Clematis - Clematis

Clematis - Clematis


belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, the Clematis or clematis constitutes a genus of about 250 species of herbaceous or woody plants, deciduous or evergreen climbers, rustic or not. The stems are very thin, often semi-woody, and produce thin tendrils with which they attach to walls, pergolas or trellises. The foliage is dark green, covered with a thin light down. During the cold months most species lose their foliage. Some species have abundant spring flowering, with large flowers in shades of pink and white, others, and especially many garden hybrids, begin flowering in late spring and continue until autumn arrives. The flowers are very large, usually simple, but sometimes also double; the colors are shades of pink, blue and purple; there are species with yellow and white flowers. The clematis they are plants that are widespread in nature also in Europe and Italy.

Family and genderRanunculaceae
Type of plant and habitPerennials, climbing or creeping, with deciduous leaves (but there are evergreen ones)
ExposureHalf shade, sun (not on the roots)
RusticityRich, possibly alkaline and moist
GroundRich, possibly alkaline and moist
ColorsWhite, pink, red, mauve, variegated
FloweringSpring, from spring to autumn for remontant plants
HeightFrom 50 cm to 10 meters
CultureEasy on average
PropagationCutting, offshoot, seed, layering
CultureEasy on average
UsesClimbing, ground cover.

Clematis nelly moser">Exposure

the plants of clematis they prefer very sunny locations, where they can receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day; if placed in an excessively shaded place, they generally do not produce flowers. For a luxuriant development it is advisable to keep the foot and roots in a place protected from excessive sun and wind, so that the root system remains cool enough. The specimens of clematis they do not fear the cold, also because during the winter vegetative rest period they tend to completely lose the aerial part.


from spring until autumn water the clematis regularly, in order to avoid periods of drought; clematis like a fairly humid climate. Every 10-12 days mix the watering water with fertilizer for flowering plants.


They are cultivated in a good soft and fresh soil, avoiding the excesses of clay or peat, but preferring a soft substratum, rich in organic substance and with a good drainage; they can also be grown in pots, remembering to repot them every two years.


The multiplication of clematis can take place by taking cuttings from the mother plant or by sowing. In the case of reproduction by cuttings, cuttings about 10/15 cm long will be taken, during the summer, from semi-mature woody branches provided with at least two buds at the base. The cuttings will need to be planted in multiplication boxes specially filled with a mixture of peat and sand. Once rooting has taken place, care must be taken to place the seedlings in pots with a diameter of about 8 cm; it will be necessary to withdraw the vases in covered and sheltered places in the winter period. In the following spring the seedlings will have to be repotted in slightly larger containers (about 11/13 cm in diameter), which can also be buried outdoors. The definitive planting will be carried out in autumn (October).

In the case of multiplication through sowing, the Clematis seeds will be placed in March in small 2/3 cm pots; once the sprouts have sprung up, the seedlings must be repotted in containers of 8 cm in diameter; the subsequent phases follow exactly what was said previously for the multiplication by cutting.

Finally, another modality of multiplication, even if secondary, can occur by offshoot. In this case, in the period of March, the drums will be buried; rooting usually takes place in one year, at the end of which the stems can be separated from the mother plant and planted separately.

As far as pruning is concerned, it should be noted that this is a very important operation for Clematis to such an extent that, if performed incorrectly, it can lead to the cutting of the stems intended for the next flowering. Do not forget the fact that pruning must be limited to the case in which it is necessary to contain the development of the plant; otherwise and in general, Clematis does not require any pruning.


clematis can be divided into two main groups, for each of which the intervention criteria are different. The first group concerns the early flowering species, which are characterized by a flowering that occurs on the stems matured in the previous season. In this case, pruning must take place strictly after flowering and care must be taken to eliminate the stems and dry branches. Pruning, on the other hand, is to be practiced in spring, before flowering takes place, for late species and for varieties that develop flowers exclusively on the branches matured in the current season. Also in this case the plant must be "cleaned" of the branches and the dried stems residual from the previous season.

