Genus - Clematis

The name Clematis is derived from the ancient Greek word "Clematis" meaning climbing plant. There are over 300 species in the genus. Clematis is known for it's huge colorful flowers.

Culture - Clematis like a neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Our soil is normally acidic so work some slow acting limestone into the soil periodically. Clematis need 5-6 hours of sun to flower properly. Ideally the roots would like to be shaded to keep them cool. Free flowering types will produce more blooms if deadheaded. It is important to disturb the roots as little as possible when planting. It is also very important to prune properly. Clematis are broken into 3 pruning groups. You need to know the group of your cultivar before you prune.

Pruning Groups of Clematis

Group 1   This group blooms on the preceding season's wood. If you are going to prune, do so right after they bloom. Later pruning will be cutting off next years flower buds.

Group 2   Deadwood pruning only in the early spring on this group. This group blooms on old wood. Pruning will remove flower buds. There are two subgroups 2a and 2b. 2a reblooms in the fall. 2b is free-flowering throughout the summer. In both subgroups the later blooms are not as numerous and can be a little different in size and color.

Group 3   These clematis bloom in summer or fall and do so on new wood. They need to be pruned back sharply in late winter. Plants are best pruned when completely dormant. Prune back to 14" tall, leaving 2-3 pairs of buds on each stem. Failure to prune will leave woody non-flowering stems.