting all their pots in one area and surrounding them with bagged leaves. Since I live in a really cold area where it rarely thaws until spring, my goal is to keep things from heating up and going through more freeze-thaw cycles, so I usually put them where they have a northern exposure and so get no direct sun. I've heard others in slightly warmer areas who place them near a warm foundation to prevent freezing. I guess you have to figure out what will work best for you to prevent freeze-thaw cycles which are likely to damage your plants.

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

I have my clemtis in container and I bring it to the inside of the garage and winter it there each year. I once a month give it a little water. In spring I always repot it and give it fresh Soil. I live in Zone 6a

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

  • Posted by ditas z 4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 14, 11 at 10:58

I have this past gardening season added Roses & Clems late in Summer & decided to keep some in pots as I studied the best-exposure/permanent placements, as well as over-wintering. I sank some in soil.

I've been getting different ideas on this matter about my 3 potted Clems ~ nhbabs thank you for reminding me about the damaging effects of freeze-thaw aspect of over-wintering outdoors.

I have just rediscovered & put together just yesterday, a plastic folding pen (3ftx12ft grands used outdoors as I gardened) I surrounded w/ indoor-outdoor carpeting material & will top w/ landscaping shading-fabric & will dump clean dry Autumn leaves in. I guess I'll have to move my Clems/roses Winter/holding-dock to a Northern exposure side of the patio! Sorry for the litany!!!

My ? ~ will it hurt the Clems to be sequestered there this early w/ temps still in low 40s to low 50s so far here? TIA!

Many thanks again for reminder!

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

  • Posted by ditas z 4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 21, 11 at 12:03

All 3 potted Clems are now in the holding pen but not yet pruned. I was told by a nursery person not to surround w/ the bags of collected leaves until the cold temps is sustained to freezing & just have them at the ready!

Will keep fingers cross!!!

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

  • Posted by ditas Z 4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 5, 12 at 10:37


Just checking in to report great news ~ it helped that Winter past was kind (tho too little snow) & Spring is for the history book ~ quite early!!! All 3 potted Clems are zooming quite happily at this point!!! Am still debating on the ideal sites for them before they latch on to the temp wire trellises I provided!

Great season ahead!!!

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

I have my Madame Julia Correvon in a whiskey barrel sitting outside all winter long. All I do is place a few boards over the pot to keep snow and ice from sinking into the pot and place a tarp over the whole thing, keeping it down with a couple bricks. Comes through with flying colors all the time! It's doing great even now! But I can't move that container lol! Too dang heavy!
Otherwise just place in an unheated shed or garage overwinter, you can't insulate with several bags of leaves around the containers too.

RE: Overwintering Clematis in container?

  • Posted by ditas z 4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 19, 12 at 0:33

Every single one of my 12 Clems have budded except SAC & Blue Bell despite the bit of frost-bites from a few overnight hard freezes last week. Ramona even did the honor of unfurling 1 bud first!!!

Problem: Snow Queen & Ramona are showing yellowing/mottling leaves just when the buds are plumping up good. I have Fertilome for iron deficiency is it ok to treat w/ all the buds ready to open soon? Soil solution treatment or Spray solution on leaves ~ what would be better?

TIA ~ appreciate response soon, before all leaves turn to yellow ~ thanks again!!!

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