Parasites and Diseases

among the parasites that most commonly undermine the development of clematis, we remember snails, aphids, especially dangerous for the buds, and earwigs, which damage the tepals and leaves.

As for the diseases that often affect the Clematis, we mention the dryness, which involves the wilting and death of the shoots, and the white disease, which manifests itself as whitish mold on the flowers and leaves.

Description and origins

Clematis are plants native to the entire northern hemisphere. They love temperate climates and are spontaneous throughout continental Europe, Asia and North America. These are mostly climbing or creeping plants characterized by very thin stems. The leaves are supported by twining stems that cling to the supports. The leaves are usually ovate or heart-shaped. The flowers have a very varied shape. They usually have are composed of very evident stamens in the center surrounded by 6-8 oval sepals. These can be very large (in horticultural hybrids) or smaller in species (viticella, vitalba, montana). Some species also have pendulous flowers (for example the alpine, the patens and the texensis). They will be described more specifically in the paragraphs that will be dedicated to you individually.


Clematis are plants native to the entire northern hemisphere. They will be described more specifically in the paragraphs that will be dedicated to you individually.


Clematis need a good rich, moist and alkaline soil. Planting is the most important stage. If well done it will give us the possibility of having healthy, luxuriant and flowering plants.

You can proceed from autumn to spring by digging a hole that is at least 40 cm wide and deep. It is usually recommended to insert a good organic fertilizer (manure or cornunghia) on the bottom. To this it is always good to add ash or a specific product against root rot. This will avoid the onset of wilt, the most serious problem for these plants.

At this point, after covering the fertilizer with a layer of earth, we can extract the plant from the pot and place it in the hole. It must be put very deep: the ideal is to also bury the first two buds from below. This will give the plant the ability to throw new stems from underground, become more and more vigorous and withstand even drastic pruning.

An excellent precaution is also to place, next to the plant, a reed or an empty pipe (whose bottom, surrounded by a bit of gravel to prevent the earth from clogging it, gets close to the roots). Once we have placed it we can cover everything with earth (letting the top of the tube come out of the ground). Naturally it will be necessary to compress the soil well and water abundantly. The hose will be very useful because we will be able to let the irrigation water flow inside and make it so that it reaches directly deep, to the roots (which need it very much), without dispersing around on the ground (and perhaps being absorbed by other plants ).

It is recommended not to place plants too close to a wall or a tree. Rather it is better to dig a hole diagonally about 40 cm apart and bend the plant in the direction of the support. This way the roots will have less dry soil and more space to grow.

Once planted, it is a good idea to shade the base with stones, tiles or by inserting other plants.


Clematis must live in always fresh soil. They tolerate the sun well (and this helps them to bloom), but require their base to remain constantly in the shade and well humid.

It is therefore necessary to irrigate frequently with large quantities of water. A good rule of thumb is to distribute two thirds of it inside the tube that reaches deep and one third on the ground in order to give refreshment to even the most superficial roots.

Surely in spring (in the absence of rain) it is good to provide at least two or three times a week with about 5 liters per intervention.

In summer it can be distributed even 5 liters every day.


Clematis need continuous supplies of nourishment. Without it we will have more and more sparse and small flowers. The ideal is to intervene before winter with the distribution of abundant seasoned manure around the foot of the plant. During the whole vegetative period it is instead important to intervene at least every fifteen days (even weekly, if you want) with a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants with a high potassium content. The ideal is to distribute it in the same way as for watering, so one part in the tube that reaches deep and the other on the surface of the ground.


Pruning aims to keep plants healthy and to stimulate good production of leaves and especially flowers.

This differs according to the species. There are usually three types:


They bloom in early spring, with small and abundant flowers. To this group belong the clematis alpina, montana and the evergreens (armandii).

They usually don't need pruning. They just want to be cleared of any dry branches. You can intervene in case you want to contain the exuberance.

After a few years, a drastic pruning can be carried out (but not reaching the wood) which will favor the birth of new stems and make the plant more orderly overall.


It is formed by modern large-flowered hybrids. These are remontant plants and therefore require targeted interventions. They bloom in spring on the branches of the previous year and in autumn on the branches grown after the first flowering.

