Clematis – a Beautiful and Colorful Climber

Clematis – a Beautiful and Colorful Climber

Clematis grows easily in a rich, porous, alkaline soil with lots of room for the roots to spread. The best performance is when the tops are in full sunlight and the roots are shaded, so apply a generous mulch. It’s a very reliable performer once it’s well established, but they take a couple of seasons to look nice and full. This German flower does well in zones 3-9.
Clematis grows easily in a rich, porous, alkaline soil with lots of room for the roots to spread. The best performance is when the tops are in full sunlight and the roots are shaded, so apply a generous mulch. It’s a very reliable performer once it’s well established, but they take a couple of seasons to look nice and full. This German flower does well in zones 3-9.

Konigskind (child of a king), is the longest blooming species in the clematis family and it is a lovely blue flower over four inches wide. The petals are slightly ruffled and overlap each other making each flower look larger than it actually is. This variety should be cut back in early spring to just above the previous year’s stems – about a foot from the ground. It will normally bloom for three to four months.

If you’re looking for a yellow bloom, you want the “Radar Love” variety. It’s easy to grow from seed and will take about four months to start blooming and will grow abundantly on seven to eight foot blooms. The flowers are a canary yellow with bright green leaves.

A newer Clematis introduction is the Peppermint TM and it’s a white flower which will bloom in mid to late summer and again in fall. The autumn bloom is lime green instead of white and has distinct stripes. The bloom is about 2 1/2 inches and has a long, elegant inner layer of petel-like stamens. As the flowers mature, they expand and the outer petals will drop off leaving a pom-pom flower. This climber easily grows to seven to nine feet talk and about three feet wide. It should do well in zones 5 to 9.

One of the most colorful varieties is the Clematic Patricia Ann Fretwell. This is a candy striped flower that blooms in late spring to mid summer and again the fall. Its first bloom will have flowers six to eight inches wide, double and striped in red on a white base. The second bloom in autumn will have large single flowers. This grows well in zones 4 to 9.

This next variety is an excellent companion to roses – it’s the Will Goodwin variety which blooms intermittently all summer with a large showing at the end of the season. It has a true-blue color with fluffy yellow center and the flowers about six inches in width. This will climb to ten feet and four to five feet in width. It grows well in zones
3 to 9.

There are other varieties, one with a pink flower dusted with white dots that look like powdered sugar on the petals, and another with lavendar inner blooms and magenta petals on the outside, earning it the nickname of “ribbons & bows.”

These are truly colorful climbers for your garden.

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