Growing Clematis is easier than you think!

Heads in the sun, roots in the shade

Clematis flower better when they get plenty of light. Morning to early afternoon sun is ideal. A minimum of 5 hours will give you good flowering.

Clematis planted in heavily shaded positions will not perform.

Avoid very hot westerly facing positions.

Moist and cool!

Clematis love a moist cool root run. That doesn't mean that they need a lot of water. It just means they do not like a dry position.

Make sure you plant in a free draining position if you live in an area with clay soils. Use compost or other water holding materials if you have light sandy soils.

The most common mistake of first time clematis growers is over watering! Please do not drown them :(

Give them something to cling to!

Clematis climb by wrapping their leaf stalks around anything they can find. That means you will have to provide something that they can use.

Wire or something with a small diameter is ideal if you are providing a frame.

Clematis can be grown through other plants too. Roses or small trees make perfect companions.

Pots are great!

Many clematis can be grown in pots. Bigger pots are better. Use a good quality potting mix that will hold moisture.

The smallest pot size that can be used is 30cm. A concrete or terracotta one is easier to keep the roots cool than a plastic one. As clematis maybe in the pots for a number of years, a larger pot is more practical. Add a nice frame, remembering that your clematis maybe dormant through the winter months.

The pots in the picture are 80cm pots planted with 4 plants each. A 2mt frame tops it all off for a great show.

Clematis love their tucker.......

Clematis just love fertilizer. Anything you can use on roses will do for your clematis.

  • Pots: In the nursery, we use a slow release fertilizer such as osmocote or nutricote. Liquid feeding
can also be use, but we do not liquid feed ourselves.

  • In the garden: Pelleted fertilizers such as Dynamic Lifter are good. Blood and Bone (+ Potash) is also good.

Fertilize everytime you prune, or every three months.


Some Clematis need a prune to get that massive amount of flowers that you are expecting. Just like a rose, a good hack will reward you with fresh growth and plenty of new flowers provided you have the right growing position. Pruning is not rocket science, but you have to know what sort of Clematis you are dealing with first!

Clematis are broken up into three broad groups depending on how they flower. Sounds simple right?

  1. Group One: These Clematis only flower on the previous season's growth. That means whatever growth is made before winter will be the growth that has the flowers. DON'T prune these guys in winter because you will be cutting off all your flowers!  Clematis in this group are all the Montana, Evergreen, Alpina and Macropetala varieties. More information CLICK HERE
  2. Group Two: These Clematis flower on both previous seasons growth and new growth. Prune lightly in winter to big buds making sure to cut out all weak, cluttered and dead growth. After the spring flowering, prune again to remove all the spent flowers to encourage a fresh set of flowers in summer. If the plant is sparse, prune harder to encourage branching. Feed after each pruning to encourage new growth. This group includes most of the Large Flowered Hybrid Clematis. For more information CLICK HERE
  3. Group Three: These Clematis only flower on new growth and require hard pruning in winter to encourage new growth. Some will naturally die down to the ground. They flower later in the season, around November onwards and are terrific during Summer and Autumn. This group includes the viticellas, texensis and herbaceous varieties. For more information CLICK HERE