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Clematis

Dundee Fact Sheets

Clematis                                                       Print This Sheet

Clematis

Clematis is the queen of the showy vines. Some varieties flower in mid-June and then again, to a lesser degree in September. Others flower most of the summer. Their huge flowers come in purple, pink, white, and bi-colors. Clematis is traditionally grown on trellises or arbors, but can also be left to sprawl on the ground or over a tree stump.

Clematis vines need sun on their tops, but coolness on their roots. This can be achieved by planting them in a good eastern exposure for full morning sun, or by underplanting with short annuals or perennials in sunnier, hotter locations.

Many books indicate that clematis require lime. Only add lime if soil tests indicate a need. In most cases, the soil pH in Minnesota is neutral to somewhat alkaline naturally and lime is not recommended. Too much lime could cause iron chlorosis symptoms (yellow leaves with green veins). Feed regularly with a balanced perennial fertilizer.

Do not expect too much growth or flowering the first two years after planting.

Clematis problems include the previously mentioned iron chlorosis (also sometimes caused by poor drainage), borers, and root rot. The main concern is a wilt disease which can cause all or part of the vine to suddenly wilt, usually when it is in full bud, during hot, humid weather. The only cure is to prune out the infected parts immediately. If the vine appears to be completely involved, do not despair. If the crown was planted deep enough, it will sometimes regrow from the base.

Pruning is usually a moot point in Minnesota, since the vine frequently dies to the ground in the winter. If this happens, don’t give up on it too early. Many clematis have been pronounced dead only to surprise gardeners a few weeks later. If pruning is required, keep in mind that there are two types of clematis. The ones that flower in mid-June and then again in September, flower on old wood in June. In spring, prune out dead or weak stems only. If the vine is quite leggy, it can be pruned back to 18” immediately after the first flowering. Other clematis flower on new wood starting in June and continuing through the summer. They should be pruned to 18” in the spring.

Mulch with compost for the winter.

2013 Clematis Varieties

AMETHYST BEAUTY

Bloom Color: Reddish purple with red anthers. Bloom Time: May to June; September. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size:6". Height: 6'-8'. Spacing: 1'. Pruning: Prune hard in early spring.

BOURBON

Bloom Color: Vibrant red with yellow anthers. Bloom Time: June to August. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 4"-6". Height: 4'-6'. Spacing: 1'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring.

CANDY STRIPE

Bloom Color: Bi-color lavender with rose-pink bars. Bloom Time: May to June; September. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size:6". Height: 8'-10'. Spacing: 1'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring to shape. Start pruning above first swollen leaf buds, removing only about 12" of a stem and any broken or dead branches.

FLEURI

Bloom Color: Deep purple with light anthers. Bloom Time: May to Frost. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 5". Height: 4'. Spacing: 2'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring to shape. Start pruning above first swollen leaf buds, removing only about 12" of a stem and any broken or dead branches.

GILLIAN BLADES

Bloom Color: White with white anthers. Bloom Time: May to June and August. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 5"-6". Height: 8'. Spacing: 1'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring to shape. Start pruning above first swollen leaf buds, removing only about 12" of a stem and any broken or dead branches.

JACKMANII

Bloom Color: Deep purple. Bloom Time: July and September. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 5"-7". Height: 8'-10'. Spacing: 4'-6'. Pruning: Prune hard in early spring.

KILIAN DONAHUE

Bloom Color: Fuchsia petals edged in orchid pink. Bloom Time: June to July. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 5"-8". Height: 8'-12'. Spacing: 2'-4'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring.

PANICULATA

Bloom Color: White fragrant flowers. Bloom Time: August to September. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 1". Height: 10'-15'. Spacing: 3'-4'. Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring.

PIILU

Bloom Color: Purple-Pink with light anthers. Bloom Time: Summer into Fall. Bloom Type: Often Double Early, then Single. Bloom Size: 3"-4". Height: 6'. Spacing: 1'. Pruning: Prune lightly in late winter or early spring.

REBECCA

Bloom Color: Bright red with yellow anthers. Bloom Time: May to June and August. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 5"-7". Height: 6' - 8'. Spacing: 4' -6'. Pruning: Repeat bloomer. Prune immediately after flowering.

VENOSA VIOLACEA

Bloom Color: Purple/White. Bloom Time: July to August. Bloom Type: Single. Bloom Size: 4"- 5". Height: 8'-10'. Spacing: 3'-4'. Pruning: Light pruning late winter to early spring.

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