Here at Roseville Farm’s Clematis.com, we give you the information you need to be a successful Clematis grower. Simply follow our straight forward advice and enjoy the absolute, unmatched beauty that is Clematis, “The Queen of the Vines”!
Bloom development starts in the bud phase of the plant. Buds are forming weeks before they enlarge and open into flower. In the period that the buds are forming, extreme weather can impact the outcome of the first few blooms. This can include extremes in heat, water or the shock of a heavy fertilizer application.
Some varieties of clematis have a tendency to fewer stems than others, but in many cases this is created by our pruning habits. Every type 1 and 2 clematis benefits from being pruned hard at least 1, or even 2 times in the first year in your garden, semi permanent or permanent container. The time to do this is when growth seems to be stalled, or immediately after those long awaited first blooms. It is better to do this in the spring and early to mid summer. In the fall it is better to let the plant go into dormancy with the stem(s) left unpruned.
For clematis that continue to have one stem, even if they have been pruned as directed, it is important that as the first flush of blooms wane in the first few seasons to continue to re prune the plant. Remember to fertilize the plant after you prune.
For clematis that do not respond to your efforts, we suggest landscaping around the plant’s tendency.
Check our planting how tos and make sure that you are planting your new plants at the correct depth and angle to create health and more stems from the get go on new clematis additions.
Clematis are a beautiful flower on their own, but can be absolutely stunning when paired with other flowers. Here is a list of clematis/rose combinations, paired in both harmonious and contrasting examples, that work very well.
Harmonious Rose and Clematis Combinations
- Pink roses and clematis ‘Ilka’
- Red roses and clematis ‘Minister’
- Light yellow roses and clematis ‘Pink Climador’
- Cream roses and clematis ‘Hakuba’
- White roses and clematis ‘Eyres Gift’
- Pink roses and clematis ‘Piilu’
- Deep pink roses and clematis ‘Pink fantasy’
- Deep pink roses and clematis ‘snow queen’
- Red roses and clematis ‘Phyllis’
Contrasting Rose and Clematis Combinations
- White roses and clematis ‘Huvi’
- Yellow roses and clematis ‘Silmakivi”
- Orange roses and clematis ‘Reiman’
- Red roses and clematis ‘Candida’
- Pink roses and clematis ‘Fireworks’
Clematis make an ideal cut flower. The delicate look of the flowers is a contradiction to their suitability for cuts. Clematis stems are fibrous and not easily damaged. In addition, this allows them to rehydrate easily. Most cut clematis will open bloom from buds indoors, and flowers will stay fresh for up to 10 days or longer.
When growing clematis with an eye to being able to cut the flowers, it is good to keep this in mind as you train your stems in early spring. While naturalized, scrambling stems can be used for cuts in lower arrangements, a straighter stem is sometimes easier to work with.
Train the stems you are planning to use for cuts on thin, 5 or 6 ft. bamboo canes. These are available at garden centers. Clip the stems to the canes, tie the stem with something soft and secure like a strip of fabric, or horticultural velcro that can be cut to size works well. By keeping the stems separate and not tangled, it will be easier to harvest longer stems for cut flowers.
Both flowers and flower buds can be cut. Place them in water, and use a product to extend the life of cut flowers in the water of your arrangement.
Growing Clematis in Winter
Excessive moisture on a dormant clematis is something to avoid, so consider this when you decide what to do in the winter with your container grown clematis.
In winter, clematis containers can be moved to a more sheltered position against the house, behind a hedge or moved indoors to a garage in order to protect the flower from the elements. For heavy containers that are not suitable to move easily, bubble wrap can be used around the container, and a burlap or horticultural fleece over the plant itself.
In many climates there is no need to move or protect the containers. Excessive moisture on a dormant clematis is something to avoid, so consider this when you decide what to do in the winter with your container grown clematis. In many climates, there is no need to move or protect the containers. For containers that you cover, in late winter, inspect the plant and if the soil is dry, you can water the plant lightly or layer some snow on the soil in the container.
Growing Clematis in Spring
In the spring, replenish the soil by removing the top 4 inches of soil and replacing it with the planting mixture that you prefer. Periodically (every year or two ) for clematis growing long term in containers, unpotting the plant and changing the soil is recommended. This is an opportunity to move the plant to a larger container if necessary.