Clematis plants are long-living perennial plants that can be vines or bushes depending on the type that you have. They are often referred to as “the Queen of the vines” since there are over 300 species of Clematis and hundreds of hybrids (Source). Knowing your climate zone is important when choosing a Clematis plant. They are also classified according to blooming times. There are spring bloomers, repeat bloomers, and summer/fall bloomers.

There’s a lot of gorgeous applications of Clematis- check out this Wisteria and Clematis combination:

wisteria and clematis on cottage wallHere’s another example with Clematis hanging over a window of a brick home:

clematis above a window on brick building

Care of your Clematis

1. Soil Parameters – As with any plant, the care of the plant must be within climate zone parameters. There is a wide range of plant tolerances and temperature and soil requirements – different usually for each different variety. They enjoy partial to full sun in most cases. In general, Clematis plants like moist, well-drained soil which is neutral to slightly alkaline in pH. If your garden soil is acidic, then try some limestone or wood ash to make it less acidic. Your holes for your new Clematis should have granular fertilizer and good compost worked into the soil well.

2. Support for vines – since the delicate vines are climbing, you need a support structure of no more than ½” in diameter and it might also require some trussing during the season to support vines and allow for spreading. Usually, a fishing line or twine works well for this purpose.

3. Pruning – It is important to know the pruning class so that you know where the bloom sites are on your plants:

  • Group 1 – Spring bloomers grow on old wood and should be pruned as soon as the flowers fade to encourage new flowers for the next Spring.
  • Group 2 – repeat bloomers grow on old or new wood and require selective pruning in the Spring, cutting out dead or tangled vines; then deadhead and carefully prune again after they have flowered. If the vines have been neglected for a time, a total cutting down to the bottom structure may be necessary.
  • Group 3 – Summer/Fall bloomers grow on new wood only and should be pruned severely in early spring (about 12 inches from the ground).

*Source

Varieties of Clematis

Spring Blooming

1. Spring blooming varieties are native to Siberia and northeastern China which have extreme weather conditions. These are quite hardy plants and can grow in climate zones as low as 3. Spring bloom varieties fall into 2 main groups: Clematis Alpine and Clematis Macropetala.

Clematis Alpina

The Clematis Alpina variety is lace-work vines with light green leaves and bell-shaped, pendulous flowers that attach to luscious white stamens. If you are looking for simplistic white blooms, the ‘Buford White’ is a favorite, but if a blue ranging from pale blue, blue, and sky blue you might want to look at the ‘Pamela’, ‘Frankie’ and ‘Frances Rivas’. If color is what you desire, the ‘Willy’, known for a pale pink with white center blooms, the ‘Constance’, which produces reddish-pink flowers, or the ‘Ruby’, which has a blush, pink flower.

Clematis Macropetala

The Clematis Macropetala variety of spring-blooming vines are much more opulent, double flowers resembling a ballet dancer’s attire. This multitude of beautiful, bell-shaped flowers is gorgeous in any garden. The blooms range from white as in the ‘White Wings’ version, ‘Maidenwell Hall’, which has double lavender/bluish blooms, and the ‘Markem’s Pink’ which has semi-double pink blooms.

Summer Blooming Clematis

Clematis Heracleifolia

2. Summer blooming varieties such as Clematis Heracleifolia doesn’t vine rather it is a woody bush. Blooming in late summer (or possibly early fall), they need to be cut back since the blooms only grow on new wood.

Clematis Recta

‘Clematis recta’, which grows erect, native to Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe, are shrubs rather than vines or bushes. They are likely found next to woodland areas. Climates include 2A to 24. The ‘texensis’ variety (also known as ‘Texas Clematis’) works well in very sunny conditions (such as the Edward’s Plateau in Texas) and is extremely hardy and drought tolerant. This variety is widely cultivated but only native to Texas. It has a scarlet, leathery flower and is a woody vine.

Clematis Integrifolia

Clematis integrifolia

Another summer bloomer is the ‘integrifolia’ which grows in an upright shrubby mound. It has urned-shaped blue flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer on stream banks and meadows in China, Russia, and Europe.

Late Summer/Fall Clematis

Gypsy Queen Clematis

3. Late Summer/Fall bloomers are usually hybrid varieties. One such award-winning hybrid is the ‘Gypsy Queen’ which has large, velvety, purple flowers with dark red stamens. A vigorous climber, it was introduced in 1877 and won the “Award of Garden Merit” from the Royale Horticultural Society. Blooms open as a dark red then change to deep velvety violet.

Star Of India Clematis

‘The Star of India’ is another relatively low maintenance, woody vine. It has plum flowers, red centers with yellow stamens and it also attracts hummingbirds. ‘Comtesse de Bouchard’ is another award-winning hybrid with large pink flowers with a bit of lavender in contrast to the yellow stamens. This is one of the most popular and well suited for trellis, walls, and fences.

Bees’ Jubilee

Other Clematis Varieties

White Swan

The white-flowered clematis ‘White Swan’ was bred in England in the late 1800s. It was named after a famous racehorse that won a number of races. The white clematis flowers are deeply fragrant and can grow to a length of 8 feet.

