Evergreen clematis, also known as Clematis armandii, is not as well known as deciduous clematis. But this plant certainly deserves recognition for its ability to climb upward of 20 feet on walls, arbors and trees. Its dark green glossy leaves remain evergreen year-round, giving it its name. Evergreen clematis flowers fragrantly adorn the vine in late winter clusters. This easy-to-grow flowering vine grows well in a warm climate garden.
According to Floridata.com, the evergreen clematis is a rugged plant that uses tendrils for grasping, twisting around and climbing on the branches and twigs of shrubs and trees. It will also deftly climb arbors and trellises. This plant has a fast growth rate, so it becomes a noticeable part of your landscape rapidly. It reaches a height of up to 20 feet, so be sure to provide it with something sturdy and tall to climb.
Evergreen clematis flowers in late winter or early spring with fragrant four- to six-petaled flowers that bloom in clusters at the ends of branches. The blossoms are roughly 2 1/2 inches across and produce a contrast against the deep green of the plant’s foliage. There is often a second flush of flowers later in the spring or in summer.
Where it Grows
According to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service, you can grow evergreen clematis if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 7b to 9. However, Floridata notes that Zones 8 to 10 are best for growing evergreen clematis vines.
Clematis armandii is not suited for growing in zones where freezing is a regular occurrence. Consistently moderate to hot temperatures are necessary.
Preferred Growing Conditions
Full sun is preferred for the best blooming, but evergreen clematis plants will tolerate partly shady conditions, especially in hot climates. Regular watering is best for healthy plants, even though Clematis armandii is somewhat drought tolerant. Ideally, the soil should be consistently moist, but never soggy. A layer of mulch over the roots helps to keep them cool–clematis plants prefer "cool feet."
If desired, prune promptly after flowering. Flowers will develop on the previous year’s growth, so give the plant plenty of time to develop new growth after pruning.
Clematis armandii Apple Blossom and Snowdrift are the two varieties of evergreen clematis. Apple Blossom boasts blossoms that begin pink and then fade to white, and Snowdrift has a pure white blossom. Both are fragrant.