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Tips for Growing Clematis all Year Around

Tips for Growing Clematis all Year Around


There is a clematis for every season, every aspect and every place. The flower size and colour range is also wider than you may imagine. Update I have just bought (2.9.19) another clematis Madame Le Coultre for flowering june to august.

Types of Clematis for growing all year around

Early Flowering Species like alpina or montana types.
Summer Flowering hybrids like patens and florida types
Late flowering Hybrids and species like jackmanii, tangutica and viticella types
Herbaceous clematis x jouiniana or Koreana lutea
Evergreen and tender species armandii, cirrhosa and tender plants from the southern hemisphere

Selected Varieties by Colour

White – Marie Boisselot, Montana sericea, Armandii or Clematis chrysocoma.
Red – Ville de Lyon, Madame Juklia Correvon or Ernest Markham.
Yellow – Clematis tangutica, Moonlight, Ligusticifolia or Otto Froebel.
Violet – Etoile Violette or Clematis alpina Francis Rivis.
Blue – Ascotiensis, Macro petal Blue Bird or Multi Blue.
Pink – Clematis montana Elizabeth, Bees Jubilee or Hagley Hybrid.
White and purple Clematis florida Sieboldii.

Soil and Growing Condition Tips

Soil for Clematis should not be too acidic but alkaline soil is fine. Impoverished soil near a wall or under a hedge should be improved with plenty of humus before planting. Sandy soil looses moisture quickly and also needs humus adding.
All clematis will grow better if the roots are kept cool. Plant a bit deeper than the soil level in the pot where they were grown and cover the roots area with a tile, rock or mulch.
Large flowered varieties will have stronger colours if the flowers grow in light shade.
Use a good Foliar feed every 7-10 days and a good root drenching weekly.

Types of Clematis Support

All clematis even the herbaceous varieties need some support. The easiest support is often other plants with matching characteristics – heather for small macropetala types or a tree for the more robust viticella varieties.
Walls are fine as long as the mortar and brickwork is sound for a network of wire. Clematis montana can cover a large wall quickly.
Trellis itself needs to be securely attached to battens but can be attractive when cloaked in Clematis or on it’s own in winter.
Archways, tripods and obelisks look great when covered with a climber such as clematis. Similarly pergolas can have both climbing roses and clematis co-existing.
Try a pillar made from a length of Oak or hardwood to train your clematis because you are bound to want to grow more once you start.

Varieties of Clematis from Thompson & Morgan

Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’ also known as Old Man’s Beard flowers is a superb evergreen clematis bears its delicately fragrant, waxy, bell-shaped flowers in the depths of winter.
The foliage is so lush, that you’ll think its summertime all year round!
Plant Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ against a warm house wall so that you can appreciate its winter flowers from your window. This sought after variety will appreciate a sheltered site with some winter protection.
Height: 4m (13’). Spread: 1.2m (4’). Pruning Group: 1

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ really couldn’t be easier. Watch it scramble over fences, covering unsightly sheds with ease. From midsummer this versatile climber is covered in small canary yellow blooms, which give way to large fluffy seedheads for an attractive autumn display.

Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’™ are quite extraordinary.A fountain of crystal-blue stamens radiate from the centres of the dazzling blue, 15cm (6”) wide blooms. Terrifically floriferous, this clematis continues to bloom throughout summer and into early autumn. It’s compact habit makes it ideal for containers and small gardens.

Clematis armandii flowers in spring with exquisitely fragrant, star-shaped white blooms literally smother this beautiful evergreen clematis in spring. The new foliage emerges bronze tinted, gradually maturing to glossy dark green that will quickly cover walls and fences within a few years. Best suited to a sheltered position, this vigorous clematis requires plenty of space to twine its long evergreen stems.

Companion plants for Clematis
Tips on Pruning Clematis

Cultivating Clematis All Year Around

  • Pot up small clematis plants and grow them on until large enough to plant in their final positions.
  • When planting clematis, choose a position in sun or semi-shade and plant the climber deeply in moist, fertile, well drained soil.
  • Position the top of the rootball at a depth of at least 3″ below soil level to encourage new shoots to form from the base of the plant and prevent wilt.
  • Clematis dislike soils that are particularly wet or dry. Soil can be improved by the addition of plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost.
  • Train clematis plants onto a suitable support such as trellis, wires or a freestanding climbing frame.

