- Garden Plans For Clematis
- Bountiful Blooms
- Clematis Care Must-Knows
- Pruning Clematis
- More Varieties of Clematis
- Cold Hardy Vines For Zone 5: Growing Vines In Zone 5 Climates
- Choosing Cold Hardy Vines for Zone 5
- Popular Zone 5 Vine Varieties
- Flowering Vines – The Top Crawlers
Clematis is one of the showiest vines. With many types of shapes and colors, these plants look wonderful climbing any kind of structure. Bloom time ranges from late spring to fall depending on the type and variety. With proper planning, it’s possible to have clematis blooms throughout the growing season. You can even plant these vigorous vines alongside woody plants like roses, trees, or shrubs to act as a living trellis and add a “second bloom” to otherwise dormant plants.
Garden Plans For Clematis
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Clematis is known as one of the best perennial vines for your garden. Whether it’s summer-blooming clematis with large, showy blooms or fall-blooming varieties with hundreds of smaller petals, these vines make a stunning statement. The most common clematis are the open-face blooms that reach as large as 7 inches across. Blooms also come in small, bell-shape blossoms with recurved outer petals that dangle like little lanterns. Some blooms have a pleasant fragrance. The seed heads’ swirling masses of fluffy seed add another kind of interest. Clematis are among the most beautiful flowering vines on the market.
Clematis Care Must-Knows
Clematis is an easy-to-grow perennial vine as long as you keep a few things in mind. In general, clematis prefers full sun, but there are a few varieties that manage in part sun. An important thing to note: In full-sun conditions, clematis prefer cool roots, so plant clematis at the base of another plant to provide some shade to the root areas. Clematis prefers well-drained soil and consistent moisture. Certain species are more drought resistant and can handle dry soils better than others.
Bloom time of clematis varies depending on the species. Many new varieties are rebloomers, but most of the older types will only bloom during one season of the year. However, even after blooming, clematis flowers still add interest to the plant. As the seed heads mature, they expand to become fluffy balls that look pretty dried in floral arrangements. Some varieties can become invasive in a garden setting, so deadhead bloooms to prevent overpopulation of clematis.
See spring gardening tips Pacific Northwesterners.
Pruning clematis is quite simple. There are three main classes of clematis when it comes to pruning: Group 1, 2, and 3. These group numbers tell you how to prune your clematis. To start, no matter what group number you have, it’s always a good idea to give new plants a good pruning in spring during their first year.
In future years, Group 1 plants will bloom on old wood, so if needed, prune them right after blooming. Clean up these plants a little bit in early spring, but remain cautious—any live growth you remove before bloom is potential flowers you just cut off. Simply cut off dead wood.
Group 2 plants bloom on both new and old growth. Typically, most of their blooms will be in spring, but they will also put on another in fall on new growth. You can do some mild pruning in early spring with this group, especially removing dead wood. Any major work should be done just after the primary bloom in spring.
Group 3 plants all bloom on new wood only. These plants are easy and can be cut back every spring to about 8″-12″ above the ground. If you don’t cut Group 3 back each spring, plants can become overgrown and unruly.
More Varieties of Clematis
‘Alba Luxurians’ Clematis
Clematis viticella ‘Alba Luxurians’ blooms from midsummer to fall, bearing white flowers with green petal tips. It’s quite vigorous, climbing to 12 feet. Zones 5-9
Clematis alpina blooms spring and early summer in shades of blue, lavender, and white. Its fluffy seed heads look great in summer and fall. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 5-9
‘Avant Garde’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Avant Garde’ offers unique burgundy flowers that are graced a frilly pink center. It begins blooming in summer and continues through autumn. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-8
‘Bee’s Jubilee’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Bee’s Jubilee’ is a compact selection with deep pink flowers banded with red. It blooms in late spring and early summer and climbs to 8 feet tall. Zones 4-9
Blue Light Clematis
Clematis ‘Vanso’ is an exquisite selection with double lavender-purple flowers in spring and again in fall. It climbs to 8 feet. Zones 4-8
‘Betty Corning’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ produces faintly scented lavender-blue flowers throughout the summer. It has good disease resistance and climbs to 10 feet. Zones 5-9
‘Blue Ravine’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Blue Ravine’ produces large lilac-blue flowers blushed with pink in spring and again in late summer. It climbs to 12 feet tall. Zones 4-9
‘Daniel Deronda’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Daniel Deronda’ bears starry, dark purple-blue flowers in spring then again in summer through fall. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
‘Duchess of Albany’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Duchess of Albany’ offers tulip-shape pink flowers from summer to fall. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ puts on a show with double white flowers in early summer with a repeat performance in late summer. This heirloom clematis grows 8 feet tall. Zones 4-9
‘Hagley Hybrid’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ bears single pinkish-purple blooms throughout the summer. It climbs to 6 feet. Zones 4-9
‘Gillian Blades’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Gillian Blades’ is a stunning selection with ruffled white blooms in late spring and early summer then again in late summer and early fall. It climbs to 8 feet tall. Zones 5-8
Clematis ‘Evijohill’ bears unusual double lilac-pink flowers through summer and early fall. It climbs to 7 feet. Zones 4-9
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is one of the most common—and popular—varieties. It bears dark purple flowers throughout the summer and climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
Clematis ‘Henryi’ bears huge white flowers throughout the summer. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
‘Mme. Julia Correvon’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Mme. Julia Correvon’ bears bright magenta-red flowers all summer and fall. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 5-9
‘Nelly Moser’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ has creamy-pink flowers with a bright pink stripe down each petal. It blooms in early summer and again in late summer. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
Clematis ‘Niobe’ bears deep red flowers in summer. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
Clematis ‘Rhapsody’ produces a plethora of sapphire-blue flowers from early summer to early autumn. It climbs to 10 feet tall. Zones 5-8
‘Princess Diana’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Princess Diana’ produces stunning rich pink, tuliplike flowers all summer and fall. It climbs to 12 feet tall. Zones 4-9
Pink Anemone Clematis
Clematis montana var. rubens bears pink flowers in late spring and early summer on vigorous vines that climb to 30 feet. Zones 6-9
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Clematis terniflora blooms well even in shade, producing masses of starry white flowers with a strong fragrance in late summer and autumn. It climbs to 20 feet. Zones 4-9
‘Silver Moon’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Silver Moon’ bears silvery-lilac flowers from summer to early fall. It climbs to 10 feet. Zones 4-9
Clematis tangutica offers unusual bell-shape golden flowers midsummer to fall. It climbs to 20 feet. Zones 6-9
‘Veronica’s Choice’ Clematis
Clematis ‘Veronica’s Choice’ bears large, semidouble lavender-pink flowers that fade to nearly white. It blooms from early to late summer and climbs to 10 feet. Zones 5-8
I am always getting asked to recommend evergreen climbers. Evergreen climbers that look good, take up little ground space, and enhance a wall, fence, pergola or archway throughout the year. Oh yes, they have to grow quickly too, but they mustn’t smother everything. My first thoughts always gravitate towards the ivies, especially the large-leaved varieties which I particularly like. I start off by calling them hederas. Hopefully this gets a slightly glazed look. I then clarify and explain that I am really recommending ivies, only to see a look of sheer incredulity and horror. “Why on earth would this madman recommend a rampant tree killer that is likely to pull down my house?” The eyes say it all. Usually I persevere and state the case for these excellent evergreen climbers that tolerate any soil, grow in shade and look after themselves. Sometimes I win my inquisitor over – and I’m going to have another go later in this blog post.
Just to get your attention I am going to start with evergreen clematis as one of my favourite evergreen climbers. After all clematis are our most popular climbing plants so it is hardly surprising that evergreen clematis cause great excitement. However they are not the hardiest of creatures, and may take a hammering in severe weather. Having said that, after the awful weather of this winter my Clematis armandii looks fine. It is already bursting with fat buds all over the front of the house right now.
