Why Did My Clematis Not Bloom?


Showy and often fragrant, clematis vines aren’t difficult to grow. Not all clematis require the same care. Check your cultural practices if your clematis vines aren’t blooming.


  • Clematis requires six or more hours of direct sunshine to flower well, although the vines like their roots shaded by mulch or a groundcover. If you garden in an area with hot afternoon sun, plant the vines in an eastern exposure or where they are shaded in the afternoon,


  • Clematis needs an inch of water per week once established, according to Ohio State University’s website. Supplemental watering will be needed during dry spells or on windy days.


  • Fertilize clematis in spring and fall with plant food with a 1-2-1 ratio; these types of fertilizers are labeled as suitable for flowering plants. Avoid fertilizers with a high nitrogen or N number, since nitrogen encourages leaf growth at the expense of flowers.


  • Improper pruning prevents clematis from blooming. Spring-blooming vines should be pruned immediately after flowering. Large-flowering hybrids bloom in summer on the previous year’s wood, so only prune them lightly in the spring to remove dead stems, then cut back the vines to the top pair of good buds. Late-flowering clematis bloom on new growth and should be pruned back to 18 to 30 inches from the ground in early spring.

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