Clematis Care

  1. Clematis Vine Varieties That are Perfect for Shady Areas


    Clematis vines are great additions to the landscape as a flowering vine, but there are so many different varieties to choose! No need to fret if you have a shady area; some varieties will flourish in shade. Whether you're trying to grow the vine up a trellis or around your mailbox, here are six clematis vines to plant in that shady location.

    Clematis Avant Garde - Clematis 'Evipo033'   For a plant that adds a surprising pink punch to your yard, consider using Avant Garde. It can reach heights of up to 10 feet tall in perfect conditions, and is often covered with two-tone pink flowers up to two inches across, reminiscent of dahlia blooms. Thriving in zones 4-9, Avant Garde will be sure to make any shady spot pop with color.

      Clematis My Angel - Clematis 'Engelina'    Boasting the traditional 4-petaled shape clematis is known for, My Angel is a stunning vine. It's purple-tinted vine sports 1 ½ inch flowers in the summer that are yellow on the inside and red on the outside. As the seeds start to develop, they form a fluffy seed head. Ideal for zones 4-8 and best grown with a support system, My Angel will cover any structure in one season, even in the shade.

        Clematis 'Patricia Ann Fretwell'Clematis Patricia Ann Fretwell Blooms   Patricia Ann Fretwell is a clematis variety that is incredibly unique: not only is it a double flower, but it also blooms twice in one year! In May, Patricia Ann Fretwell blooms on the old wood, and then come September, it blooms again. Its blooms are nothing short of extraordinary either. The outer petals are reddish pink that fade at the edges. The inner petals are barely pink but have a dark pink stripe in the center. They are nothing short of extraordinary. Best grown in zones 4-9, Patricia Ann Fretwell is a clematis you need to have in your yard.  

    Clematis Petite Faucon - Clematis 'Evisix' Clematis Petit Faucon Multiple Blooms   One of the more petite clematis on this list, Petite Faucon's size should not be cause for concern. With four purple petals that twist, the flowers bloom twice a year, once in May on old wood, and once in August on new wood. With the flowering as wide-spread as it is, there is an incredible contrast between the purple flowers and the white fluffy seed-heads you can enjoy all season long. Known to thrive in zones 3-9, this clematis needs a support trellis, but will quickly cover it and be the star of the show.

    Clematis Ville de Lyon - Clematis 'Ville de Lyon' Clematis Ville De Lyon Many Blooms   Red flowers will call attention to any plant in the landscape, and Ville de Lyon is no different. Red flowers reaching up to 6 inches in diameter bloom in spring, and then rebloom in late summer, providing a bright pop of color to an otherwise tired landscape. Even though a trellis is essential for best results, Ville de Lyon will be sure to please, especially in zones 4-9.

      Clematis Vyvyan Pennel - Clematis 'Vyvyan Pennel' Clematis Vyvyan Pannell Multiple Blooms   Given the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Merit, Vyvyan Pennel is a show-stopper of a vine. 8 inch double purple blooms in May give way to smaller violet flowers in August.  Even though it requires a trellis system to support it, Vyvyan Pennel will thrive in zones 4-9 without a problem, even in shady locations.


    Any of these clematises will add that pop of color you're searching for, even in the shady spots. Don't delay in purchasing one ! You won't regret the brilliant colors and growth habits of these vines.


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  2. Growing Clematis And Roses Together

    Clematis And Rose Flowers

    From Rhonda Fleming Hayes, a Master Gardener and contributing writer for Nature Hills Nursery.

    The rose is probably the most well-known, well-loved flower in the garden. Clematis is called "queen of the vines". Such is the beauty of these two flowers; they can hold their own in any landscape. Combine them, and the effect is magical. I first saw this done while living in England. The British are masters when it comes to roses. Rose plants aren't left to stand alone with their bare legs exposed. They are integrated in the herbaceous border or underplanted with perennials like lavender or lady's mantle in formal beds. Their climbing roses often intermingle with twining clematis.

    Weaving climbing roses and clematis together can be done in several ways. They can be chosen to bloom one after the other to extend the flowering season, one picking up where the other leaves off. Even better they can be coordinated to bloom simultaneously.