Clematis armandii is a strong growing evergreen climber with stems that can reach 5 metres (15ft) or more. The leaves consist of three long, finger-like leaflets, dark green and leathery; that hang from the pale green stems. By late winter the fat buds in the leaf axils are exploding into plump masses of burgundy buds that expand to pure white starry flowers with yellow stamens. In an early season these open in early spring, later in spring in a colder situation. This is not a plant for a windy site, but it will grow happily over a sheltered fence, wall or shed. It climbs by twisting its leaf stalks around a support, so well placed wires are essential. This is a plant with a mind of its own, and if you try and train the stems into a position far from where they want to grow they may die back.
After flowering you need to remove some of the older stems, any dead leaves and damaged shoots. Plants raised from seed vary in flower size and quality; named cultivars are a better choice. Clematis armandii ‘Enham Star’ is an excellent free flowering clone with masses of pure white blooms.
The fern-leaf clematis, Clematis cirrhosa, is more delicate in appearance. Pretty divided, fern-like shiny leaves are carried on brown stems. In late winter bell-shaped, pale creamy flowers hang from the leaf axils of even the thinnest shoots. Clematis cirrhosa likes some sun but copes with dappled shade so can be grown though a deciduous shrub such as Berberis thunbergii. This clematis requires no pruning, but can be cut back after flowering to contain its spread. A native of Southern Europe and parts of Asia it is not for an exposed situation but thrives in most town gardens. Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ is one of the showiest cultivars with cream flowers heavily splashed and marked with deep pink. The flowers are delicately scented. They are reputed to smell of cowslips but I’ve rarely detected it personally.
The chocolate vine, Akebia quinata, is semi-evergreen. With twining stems it has interesting leaves consisting of a cartwheel of round-ended leaflets. In spring clusters of pendent flowers appear, these can be anything from brown-pink to burgundy and there is a white form too. I love it for its leaves and was very excited when I found it growing in the wild in Japan.
Trachelospermum jasminoides is my favourite summer flowering evergreen climber.
This is the ideal choice for a wall, fence or arbour with some sunshine. It is a well behaved plant with twining stems and small dark green leaves that usually turn dark red in winter. It produces prolific sweetly scented, jasmine-like flowers and is surprisingly hardy for such a luxuriant looking plant. I have one on the corner of the front porch and it looks great throughout the year. I love its heavy, rather exotic fragrance when it blooms in early summer. It will grow on a shady wall but it doesn’t flower well and the leaves do not colour in winter.
I’m afraid to say for a shady wall the large leaved hederas are unbeatable. Don’t give up on me now – I’ll tell you about a couple of good ones! Although you may be afraid of the self clinging nature of ivies I can assure you that, providing your wall or fence is sound, there is no reason why they should cause any damage. Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ with large dark green leaves boldly edged and variegated with cream is one of the best performers in any situation. For a brighter and bolder effect choose Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’ with shining dark and emerald green leaves boldly splashed with golden yellow. It makes a good planting partner for the winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum. As the jasmine has untidy stems and growth habit the ivy provides an excellent background which shows off the blooms of the jasmine without drawing attention to the stems.
If you want a short evergreen climber for shade do not forget about those useful Euonymus fortunei cultivars. These are easy to grow, tolerant of shade and poor soil conditions and look good throughout the year. Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ has green and white variegated leaves while Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ is true to its name. Both are usually grown as small shrubs but they make excellent short climbers for a wall or fence or beneath the window on a house wall.
When planting a climber, do not plant too close to a wall or fence, as this may hinder root development and keep the plant too dry to establish successfully. Plant at least 30cm (12ins) away, ideally more and angle the climber towards the support to encourage it. Keep well watered during the first growing season and tie in the climber as it grows using flexitime, that soft plastic tie that does not damage fragile climber stems.
Now if you want to know more about how much climbers can add to your garden why not join Philippa Bensley on her on line course ‘How to use climbers and clematis in garden design’. The next course starts on 6th April and I know she would love to have you along.
If you’re looking to find privacy in the yard, but can’t wait until those trees grow taller, add vines to bring your garden to new heights.
These weaving wonders make themselves at home scrambling over hillsides, trellises, and stone walls, covering bare ground or screening out unwanted scenes of the neighbor’s Winnebago.
