Which Clemats to choose for your site?

Which Clematis to choose

Clematis come in all sizes and colours, so which one do you choose? Some clematis types lend themselves to certain situation better than others. I hope that this guide will assist you in choosing the right clematis for your garden.

Ground Cover

There are advantages to planting clematis with low growing shrubs: the foliage provides the shade for the roots of the clematis and a beautiful floral display can be achieved by combining plants.

Which Clemats to choose for your site?

The viticella group is a good choice for this purpose providing flowers throughout the summer and into the early autumn. Many clematis colours would look well with the yellow of senecio greyii. Lavender, cistus, rock rose, hebe and artemisia are all suitable hosts.

Which clematis to choose for a true ground cover plant is not hard to fathom, go for the macropetala and the montanas which can scramble over bankings etc.

Through trees and shrubs

Training clematis through fruit trees and evergreens is an old-fashioned cottage style tradition. Plant far enough away from the tree so that the clematis can obtain its fair share of food and water.

If a late flowering variety is used this can be pulled gently out of the host plant when it begins to die back in the autumn and pruned properly in spring to provide more new growth to repeat last season’s experience.

Which Clemats to choose for your site?

Early flowering hybrids should be given priority when choosing which clematis to use for growing over rather than growing through compact shrubs such as, olearia, pyracantha, hardy fucshia, and shrubby honeysuckles like Lonicera nitida.

Lilac, viburnum, cotinus, flowering cherry, rhododendrons, malus, mahonia and laburnum are some of the most suitable host plants for clematis.

Container growing

Use early flowering types for containers; these tend to be less vigorous and easier to train. A sufficiently large pot with good fertile compost and adequate drainage is essential. Plant in spring, cutting back to 25cm from soil level to a pair of healthy buds.

When the buds have themselves produced another 3-4 buds, pinch out the tips. Place four or five canes around the edge of the container and tie the new shoots to these.

Which Clemats to choose for your site?

Pull the stems down and wind around the canes. The clematis can now be trained up wall supports or trellis, or train as an individual and bend over more canes to form a tent affect.

As the plant grows tie in new growth to keep tidy. Watering and feeding is especially important in containers as the plants must not be allowed to dry out. After flowering let the plants die back and begin pruning again in spring.