Container Size For Bowers Vine
Gardening Question From Molly:
Hello! I’ve purchased 4 15-gallon containers of Pandorea Jasminoides – Bowers Vine – that I want to train onto my wooden fence. I want to upgrade the containers which are currently plastic buckets. Would rectangular boxes work? I have a narrow driveway that needs to accommodate my car, so I can’t go too wide with my container. How many new containers should I purchase and how many Bower vines should occupy 1 container? I’m looking for quick growth. My fence gets all day sun and I’m located in Los Angeles, CA. Thank you!
Answer From Pat:
I am wondering why you don’t plant straight into the ground? As a general rule, large climbers (called “vines” in America) do not do well in containers no matter how large. My advice is to plant your Pandorea vines in the ground or do something different.
You purchased four 15-gallon-size plants, so it sounds as if you want them to cover a fence that is 80 to 100 feel long. This is never going to work well unless you plant the vines in the ground. If you are worried about clay soil, you need to install a large raised bed for each vine but each raised bed only needs to be 6-inches tall in order to protect the roots of the vines from root rot. Fill the lowest four inches with compost-rich soil and leave the top 2 inches of the raised bed for a water basin. Fill the raised bed with good, organic soil and dig straight down from the top into the soil below to make a hole for the vines. Dig about a coffee-can full off soluble gypsum into the bottom of each hole to improve drainage, then refill the the hole with the native soil from the hole mixing it with organic compost so that there is no ‘horizon’ of soil where the compost-rich soil above ground level hits the native soil beneath. Keep a layer of mulch on top as the vines grow. Do NOT put gravel on the bottom of the hole. This mistaken practice will make a submerged “swimming pool” for roots and kill your vines.
Photo by briweldon