Sprucing up your landscape’s look is easy with vines. Just ask John Murgel, horticulture coordinator for the Denver Zoo.
Transforming enclosures to evoke the atmosphere of exotic locales is a strategy the zoo uses to enhance the comfort of the animals and enthrall visitors.
“We use temperate climate vines to evoke a tropical feeling, those that are hardy,” he said. “Some go up trees into the canopy, others over walls.”
But there are a few guidelines for home gardeners. “Use them carefully so they don’t get out of control,” Murgel said. “You must consider if the vine suckers or how large it grows,” or it could become a handful. “You’d be hoping for an elegant little vine but end up not being able to find your shed anymore.”
Know what the vine climbs on and how the plant grows so that you can choose the correct support for it.
You need to know that vining plants have several ways of gripping trellises. Those that twine around their frameworks need a little help getting the idea. While they’re young, gently loop the leaders around cables or latticework to train them.
Vines that use tendrils to clasp their supports — you’ve likely seen this happen with edible plants such as cucumbers — don’t need help finding a structure to grip. The trick is to keep them from throttling everything within their grasp. Encourage them to find the trellis by twirling tendrils and shoots about the frame.
Plants that grow their own suction cups and those with adventitious roots — a word for roots that grow along stems — need walls or fences with texture to climb. But be careful: Though such vines look good on houses, they can be damaging.
Here are five great vines to grow in Colorado beyond the usual clematis, climbing roses and grapevines.
1. Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata). Showy, purple flowers get hummingbirds to hang around your garden, happily visiting the blooms covering the vine. The lobed, deep green leaves provide a backdrop that makes the flowers pop.
Size: To 25 feet long
How: Plant in a protected site, mulching thickly to protect the roots while the top dies down to the ground during the winter. Passion flower spreads via roots, so if you’d like to contain it, plant in a large container and move it into the garage for the winter.
2. Five-leafed Akebia (Akebia quinata). Delicate leaves made up of five-leaflets make this an unusual vine for jazzing up your landscape. The lightly scented flowers hang in pendulous clumps.
Size: 20 feet long or more
How: Pop this climber in full sun to light shade; it won’t fruit here, says Murgel. But it will ramble up a tree, so periodically loosen it to ensure that it doesn’t girdle branches.
3. Honeysuckle (Lonicera species) is a favorite of Murgels’, since they’re showy all summer and attract hummingbirds. Look for the Blanche Sandman variety, a showstopper wreathed in pink-orange blossoms with golden throats.
Size: 20 feet
How: Full sun, even moisture and something to climb are all that it takes to grow Blanche Sandman. Once established, keep it tidy by an occasional light pruning after the danger of hard frost has passed.
4. Wisteria (Wisteria). Classic, elegant wisteria (Wisteria species) drapes deep purple flowers on a woody, long-lived vine. Perfumed and showy, wisteria needs permanent support, such as a dramatic arbor or doorway arch.
Size: 30 feet
How to grow: Because the flower buds swell early, put wisteria in a protected location to keep late frosts from nipping blossoms. Once established, prune them twice per year: a light pruning in midsummer to remove wispy growth and a hard pruning back to two buds per branch in winter. Don’t let them dry out.
5. Silver Lace Vine (Polygonum aubertii). If you have a large area that needs screening quickly, try this rampant, sweet- smelling vine. The sprays of white blossoms that coat the plant from summer to fall reach to 6 inches long.
Size: 20 to 30 feet
How: Give this plant a sturdy support in a carefully chosen area, as it can easily swallow small arbors or trellises.
Cold Hardy Vines For Zone 5: Growing Vines In Zone 5 Climates
Perennial vines add color, height and texture to your garden. If you want to start growing vines in zone 5, you may hear that many of the more engaging vines live and die in one season or insist on tropical weather. The truth is, cold hardy vines for zone 5 do exist, but you’ll have to search for them. Read on for a few zone 5 vine varieties that are perennials worth planting in the landscape.
Choosing Cold Hardy Vines for Zone 5
Zone 5 is on the cool side of the hardiness charts. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, winter temperatures in plant hardiness zone 5 regions dip to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 C.). That means that zone 5 vine varieties must be quite cold hardy to survive. Choosing vines for zone 5 is a process of sifting through the zone 5 vines available and finding plants that please you.
