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Calling all helpful Honeysucklers...

bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
I'm about to go out and buy a honeysuckle for my south facing roof terrace. It gets sun all day and is fairly exposed. Brutally hot on a hot day. Very blowy when it's windy.
It will be grown in a pot.
The ambition is to get it growing up round the the roof terrace door but also around the railings of the roof terrace to provide a little privacy and shade along the ground.
My questions are...
Will the honeysuckle grow to the extent I want it to in a pot? If so what would be the minimum pot size required?
Will it train itself along the railings or will it only go upwards?
Are there any honeysuckles that are better suited to my needs than others?
My roof terrace is tiny. I would love to buy a pot that is very rectangular so it doesn't impinge on the little floor space I have. Does this in any way impede growth? I'm thinking I need to get as much earth for the honeysuckle as possible to give it the best chance to grow and spread. But something round and wide will just get in the way. Is pot shape important?
Also, is there such a thing as a very long deep rectangle pot, and if there is, should I consider buying a couple of honeysuckles in it, one to be trained up the wall, the other to train along the fence?
I attach a pic of the area I'm intending to plant the honeysuckle for reference.
As always, any help is gratefully received.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,030
    I’m so sorry to have to say this because I love honeysuckles and I understand why you want one … but that site is totally unsuitable for a honeysuckle … and the majority of them are very unhappy in any but the very largest of containers. They are plants of damp woodland fringes and ditch side hedgerows. They need a deep damp cool rootrun at their feet and their heads in the sun. The reflected heat from the bricks will be too much for a honeysuckle. 

    I’m sorry … but perhaps the combined wisdom of the members here can suggest another climber that will give your terrace the look and feeling you yearn for and will be happy with the conditions you can provide. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
    Very helpful, thank you. Yes, I dream of something that will climb and spread and provide a bit of shade along the railings but won't mind a medium pot and a tun of sun!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,030
    Given that you probably don’t want to be out there in the winter (given the wind etc) what about trying some of the annual climbers .., you could even try some runner beans … they were first introduced to the UK as an ornamental flower garden plant.

    Hopefully some folk will have more suggestions …

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,030
    Maybe a new thread asking for suggestions for climbers for a sunny spot and happy in containers?  This thread will only attract the honeysuckle growers …

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,029
    edited July 2022
    I agree with @Dovefromabove I am afraid, I grow lots of plants in pots very successfully but my major failure is climbers and particularly honeysuckle it’s just impossible to keep the roots cool and moist enough, they get mildew and look awful. 
    With a big pot, and I mean half barrel at least you could try one of the less vigorous climbing roses? 
    There are clematis bred to grow in pots but I would say always go as big as possible with your pots and whatever you grow prepare for lots of feeding and watering. 
    Best of luck.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,915
    I think the suggestion of annual climbers is a good one, that way you can ring the changes each year. Roses need a fair amount of care, feeding, watering and tying in etc. but if you're happy to do that it could look very striking.  I'm just a bit worried about the wind.

    On the other hand if you only want the colour throughout the main Summer months annuals might be the way to go. You could use the pots for bulbs maybe, to give you colour in the Spring, say dwarf narcissi that won't get to battered by the wind.
    Garden Centres might still have some climbing annuals left that they're selling off. If you have the means, you could try growing climbing annuals from seed yourself next year perhaps. 
  • bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
    Your comments as always are most helpful and I thank you for them. I ended up getting a Virginia Creeper which I'm hoping will take along the railings. Something nice and abundant to provide a bit of shade and privacy. And then I will start another thread on what can grow up the door in the same pot. 
    If growing something in the same pot starts alarm bells ringing do let me know!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,030
    You're going to need another pot ... a Virginia Creeper isn't going to share ... !!!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
    I bought a more rectangular pot with the thought of a Virginia Creeper at one end and another climber at the other end. The thought being I would train the Virginia Creeper off to the right along the railings and the other climber could grow straight up and over the door. Do you think I'm being too hopeful here? I know the creepers are abundant but I wondered whether some strict training would help. Here's a pic...

    PS how the heck do I make these pictures portrait???
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,003
    @bapw163 I have never known anyone grow Virginia Creeper in a pot. I looked after one many years ago in the ground, one year it climbed up to the top of the house and wound around the gutter. It is easy to pull from a wall but in my opinon not for a pot. I know you are trying to think of something but the bigger a plant grows the more it needs to spread out it's roots.
    Turning photos on this web site is almost impossible so carry on sideways no one minds at all.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
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