Growing Clematis – The Climbing Perennial With Big Flower Power!

When it comes to perennials with big flower power, growing climbing clematis is near the top of the list.

This vining perennial has loads of big flower power. And it is perfect for adding long-term interest to arbors, trellises and fence lines.

The Ins And Outs Of Growing Climbing Clematis

Choosing The Right Variety

Clematis varieties are available in a huge range of flowering styles, colors and lengths.

growing clematis
Clematis are well-known for their big, beautiful, star-shaped blooms.

Although most well-known and recognized for varieties with gigantic and magnificent star-shaped flowers, clematis vines can also be found blooming in other smaller shapes and styles as well.

And the color of those blooms are wide-ranging and simply stunning! Flowering clematis are available in bright hues of purple and lavender, to pink, red, white and yellow.

And with the different varieties and colors come different blooming times.

growing clematis

Some clematis bloom in the spring or fall, while others shine bright right in middle of summer. There are even a few that flower more than once!

And the growth of vines can vary just as much.

Some clematis grow upwards of 25 feet or more in length. While others only reach 2 to 4 feet when fully mature.

So as you can see, when it comes to growing climbing clematis, the choices are many!

growing clematis
The Piilu Clematis with its soft, frilly blooms.

Finding the right variety really comes down to choosing the best vine to fit your need and growing zone!

We include a few top choices at the end of the article, but lets take a look at how to best plant and maintain healthy clematis plants.

Growing Climbing Clematis – How To Plant and Maintain Healthy Plants

Choosing The Right Location

Clematis need full sun to bloom at their maximum capacity. So choose a location that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Nearly all clematis varieties are climbers. Picking a location near a fence, wall, arbor or a pergola allows them to climb and best display their showy blooms.

growing clematis
Clematis are perfectly at home on a trellis or arbor.

When planting near a structure, make sure plants will still receive enough sun. Do not plant where the structures posts or overhang completely shades the plant.

On larger structures, you may need to install wire fencing or mesh to allow the vines to climb easier.

Planting Clematis

For starters, clematis prefer rich, fertile and well-drained soil to perform at their peak.

As a perennial, it is important to provide the planting space with plenty of nutrients for their long-term survival.

growing clematis
Growing climbing clematis – Young plants are tender, so be careful not to break off shoots when planting.

Dig planting holes two to three times the size of the root ball, and amend the soil with generous amounts of compost.

Plant the crown about an inch below the soil to allow the root system to become better established.

Clematis prefer the soil to be more on the cool side, so mulching is a must. For best results, mulch to a depth of at least 3 inches with hardwood bark or shredded leaves.

Growing Climbing Clematis – Long Term Maintenance

Other than water and mulch, clematis needs very little care for the first year or two after planting.

Mulching during the growing season helps keeps plants cool. And winter mulch keeps the roots protected from harsh freezing and thaws.

This climbing clematis makes a stunning addition to this fence.

During the first few years of growth, pruning is usually unnecessary. The plants use this time to establish strong roots.

But depending on their variety, once mature, clematis need to be pruned differently, and at varying times of the year.

Clematis that bloom from the previous year’s growth should be pruned in late summer after blooming.

On the other hand, clematis varieties that grow up new from their base each year can be pruned to around 12″ in early spring. All before the new growth begins to appear.

So what are some of the best climbing varieties to grow?

Below are three great clematis varieties to get started with. Each has a corresponding plant link for more information. And if you are looking for more climbing perennials, check out our article : 4 Great Climbing Perennials

growing clematis
The President – A deep purple clematis with blooms from mid summer to fall.

Tie Dye Clematis

The Tie Dye has huge 6″ dark silver and purple blooms. Tie Dye is hardy in zones 4 through 8, and grows to near 10 feet in length. Blooms in the summer months and thrives in full sun. Plant Link : Tie Dye Clematis

The President Clematis Vine

When it comes to growing climbing clematis, this is a beauty! Hardy in zones 4-8, with deep purple blooms from June through September. Grows to 8 to 10 feet. Plant Link : The President Clematis Vine

Piilu Clematis Vine

Hardy Zones 3 through 8, this heavy blooming clematis vine thrives in full sun. Blooms with pale, pinkish flowers and tops out around 6′ tall. Plant Link : Piilu Clematic

Here’s to growing a little climbing beauty in your backyard this year!

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