When you are choosing vines for
zone 5, take stock of the space you have to offer. Is the area you intend a vine to inhabit in shade? Is it sunny? What’s the soil like? How is the drainage? All of these factors are important considerations.
Other things to think about include how much space the vine will have to climb and spread horizontally. Consider, too, whether you want to start growing vines in zone 5 with flowers or with fruits or if you are just interested in foliage.
Popular Zone 5 Vine Varieties
For big, bold, fiery blossoms on a 30 foot vine, consider trumpet vine (Campsis selections). The vine grows fast and produces orange, red and/or yellow flowers that prove very attractive to hummingbirds. It grows happily in zones 5 through 9.
Another bright-flower vine is clematis (Clematis spp.). Pick a cultivar that offers the flower hue you like best. Clematis vine heights vary from only 4 feet up to 25 feet. It’s easy to start growing vines in zone 5 if you select cold hardy clematis.
The cold-hardy variety of the kiwi vine is called arctic kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta). It survives in zone 5, and even down to zone 3. The large, beautiful leaves are variegated in pinks and whites. These vines grow over 10 feet tall, and do best grown on a trellis or fence. They produce small, tasty fruit but only if you have a male and female vine in close proximity.
Perhaps the most famous “fruit of the vine” is grapes (Vitis spp.) Easy to grow, grapevines do just fine in average, well-draining soil as long as they have full sun. They are hardy to zone 4 and they need sturdy structures to climb.
Flowering Vines – The Top Crawlers
Not every flowering vine grows in similar patterns or climbs in the same way. For instance, there are both annual and perennial vines, herbaceous and woody vines, and even deciduous or evergreen vines.
When it comes to climbing, twining vines like honeysuckle have flexible stems that “twine” around objects, and they twist and turn around nearby plants as they grow. Clinging vines attach to surfaces with natural “hooks,” grabbing onto objects and adhering to structures like walls or fences. Tendril vines like sweat peas grow threadlike tendrils that wrap around objects; leaning vines simply lean across objects as they spread.
No matter which flowering vine you choose, chances are it will require some type of support to guide it along the intended path. It’s also a good idea to plan the path of a flowering vine before you plant it. Certain flowering vines require some assistance, for instance, tying leaning vines to designated areas with twine or weaving them across their intended growing path.
While it is important to match the right flowering vine to the right conditions, here are a few of the more robust, fastest growing and most adaptive varieties to their surroundings:
Orange Trumpet Vine: Indigenous to the southeastern United States and botanically classified as a deciduous woody vine, these striking plants commonly bear clusters of orange, reddish-orange or salmon flowers throughout much of the summer. In addition, this creeping vine commonly attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Recommend hardiness zones: 4 – 10.
Honeysuckle Vine: A twining vine that is noted for its colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers, sweet scent and attractiveness to butterflies and hummingbirds. These vines can grow 10 to 20 feet tall. Honeysuckle tolerate shade and grow well on fences, trellises and walls with support. Recommended hardiness zones: 4 – 9.
Climbing Hydrangea: One of the most popular ornamental vines, it grows and flowers in a northern exposure. It’s a heavy vine and will require sturdy support. It grows slowly the first few years, but vigorously once established. It has a unique growing pattern–its lateral branches will reach out as far as three feet, making it perfect for coverings. Recommended hardiness zones: 4 – 7.
Bougainvillea: A native of coastal Brazil, this incredibly versatile plant can be grown in a container, spread across a trellis or cover an entire wall. It is commonly used in landscaping as a hedge or curb liner. It makes an excellent hot-season plant and its blooms are extremely colorful. Recommended hardiness zones: 9 – 11.
Clematis Flowering Vine: They are known for their colorfully rich hues and varied bloom times, providing a mass of blooming color from late winter to late fall. In fact, the blooms often change color throughout the life of the flower. Partial to sun or minimum shade, Clematis vines can grow 10 to 20 feet. Recommended hardiness zones: 3-5, 7-8.