Rosy O’Grady

In order to make your home planet healthier, plant a tree. Rosy O’Grady is a clematis that blooms a few times a season, but it’s worth it. The scent is light and sweet, like roses, but with a hint of something else, something wild and green. It’s a little like walking through a rosary garden in summer.

Maidwell Hall

Maidwell Hall Clematis is a beautiful clematis vine that grows up to six feet high and blooms in early summer. It’s best planted in full sun and well-draining soil.

Ivan Olsson

My favorite flower is a clematis, either the pink-and-white Ivan Olsson. I love them because they’re so simple and delicate, yet so strong. Nelly Moser is a type of clematis that can be pruned into amazing shapes. The species was discovered by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1832 and was named after his mother, Nelly Moser. If you’ve ever seen a moonlight clematis in bloom, you’ll understand why they’re also known as “curtain vines”. The blooms form long, cascading clusters that look like they’ve been hung in front of a window — hence the name.

Nelly Moser

Nelly Moser is a clematis vine and it smells like a cross between a freshly baked cake and a sweet summer breeze. Nelly Moser is a type of clematis that can be pruned into amazing shapes. The species was discovered by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1832 and was named after his mother, Nelly Moser. Nelly Moser is a clematis of great beauty. It grows very quickly and can reach a height of 6m, climbing up trees, walls, and fences. It is a deciduous climber, and the flowers are large and bell-shaped. They have a slight fragrance. It’s a fast-growing plant that can quickly cover an arbor or pergola. It’s also an excellent choice for vineyards because it provides cooling shade for the grapes in the summer.

Moonlight

The moonlight clematis, also known as Clematis Albiflora, grows in a variety of colors, from white to pink, and has a small, trumpet-shaped white flower. The white flower has a yellow center, and each blossom is about the size of a nickel. Moonlight is a beautiful variety of clematis and it’s one of the most popular varieties. It’s a very fragrant variety and you can also use the flowers to make a delicious tea. As a plant, moonlight clematis has a lot of great qualities. Moonlight Clematis is a vine that will grow and climb over anything. It will grow through trees and it will grow over fences. I love it because it’s easy to grow and it’s a gorgeous white flower. It’s great for cutting and bringing inside in the fall and winter.

Bluebird

Bluebird clematis (Clematis Orientalis ‘Bluebird’) is a vigorous vine covered in small, star-shaped, blue flowers in early summer. It’s an excellent choice for growing on a trellis, a pergola, a wall or a fence, and it’s a great choice for growing up a tree. Bluebird clematis is a lovely climbing vine that’s great for growing up and over walls and fences. It flowers from early summer to late autumn and has gorgeous blue flowers that contrast with its green and purple foliage. Bluebird clematis is one of my favorite types of clematis because it’s very hardy, even in colder climates. They’re very easy to grow and they produce huge, fluffy, blue blooms in the summer.

Constance

Constance is a really great clematis to start with. It’s easy to grow, it’s evergreen, it flowers year-round, and it’s super floriferous. You’ll get very long stems of white flowers that are just stunning. Constance clematis is a lovely hardy climber that is great for beginners. It is a good choice for a shaded border because it grows best in cool conditions and it is happy to grow on a fence or arbor. Constance clematis is a climbing vine and is native to China. The plant produces clusters of small white flowers. Constance Clematis has a very long flowering period and is perfect for growing up a wall or around a pergola. It has pale pink flowers and is perfect for adding a bit of color and scent to your garden.

Purpurea Plena Elegans

The Purpurea Plena Elegans Clematis (a purple climbing clematis) is my favorite flower. It’s a perennial and blooms in the spring and summer. The Purpurea Plena Elegans Clematis is a gorgeous plant and can be a great addition to your garden. The Purpurea Plena Elegans is a flowering perennial plant known for its intricate, double-flowered clusters.  Purpurea Plena Elegans is my favorite clematis and it’s the one I recommend for those who aren’t sure about the upkeep of a clematis. It’s extremely hardy, blooms reliably and has a beautiful scent. 

Margo Koster

Margo Koster produces masses of pure white flowers with pale violet tips. This clematis is suitable for growing on a south-facing wall or fence where it will produce masses of flowers all summer long.

Kermesina

Kermesina is a very vigorous and free-flowering clematis. The soft violet-blue flowers are fully double and produced in abundance from May to September. It will grow up walls, fences, pergolas and trees as well as over arches, providing an abundant display of colour all summer.

More Types

  1. Gravetye Beauty
  2. Duchess of Albany
  3. Rouge Cardinal
  4. Viola
  5. Etoile Violette
  6. Jacqueline Du Pre
  7. Ernest Markham
  8. Comtesse de Bouchaud
  9. Henryi
  10. Fireworks
  11. Duchess of Edinburgh
  12. Capitaine Thuilleaux
  13. Blue Ravine
  14. Pamela Jackman

Clematis vines and shrubs are a beautiful addition to any garden, fence, wall, or trellis. Its yields are available in a variety of flower shapes, colors, height, and zealous growth. There are varieties that will fit into almost any climate zone and bloom at different times so you can have beautiful colors from spring to fall. There are many places to find information about the Clematis plant so you can be sure that any variety you pick can be an attention-getter for your garden. Happy gardening!

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