    The arbor that marks the entrance to my kitchen garden is a perfect example of rose-clematis compatibility. The deep pink rose "Zepherine Drouhin" climbs up to join hands with the glistening white clematis "Henryii", then cascades back to earth. "Zepherine Drouhin", an old Bourbon rose literally perfumes the air at the height of bloom. Nearly thornless, I don't mind ducking through the branches to enter my garden. After its late spring show I prune back the few unruly canes for a tidier look through summer. Both plants then bloom sporadically through the season with a smaller encore in the fall. Some other combinations worth trying; honey-scented "Climbing Iceberg" with deep red clematis "Niobe" for dramatic contrast, or the pale pink climber "New Dawn" with deeper pink "Carnaby" in a monochromatic blend. Both "Climbing Iceberg" and "New Dawn" are hardy, vigorous climbers known for their disease resistance. Winners of merit by the Royal Horticultural Society; "Niobe" and "Henryii" quickly fill out with dark green foliage that requires little pruning.

    Every year after it seems to explode with blooms, my husband remarks that my rose-clematis arbor is out of control. I just think it's out of this world. The brown thrasher's nest on top is icing on the cake

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  3. Dividing Clematis

    Dividing Purple Clematis

    Dividing clematis is one form of propagation of the plant. Dividing clematis consists of taking one plant that has grown well, and dividing it at the roots into two or more plants. These plants can then be transplanted to different areas of the garden to spread beauty elsewhere. When dividing clematis plants, it is important to know what species the clematis is. Different clematis will bloom at different times, and thus division must be done at different times as well.  Dividing clematis at the wrong time will hinder new season growth, limit blooms and has the possibility of even killing the plant.

    Observation of the growth cycle for a few seasons is the best way to determine when division should occur.  The best time to divide clematis is just before new growth will appear, and after the plant emerges from dormancy.  When this time is reached, often in late February or March, the plant should be dug up and dirt should be cleared away from the root system.

    Many clematis plants are climbers, and will be stuck to a fence or other such medium. It is best to simply cut the plant off, leaving at least three to four good buds per stem.  Once the stems have been trimmed, the jumble of roots should be divided and each plant made should have an even amount of root.  Now, take the separate plants and transplant them into the garden wherever desired. Ensure that the plant will get lots of full sun and water.  It is best to plant the newly divided plants deeply into the soil, to give the weakened roots more protection from drought.

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  4. Growing Clematis

    Growing Clematis

    Growing a clematis vine is a fun and easy activity for any gardener. Clematis are relatively easy to care for, if the proper conditions are given. Most clematis require full sun near the top and cooler shade near the base. Clematis also need a good amount of water in the soil, and the level of water should be consistent throughout the growing season. The best thing to do when growing clematis is to mulch heavily near the base of the plant. This will allow the soil to maintain moisture and also provide shade for the root system.

    When growing clematis, the proper time and method of planting will make caring for the plant much easier. Clematis react to the different seasons of the year in much the same way as bulbs, meaning that whenever the ground is workable, clematis can be planted.

    When planting, first you want to dig a whole that is twice the diameter of the root ball and a few inches deeper than the height of the root ball.

    Make sure that you have a trellis or some sort of support that your clematis vine can climb up as it grows. Next you will want to place the root ball in the ground and make sure that you are covering about 2 inches of the base of the vine stock with dirt. This will help to avoid diseases that are common with clematis. Finally, you can lightly back fill the hole evenly making sure that the vine is on or going to grow towards the support or trellis.

    Now you can sit back and watch your vine climb and produce its beloved flowers. However, in mild regions, a planting of clematis in the fall will result in a more robust root system and an easier to manage plant the following growing season.

    Another important aspect of growing clematis is how and when to prune. Pruning clematis differently will result in different bloom times and quantities. Clematis should all be pruned in late February to March, removing any dead or weak stems. Care throughout the growing season will then differ depending on how and when the particular clematis blooms.

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  5. Clematis Pruning

    Pruning Clemantis

    Clematis Plant pruning is the most important factor when considering how and when a clematis will bloom. Pruning clematis improperly will never kill the plant, however it will likely delay the bloom. Not pruning the plant at all will allow the plant to bloom, but proper pruning will cause more and longer blooms. All clematis should be cut back the first early spring after planting. After this, the time and amount of pruning depends on the type of clematis being grown.

    Pruning clematis that flower only on the previous year's growth should consist primarily of waiting until blooming is finished in May or June.  At this time, any weak or dead stems should be cut out.  When pruning clematis of this type later than June or pruning too much, will severely limit the amount of blooming in the following year. Clematis pruning of the second group, consisting of varieties that bloom on hardened wood from the previous season and varieties that bloom on both current and previous year's growth, begins in early spring with a light pruning.  When pruning, variations in stem length will produce a better-balanced plant.  Any weak or dead wood should be removed at this time as well. Pruning clematis that bloom only on the current years growth involves the plant being cut back in late February to two strong sets of buds close to the ground on each stem.  This will result in plants that begin a bloom near the base, and have flowers sporadically up the height of the entire plant.

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