Clematis are popular perennial vines. Clematis prefers the sun to warm its leaves and flowers while its roots are shaded under mulch or a noninvasive ground cover. Prepare the planting area with 1/2 lb. of 15-5-5 fertilizer per 50 square feet. Fertilize clematis annually with 3:1:2 or 4:1:2 ratio plant fertilizer. Clematis prefers loam soils that are rich in well-rotted organic matter and have a pH of around 7.0. Once a good root system is established, clematis is drought tolerant. Clematis vines will benefit from deep, weekly watering during times of extended drought.
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) produces masses of sweetly fragranced white blossoms. C. terniflora blooms in autumn making it a welcome addition to many gardens. Once established, C. terniflora has an aggressive, spreading nature and benefits from spring pruning. Cutting the plant back severely in spring gives it a chance to recover for fall blooms. This plant does well on arbors fence lines. Prevent spreading by potting plants and removing seeds before they have a chance to mature. C. terniflora is attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds as well as other pollinators. Its tangled stems and masses of foliage provide shelter for birds and small mammals. Sweet autumn clematis is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9.
Clematis "Jackmanii" is a purple-blossomed vine growing to 16 feet in height. Its blossoms are single and large. A mature, well cared for specimen is covered in purple flowers making it a stand-out-piece in the summer landscape. Jackmanii blooms from July through August. During active growth, fertilizing monthly with an organic fertilizer keeps this vine healthy. This clematis is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 11.
Clematis "Elsa Spath" is a small-statured vine growing to 10 feet in height. In late spring and summer, this plant is covered in single, purple-blue blossoms with older blossoms changing color to mauve-blue. Late-season blossoms are generally smaller than the previous ones. This cultivar grows well in containers and along fence lines. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9.
C. armandii grows to 15 feet in height and is covered in masses of sweetly fragrant, saucer-shaped white flowers. Due to its sprawling nature, C. armandii requires an appropriately sized support system. C. armandii is evergreen so is suitable as a living screen. This clematis is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9.