See also The Climbing Clematis Family

Grow Mandevilla Jasmines

Grow Mandevilla Jasmines

Mandevilla Brazilian Jasmine

There are over 100 species of Mandevilla but the best to grow are often sold under the name Dipladenia splendens. I rate these climbers from Central America as the type of plant you can expect to see in far greater numbers in the coming years.
Mandevilla generally have waxy, fragrant, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers during the growing season in early spring. They are fast growing woody vines that can reach heights of 10 feet so need support. Mandevilla growth is not frost proof and need winter protection although roots may survive.
The fragrant flowers of pink, red and white compensate for slightly sparse foliage.

Top Species to Grow

Mandevilla boliviensis from Bolivia and Equador flowers white
Mandevilla dodsoni Equador
Mandevilla equatorialis Equador
Mandevilla jamesonii Equador etc
Mandevilla sanderi, Brazilian jasmine vine Aphrodite shown above
Mandevilla scabra
Mandevilla splendens, Brazilian Dipladenia
Mandevilla suaveolens,
Mandevilla laxa, Argentina and Chilean jasmine white flowers

Does well in tubs, conservatories and hanging baskets. Keep above 50 degrees F
Repot as little as possible.
Requires a sunny position but tolerates partial shade.
Needs a well drained mulch or potting mix, with slow release fertiliser as it is a heavy feeder. Feed every two weeks with a fertilizer high in phosphor.
Keep moist but do not allow to stand in water.
Propagate from sturdy wood cuttings in spring.
Look out for cultivars Red Riding Hood, Alice du Pont (pink) and Yellow which has wide, bright yellow flowers. They are lower growing and shrubbier than the species and superb in hanging baskets.
Beware if you grow one as a houseplant as the sap or latex can be caustic and is reputed to remove warts (and all).

Alternative Names for Mandevilla

    • Synonym:Dipladenia suaveolens
    • Brazilian Jasmine
    • Scarlet Pimpernel or Red Riding Hood

Mandevilla coccinea
With thanks to Marcia Stefani under creative commons license on Flickr

Top Ten Annual Climbers

Top Ten Annual Climbers


What is your favourite annual climber? Most of these  climbers grow 6-10 feet in one season.

  1. Sweet Pea lathyrus odoratus must rank near the very top of any list of favourite annual flowers. they will grow 6-10 feet tall and if the flowers are picked regularly they will give endless scent and pleasure.
  2. Morning Glory Ipomea purpurea or convolvulus major has purple funnel-shaped flowers from summer until the frosts. Or tricolour ‘Heavenly Blue’ is a great variety
  3. Cathedral Bells Cobaea scandens may be half hardy perennial but it is best grown an an annual each spring for the purple veklvety bell shaped flowers.
  4. Caiophora lateritia Frothy has 2″ wide flowers that turn from coppery orange to white and grows 4′ tall.
  5. Black-eyed Susan Thunbergia alata has yellow or white flowers with the charecteristic dark brown eye.
  6. Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus grows in poor soil and flowers in a variety of colours. The seeds leaves and flowers can be eaten as a bonus.
  7. Canary Creeper is also from Tropaeolum family Peregrinum and as the name implies it blooms with irregular yellow flowers.
  8. Climbing Snapdragons Asarina antirrhiniflora is tender but has purple or white snapdragon like flowers and grow 4-5′ tall.
  9. Lophospermum scandens also looks like a snapdragon with nlarger more colourful flowers.
  10. Golden Hops are grown from rhizomes and are not strictly an annual but I think the format fits well with this list. Growing Hops Yourself  website is full of useful information
Solanum Potato Flower Climber

Solanum Potato Flower Climber


The plant family Solanaceae is large and diverse from the nightshades, through tomatoes, potatoes and peppers to daturas and Solanum there is a detailed explanation of these species on

Gardeners Solanum Tips

  • The Chilean potato vine Solanum Crispum is just the  vigorous climber to give your sunny wall an exotic look.
  • It has wiry stems which need tying up to wires or trellis for support. Prune and tie in to retain the required shape.
  • The small semi-evergreen leaves  remain on the plant in all but bad winters and easily reach 6 feet tall.
  • The potato-like flowers with lilac petals around a pointed yellow centre, appear continuously from mid-summer to mid-autumn. The variety ‘Glasnevin’ is the one to choose, as it flowers more prolifically and is also slightly hardier.
  • They are pest and disease free once established.
  • Plants like a moist but well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly alakaline in pH.
  • To propagate take cuttings from summer to early autumn. If buying from a garden centre buy when in bloom as some varieties have disappointing blossom
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