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Clematis – the Queen of the Vines

Whether scrambling up trellises or climbing over arbors, Clematis, known as Queen of the Vines, has aptly earned her title. With large, lavish blooms coming in a number of different colors, the most popular being shades of purple, every gardener should have the pleasure of growing a Clematis.

Clematis is much easier to grow than people think.

Clematis is a perfect addition to add vertical interest if you have limited space, when you can’t go “out”, go “up”, and is just as impactful when you have plenty of space for gardening. It can be grown in a garden bed, along an outside wall or even in a patio container, and will reward you with blooms in spring or late summer. And because it is a perennial, it will come back more beautiful year after year!

The key to success is making sure you have the right variety for the right location.

With so many varieties of Clematis to choose from, mature growth sizes range from 2’ to 30’ tall. With such a wide range in sizes, make sure to check the mature growth on the variety you choose to fit the location you have in mind. Aside from size, color and bloom differences, all Clematis need warm sun on their foliage and cool shade on their roots. This Queen of Vines will thrive in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. To keep the roots cool and help conserve moisture be sure to mulch a few inches from the crown.

Providing support for your vigorous grower from the beginning is a must.

As a climber it is vital to plant your Clematis near a trellis, obelisk, arbor or fence. Garden twine is a great aid to help them grab and grow onto your structure as they begin to climb. Then watch as they climb and intertwine to create a beautiful, natural wall.

Wondering if and when you should prune your climbing queen?

Clematis does extremely well after pruning and can grow back even more vigorously. On all varieties, throughout the season, be sure to snip off spent blooms as well as any dead or damaged vines. Pruning is an especially important part of winter care. As a general rule, in late winter, prune the Large Flowering Hybrid and Late Flowering Clematis varieties back to about 2’ to 3’ above the crown of the plant then wait and watch the show start in spring. 

Note: Although not as common, Early Blooming Clematis should only be pruned after they bloom in the spring as they bloom on ‘old wood’. 

Looking for an extra breath-taking floral display in your garden?

If you are looking for a breath-taking floral display, consider adding more than one variety of Clematis on the same trellis or even combine climbing Roses into the space! Clematis and Climbing Roses are perfect companions. When pairing climbing Roses along with Clematis, both will happily share and climb the structure. The Roses provide a beautiful fragrance while the Clematis foliage and flowers provide a lush backdrop. 

Are you ready to add this Queen to your garden? We are too!


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