Home » Perennial plants » Climbing Plants » Clematis Plants and Varieties

Clematis Plants and Varieties

White flowering clematis

Clematis are really the Queen of climbing plants, fantastic colorful flowers that bloom in spring and summer. Easy to grow in the right climate, and really not tht difficult to prune. With such wonderful flowers you can easily see why these climbing plants are amongst the popular in the eyes of many gardeners. They flower between spring and fall depending on variety and location, and flowers vary from delicate to large 'dinner plate' types.

Plant breeders are continually developing new Hybrids that are a beautiful climbing plant, fantastic flowers, beautiful range of colors, easy to maintain and they don't take over the garden.

Generally a hardy climbing plant that require little care given appropriate growing conditions and even pruning is not difficult. And clematis do make good companion plants, they can be allowed to grow through trees and shrubs without damaging or smothering them.

Hybrid clematis do not need a lot of space; simply a cool root run beneath and some sun above.

Of course species and old favorites are also popular, however look at what clematis nurseries have to offer for sale, something new every year.

With new propagation techniques more hybrids in exciting colors are available for sale every year from many specialist and Mail Order Nurseries.

Evergreen Clematis such as the Clematis Armandii cultivars available for sale are also very popular.

Landscaping uses :

  • As a flowering (but deciduous) screen or cover for a fence or wall.
  • To cloak an arbor and add atmosphere.
  • For the decorative nature of the flowers and foliage.
  • Specimen plants to grow on a tripod or obelisk.
  • As a rambler to be allowed to grow through a tree canopy.
Green and white flowering clematis

Clematis Varieties

Here is where modern Clematis cultivars come to the forefront, especially in terms of flowers. The large flowers hybrids are very popular, and we also have variety in terms of double flowered types.

Over time compact growing forms have been developed, some reaching only around 2 ft in height and suited to growing in hanging baskets.

Some of the important species in hybridisation include :

  • Clematis viticella - Also known as the 'Virgins Bower' and this is the the one that started the Clematis craze right back in the mid 1500s. It is a European species and the The Viticella hybrids are more cold tolerant than any others. The species ranges from Blue to Red flowers.
  • Clematis texensis - From Texas as the name suggests, the flowers are a very different form, almost like a small tulip. Also known as Clematis coccinea, especially in Europe, as it has red flowers.
  • Clematis montana - Vigorous, early flowering and easy care, flowers are a creamy white and fragrant. Also known as the 'Anemone flowered clematis'.
  • Clematis integrability - Very unusual in that it is a non- climbing type, upright and woody with purple flowers.
  • Clematis henryi - Very attractive large white flowers.
  • Clematis cirrhosa - Evergreen and winter flowering.
  • Clematis alpina - Early flowering and one of the best for shade
  • Clematis macropetala - Sometimes called the 'Downy Clematis', very good in colder climates and grows well in part shade.

As for the best varieties :

  • Unless you are looking at the species, you really need to choose what flowers you like. Most catalogs have 50 - 60 different types.


  • Clematis not flowering.
    Use a low nitrogen fertilizer, otherwise you will get lots of foliage and no flowers.

  • Brown foliage on the lower part of the plant
    Usually due to lack of water.

  • Clematis plant just not growing
    Often due to poor root development.

You May also like

Clematis Plants are available for sale from the following nurseries

DIGGING DOG NURSERY - phone (707) 937-1130
PO Box 471 Albion CA 95410
Hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and vines for your garden.

PINE KNOT FARMS - 434-252-1990 phone 434-252-0768 fax
681 Rockchurch Road, Clarksville Virginia 23927 USA
Mailorder, retail and wholesale of our speciality, is hellebores. Open on site on Fridays and Saturdays in spring and fall where we offe a full range of herbaceous material.

Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs.