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Clematis Plants and How to Grow Them

Updated on June 18, 2017
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie was an elementary school teacher for 13 years, teaching grades 3-5. She is now a Library Media Specialist in an elementary school.

Vibrant Colors


The Clematis

The clematis has been around since the 1800s. Today there are more than 300 varieties of clematis. They are perenials, returning year after year, growing larger and covering more area. Easy to care for, clematis have become a favorite for many gardeners all around the world. Clematis come in a large variety of colors. They can be red, multi-color, white, purple, magenta, pink, blue, lavender, cream, gold, and brown.

According to Paradise Garden, an online mail plant catalog, "Beautiful, graceful, and extravagant bloomers, clematis in the garden adds impact, style, and color. As long as their roots are shaded and their faces are in the sun, clematis will climb over almost anything! (Some varieties can even reach 30'!) Their stunning flowers climb over doorways and fence rows and lend a fairy tale air to even the most basic of gardens. Perhaps that's why clematis are often called the Queen of Flowering Vines!"

Showcase Clematis with a Trellis "Looks great. Easy to assemble. Highly recommend it." 5 stars

Healthy Clematis


How to Plant a Clematis

Planting a Clematis is very easy to do. Follow the steps below:

  1. Find a space where the clematis plant will get rain when it falls. This should be in a sunny spot, however, the base of the plant should have some shade provided from other plants.
  2. Have a climbing structure in place. It can be a sturdy metal or wood trellis, or the plant can be placed near a post, railing, or wall. Clematis will climb on other plants or trees as well, without causing damage as their vines are delicate and light.
  3. Similar to tomato plants, it is suggested to plant clematis close to the crown of the plant, to encourage new growth. This means you would plant it deeper into the soil than most plants. Remove the leaves at the base of the plant.
  4. Most gardeners suggest adding bonemeal to the soil, providing nutrients to the roots making the plant stronger.
  5. Watering often is necessary in the beginning to ensure the plant will thrive.

Established Clematis


How to Care for a Clematis

The clematis is very easy to care for and maintain. Follow the steps below for a healthy clematis plant:

  1. According to experienced gardeners, the clematis can be pruned any time of the year. The fall is probably the least stressful on the plant.
  2. The clematis does not require constant watering, however, it will thrive if the roots are not allowed to dry-out.
  3. Over fertilizing can cause the leaves to fall off, so be careful and minimized fertilizing times.

Clematis in a Pot


Different Types of Clematis

Visit, a wonderful new website dedicated solely to providing visitors with information about the many varieties of clematis.

Several online sites sell a huge variety of clematis. Check out Brushwood Nursery, offering the following categories of clematis: large-flowered clematis, small-flowered clematis, and non-vining clematis.

Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. offers "semi-shrubby, partially-vining, and little-known clematis plants, many of which are native to the US (including North Carolina). These clematis are great as individual specimens as well as for weaving harmlessly through a shrub or small tree."

Growing Tips for the Clematis

Here are a few easy-to-follow tips for growing a clematis successfully:

  • Provide a supportive structure for the clematis to grow on.
  • Plant in loose, well-prepared garden soil.
  • Provide a thin layer of mulch around plant, not more than an inch.
  • Position plant so that the base of the plant is in the shade. (Plants around it will provide the shade it needs near the base of the plant).
  • The clematis will grow well in full sun.

Blue Clematis



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    • profile image

      Roger 2 years ago

      I put for broken clay pots around mine it also works as a toad house

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for stopping by Glimmer Twin Fan. I've been lucky with my clematis plants more than anything, as I don't always find success with a whole lot of outdoor plants. It may have more to do with the weather in our area. I know also that some varieties of clematis are much easier to grow than others. Take care.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for this. With the exception of one clematis that was the type that did not die back to the ground, I never have much success with clematis and I wish I did. I have seen so many beautiful ones. I move the one I have and still no luck. Pinned so I can refer to this.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks eugbug. I have three of them and they are all in bright sunlight, planted deeply, and do have plants around them providing some shade for the roots. They do tend to look weathered after several hot days, because I do not water them as I should. However, I am always happily surprised to see them return year after year. :)

    • eugbug profile image

      Eugene Brennan 4 years ago from Ireland

      I have never been successful growing clematis. Probably because where I grow them, the roots are shaded by trees and are too dry.

      Useful info and voted up!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for reading moonlake. My sister has a white clematis and it is gorgeous. Before writing this hub, I didn't realize there were so many varieties - I will be getting more. Take care!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I love Clematis. My white clematis are so pretty this year. I have more getting ready to bloom. Really enjoyed your hub and voted up.