Clematis You Need - You Need Clematis

We have two Clematis vines in our garden that bloom reliably in May. A third one blooms every few years when it feels up to the task. 
Clematis Silver Moon in May

The 3,000 Clematis cultivars have varying flowering times, shapes, sizes, colors and growing habits. Colors range from white to red and purple. Vine lengths vary from 3 to 15 feet.

Most of us are familiar with spring blooming Clematis and look forward to hundreds of buds forming on our long-lived vines every year.  Most varieties need 6-hours of sun but want shaded roots in our area. Regular, deep, watering in soil that drains well will keep the roots healthy.

Single, double, bell, saucer, tulip and star shaped flowers are available. The vines needs support from a fence, trellis or nearby shrubs. Look for fungus and disease resistant varieties. 

Group 1, spring-blooming Clematis grow on last year‘s shoots in sheltered sun. Examples: Rebecca (large red), Josephine (mauve pink with  plum stripes), Blushing Bridesmaid (double pink), Corrine (white with pink stripe). 

Group 2 flowers late spring and early summer from side-shoots of last year’s growth. Examples: John Paul II (white with pink stripe), Burning Love (red, disease and wilt resistant), Sugar-Sweet Blue (periwinkle blue, scented, wilt-resistant) etc. 

Group 3 flowers on current year growth in summer and fall. Examples: Negritjanka (5-inch flowers, plum--purple),  Utopia (white flowers with magenta edges), and Texensis Radiance (violet-blue trumpet flowers).

Smaller flower, part-shade varieties are vigorous growers and happily vine their way through shrubs where they receive filtered light. Montana Rubens (pastel pink) buds on old wood so it needs no pruning.  

Clematis virginiana and Clematis terniflora paniculata burst into bloom here last month, covering trees and shrubs along roads and in parks with thousands of small white flowers. Virginiana is a non-invasive native; terniflora paniculata is invasive.

Clematis expert Dan Long of Brushwood Nursery ( is speaking at the Tulsa Garden Center, Oct. 18, at 6:30.  His topic is “Clematis You Need - You Need Clematis”. 


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