Growing Clematis

Purple Clematis
Clematis vines are available in many varieties, with flowers in differing colors and sizes. Most are perennials, although there are a few evergreen varieties. These beautiful flowering vines can be a great addition to most gardens. This is a page about growing clematis.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
February 22, 2006
Purple Clematis

Botanical Name:


Life Cycle:

perennial climber

Planting Time:

spring or fall


height depends on support (12" to 24"+)


full sun to light, afternoon shade


average well-drained soil


zones 3 to 9

Bloom Time:

mid to late summer


red, pink, yellow, purple, blue and white


green leaves on vine



Suggested Use:

trellises, lampposts, mailboxes, wood or metal pillars, arbors and fences

Growing Hints:

Prepare site in advance by digging a deep, wide hole (one foot deep by 18 inches across for most potted transplants) and add in some compost. Set the Clematis into the center of the hole and cover with soil so that the crown of the roots is 3 inches below the surface. Water thoroughly and cover with 2-3 inches of mulch to keep their roots cool and moist. Plant Clematis in a location where the soil around their roots can remain shaded by other plants while they climb toward the sun. They like to keep their "heads in the sun and their feet in the shade."

Interesting Facts:

Clematis do not wrap their stems around a support while they climb. Instead, their leaf stems reach out for objects to wrap around-preferably structures made from wood or metal pieces less than 1 inch across.
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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
May 25, 2017

I recently showed you a picture of the Niobe clematis. It has been in constant bloom since that time. It has just about stopped blooming. Another is taking its place.Clematis Elsa Spath - violet clematis with lighter purple stripes on petals


Pictured here is clematis Elsa Spath, ready to give a nice display for a few weeks.

I use to be of the impression that all clematis bloomed once in early spring and that was that. I've since learned that different clematis bloom at different times. Some varieties bloom early spring, some mid spring, and some late spring. Some early and mid summer.

Among these, many will bloom several times. By knowing the bloom times of the clematis you purchase (or those given to you by Dougs around the world), you can have a continual display of blooms all spring, summer, and a bit into early fall.

I also learned that if a clematis is cut back hard after blooming, (almost to the ground), it can be forced to give another flush of blooms almost equal to the first.

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June 8, 2005

The theory that clematis like their feet cool and their head in the sun is true, so be sure to put several inches of mulch at the base of the vine.

Taking Care of Clematis

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February 23, 2012

Years ago I was told by my mother to give my clematis 1 cup of lime and 1 cup of garden fertilizer each year. She grew everything well, and now I have beautiful long growing clematis.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 15, 2019

These two clematis are growing beside each other. The one is healthy and the other one is dying off. I'm just wondering if it is normal for the one to be dying off so early.

There is some new growth on it, but it's looking terrible.

Clematis Dying Back - one of two clematis plants dying back
Clematis Dying Back


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 15, 20190 found this helpful

Not sure where you are located, but you may have some kind of fungus that is causing that browning.

Too much rain (if you are experiencing that) can be one cause. Somethings there are just fungus among us (sorry...I had to go there). Fungus can look like white powder or green powder or even brown powder (at least all those I have experienced look that way. It is gross and I avoid touching it--so use gloves when you work with the sick plant).


The best solution is to cut it all back and look for the source (usually near the roots).

Our Penn State home extension office always says to apply a fungicide to the source. I don't use them, and prefer to wipe the plant down with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Over the years I have been able to save some plants, and I have lost some. I don't do chemicals whenever possible so I am OK with what I do and my outcomes. That is just me.

You could always call your local home extension office and see if there is something specific they recommend.

Post back with an update!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
August 15, 20190 found this helpful

I feel that you have some older vines and newer. You have some that bloomed much earlier and the older is dying back.Clean back the older ones and let nature take it's course!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 15, 20190 found this helpful

There may be insects or a disease on one. I would use both an insecticidal soap and a fungicide

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July 26, 2014

When is it safe to move a clematis to a place in the garden?

By Shirley from Ontario


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

The spring would be the best time to do this. After moving, water it well.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Where I live (NY) we do all our planting in the fall

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March 31, 2019

Where should I plant a clematis. Should it be facing east? On the ground where it faces east, there are a lot of snails. I put the plant with planter there and last night it was surrounded by snails.

I don't want to put out bait because we have cats and dogs in that area. What do you suggest?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 1, 20190 found this helpful

They like a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Use eggshells to discourage the snails.

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March 20, 2012

I am looking for growing tips for clematis vines.

By Ed


March 28, 20120 found this helpful

This will show you step by step how to grow them.

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October 8, 2011

View of plants and a garden shovel in Turkish garden area.Is it possible to grow clematis in a hot climate? We grew them very successfully in the UK so have some experience, but would appreciate any tips for growing them in Turkey. We live in a forest by a river, but although it's not as hot as some places it does still reach 50c at the height of summer.

By John H. from Turkey


October 12, 20111 found this helpful

The only thing you have to remember is that their feet need to be shaded and water often and you will do fine. the top likes the sun and the roots like being shaded whether by another plant or with mulch. I mulch heavily and water often in hot weather and have no problem.


During the 90 degree weather here in the summer it doesn't bloom as much or as big of blooms but still showey and I am happy with it. Hope this helps.

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July 4, 2011

What do I feed a clematis so it thrives and blooms a lot?

By Nancy


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Feed it food for tomato plants, they love it. A handful of lime around the clematis in the early spring is good too because they like a sweet soil.

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June 25, 2010

I have black leaves on my clematis. What is the reason and what's the cure?

By Irene Monaghan from Ireland


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 231 Feedbacks
June 25, 20100 found this helpful

It typically is clematis wilt. Get clean pruners (wipe them with bleach and water before and then after) and trim out the infected sections right away, anytime you see it, get it early before it spreads or you'll have to cut the whole thing off. It will come back (usually) but you'll lose the growth for that season. Here's more:


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February 15, 2012

How do they do in hanging baskets?

By Maureen

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April 27, 2017

Clematis is a beautiful vine flower the comes in a variety of colors. This page contains clematis photos.

Two purple clematis blossoms growing outside.

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