It is necessary to proceed in spring (waiting for the plant to begin to vegetate) descending from above and cut to the first vigorous bud.

We will proceed in the same way after the first flowering.

This encourages the issuance of new branches and the production of larger flowers.


This group includes late-flowering clematis, those that bloom towards summer and autumn: clematis viticella, textensis, x jakmaniii, florida.

They bloom on new branches. It is necessary to prune in spring starting from the bottom, in a rather drastic way, looking for the first two vigorous buds and cutting above them. The plant will soon begin to develop new branches.

Parasites and diseases

They are usually quite healthy plants. The only serious problem they can suffer from is wilt, that is, the dryness of the stem. Unfortunately, the cause is still not completely clear, although it seems that it affects only large-flowered hybrids and plants grafted on clematis vitalba more severely. If it should occur (we will notice a fast drying of the plant) we must intervene by cutting the plant near the ground and getting rid of pruning as soon as possible. If the plant has been deeply buried at the time of planting, it will have no problem throwing new stems from the collar. However, it is a rather rare disease and if it occurs once it will be difficult for it to repeat itself again in our garden. Clematis can also be affected by phytophagous insects: they create mainly aesthetic damage. It is therefore possible to intervene in the spring by distributing a systemic insecticide or by contact and ingestion. It can also happen, since they love clayey soil, that leaf chlorosis appears. It is therefore necessary to intervene promptly with products based on chelated iron. This in fact could compromise both growth and flowering.

Varieties of clematis

Clematis vitalba

It can grow up to 12 meters and is very widespread spontaneously in Italy to the point that it is considered a pest. It bears panicle-like, perfumed inflorescences composed of small cream flowers with a diameter of 1.5 cm.

Clematis viticella

Very widespread in the spontaneous state in Italy, it reaches 4 meters in height. It has saucer flowers with 4 or more large blue to red petals.

Clematis alpina

It is native to Europe and northern Asia. In Italy it can be found spontaneously in the woods of the Alps and the Apennines. It has pendulous and solitary flowers composed of 4 sepals, usually in blue or pink. It blooms on the branches of the previous year.

Clematis montana

It is native to the Himalayas and arrived in Europe in the mid-1800s. It is a large climber that can reach 10 meters in height. It bears small but abundant flowers of 5-6 cm in size composed of white to pink sepals and evident yellow stamens.

Very healthy and prolific. It blooms only in spring and does not require pruning if not containment.

The rubens variety (and the cultivars derived from it) also have leaves that tend towards a purple bronze as the season progresses, making the plant decorative even in that season.

Clematis x jackmanii

Hybrid, it blooms on new branches. Vigorous climber with dark green leaves with numerous purple to purple flowers. They usually bear 4 sepals and are about 10 cm in diameter.

Clematis texensis

Originally from Texas, it can reach 4 meters in height. It is not very rustic. It produces solitary, pendulous flowers usually on red or scarlet.

Clematis Armandii

It is originally from China and arrived in the West at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is one of the rare scented and evergreen clematis. It is quite rustic, although in Northern Italy it is advisable to cover it (and in any case it could become stripping). If it grows in a warm location it can produce a very woody and large trunk at the base. The flowers have a diameter of 5 cm, in bunches, on the branches of the previous year. They are usually pink or white in color.

Apple blossom and Snowdrift varieties are very beautiful.

Clematis - Clematis: Little known variety of clematis

There clematis jackmanii is a variety of clematis that stands out from other varieties due to its deep purple flowers, enriched by the white color of its pistils in the central area of ​​the flower. This clematis develops in height up to 200/300 centimeters even if on average they are 1/2 m tall plants in our latitudes. The complete development of the clematis jackmanii it is reached from 2 to 5 years and is a plant that can be grown in the garden in areas with full sun but also in partial shade.

This plant has no particular needs regarding the soil and can live well on any type of soil. Jackmanii flowering occurs from July to September depending on the area.

Video: super easy Spring Pruning Clematis group 2 (October 2021).