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Clematis is one of the showiest vines. With many types of shapes and colors, these plants look wonderful climbing any kind of structure. Bloom time ranges from late spring to fall depending on the type and variety. With proper planning, it’s possible to have clematis blooms throughout the growing season. You can even plant these vigorous vines alongside woody plants like roses, trees, or shrubs to act as a living trellis and add a “second bloom” to otherwise dormant plants.
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Part Sun, Sun
From 3 to 20 feet or more
Climbs from 3-20 feet or more, depending on type
garden plans for Clematis
Clematis is known as one of the best perennial vines for your garden. Whether it's summer-blooming clematis with large, showy blooms or fall-blooming varieties with hundreds of smaller petals, these vines make a stunning statement. The most common clematis are the open-face blooms that reach as large as 7 inches across. Blooms also come in small, bell-shape blossoms with recurved outer petals that dangle like little lanterns. Some blooms have a pleasant fragrance. The seed heads' swirling masses of fluffy seed add another kind of interest. Clematis are among the most beautiful flowering vines on the market.
Clematis Care Must-Knows
Clematis is an easy-to-grow perennial vine as long as you keep a few things in mind. In general, clematis prefers full sun, but there are a few varieties that manage in part sun. An important thing to note: In full-sun conditions, clematis prefer cool roots, so plant clematis at the base of another plant to provide some shade to the root areas. Clematis prefers well-drained soil and consistent moisture. Certain species are more drought resistant and can handle dry soils better than others.
Bloom time of clematis varies depending on the species. Many new varieties are rebloomers, but most of the older types will only bloom during one season of the year. However, even after blooming, clematis flowers still add interest to the plant. As the seed heads mature, they expand to become fluffy balls that look pretty dried in floral arrangements. Some varieties can become invasive in a garden setting, so deadhead bloooms to prevent overpopulation of clematis.
Pruning clematis is quite simple. There are three main classes of clematis when it comes to pruning: Group 1, 2, and 3. These group numbers tell you how to prune your clematis. To start, no matter what group number you have, it's always a good idea to give new plants a good pruning in spring during their first year.
In future years, Group 1 plants will bloom on old wood, so if needed, prune them right after blooming. Clean up these plants a little bit in early spring, but remain cautious—any live growth you remove before bloom is potential flowers you just cut off. Simply cut off dead wood.
Group 2 plants bloom on both new and old growth. Typically, most of their blooms will be in spring, but they will also put on another in fall on new growth. You can do some mild pruning in early spring with this group, especially removing dead wood. Any major work should be done just after the primary bloom in spring.
Group 3 plants all bloom on new wood only. These plants are easy and can be cut back every spring to about 8"-12" above the ground. If you don't cut Group 3 back each spring, plants can become overgrown and unruly.