Clematis are one of the most popular garden plants because of their colourful and attractive flowers. Clematis are climbing plants with a wide range of flower shapes, sizes, colours and flowering times. The Pinterest page illustrates the many diverse shapes and sizes of Clematis, with new varieties being introduced every year.
Although very popular, Clematis are not the easiest climbing plant to grow and most need regular pruning, apart from Group 1 which include the popular, late spring flowering Clematis montana, illustrated above right. To keep clematis flowering well each year, pruning is required which makes Clematis an "amber wheel barrow plant" indicating medium attention and difficulty to grow. In addition, for newly planted young plants and at the beginning of the growing season, the spring growth is very attractive to slugs and Clematis need protection. Tips on how best to protect Clematis from slugs.
Clematis are one of the few plants which are correctly planted below the soil level, so deeper than usual- see below the video How to plant Clematis. Many Clematis are planting in spring and early summer but they can also be planted in autumn when the soil is still warm. Clematis need to be well watered when first planted which means if there is a dry spring extra watering will be needed.
The main worry for most gardeners contemplating growing Clematis is how and when to prune them.
The easiest Clematis to grow because they need little or no pruning are Clematis montana, C. alpina and C. macropetala. One of the loveliest varieties, Clematis montana 'Elizabeth' has a beautiful vanilla scent. Of all the Clematis, when planting a Clematis montana you need a large space as it is is vigorous growing up to 12m (nearly 40ft) if left unchecked, and growing in ideal conditions. Clematis are fast growing and need to climb up a support, such as an obelisk, where they can provide height and be a feature in the border.
The different varieties of Clematis have a long flowering season, staring early in the year with the C. alpina right through to September the late flowering C. Tangutica, and over winter C. Cirrhosa. Clematis like well drained soil with sun or light shade. There are some Clematis varieties which are more shade tolerant listed below.