Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Clematis – no matter how you say it, they’re beautiful
CLEM a tis or cle MAT is? Technically, it’s the first one, but any way you say it, Clematis are beautiful. They also require a little knowledge before purchasing. When do you want to see the flowers and when would you like to prune?
Clematis – Niobe 2 yrs old
The color of this clematis is deeper than the photo shows. It’s amazing! This is said to be a Group 3 clematis but it started flowering, as you can see, already… I would call this early summer. It’s this plant’s 2nd year and the first time it’s bloomed! This can be pruned in early Spring. It climbs on it’s own with tendrils that wrap around.
Group 1 aka A – sets flower buds in July for flowers in Spring the following year. They flower on old wood (new wood is the first year growth). That means any pruning should be done AFTER they flower but before July. They have the smallest size flowers.
Clematis ‘Freckles’ – Group 1
Group 2 aka B – there are 2 subgroups B1 which flowers twice a year in May/June and in September. B2 flowers continuously from June into September. They both flower on old and new wood so pruning should happen late in Spring after the first flush of growth to take out dead or weak wood.
Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’ – Group 2
My garage clematis which is a Group 2
Group 3 aka C – this group is the latest clematis to flower starting in July to September. They flower on new wood only. Prune out all the old wood in early spring so the energy goes to growing new wood which means more flowers.
Clematis that came with my home.
The above clematis was buried behind some old arborvitae that HAD to be pulled out!! I THINK this might be Clematis Etoile Violette but I’m not certain. I’ve done nothing to it, no pruning, no nothing except give it some structure to climb on. It’s been 4 years! [just goes to show that sometimes you can just leave well enough alone!]
Clematis ‘Barbara Harrington’ 1st year
The Barbara Harrington is just starting to bloom this year.
Clematis ‘Avant Garde’ Group 3
There are MANY choices of Clematis. Be sure to plant so that you can keep the roots cool. Mulch the roots or you could plant a groundcover right over the planting. The flowers like sun. Clematis really are stunning on trellises, fences and arbors.
The clematis durandii (group 3) doesn’t climb but lays across shrubs, trees or whatever you have it near. This plant was laying over some arborvitae when we moved into the house. I took out those evergreens (they did NOT look good anymore) and found an extra piece of plastic lattice. The flowers are so beautiful that I didn’t want to lose it so I secured the lattice and wound the vine up through it. Planted some hosta around it and there ya have it!
Clematis – durandii