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Growing Summer-Flowering Clematis: A Beginner’s Guide

by Gregory
5 minutes read

Growing Summer-Flowering Clematis: A Beginner’s Guide

Clematis are beautiful climbing plants that produce a profusion of blooms over a long period. They are perfect for adding height and color to your garden, and they can be grown in a variety of settings, including borders, patio pots, pergolas, obelisks, and trellises.

Choosing the Right Clematis

When choosing a clematis, it is important to consider the flowering time, pruning group, and size.

Flowering Time

Clematis are divided into three flowering groups:

  • Group 1: No pruning required. Can be pruned to tidy them up after flowering.
  • Group 2: Some pruning required in February/March. Remove dead, damaged, and diseased growth. Trim other stems to just above the strongest and highest pair of buds.
  • Group 3: Hard pruning required in spring before growth begins. Cut right back to just above a healthy bud, about 30cm from the soil.

Pruning Group

The pruning group of a clematis will determine how much pruning it needs.


Clematis can range in size from small varieties that are suitable for containers to large varieties that can grow up to 10 meters tall.

Planting Your Clematis

Most clematis prefer to be planted in garden soil rather than in containers. When planting, dig a hole that is twice the width of the root ball and just as deep. Place the clematis in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping down gently to remove any air pockets. Water well after planting.

Caring for Your Clematis

Clematis are relatively easy to care for, but they do have a few specific needs.


Clematis need regular watering, especially during the hot summer months. Water deeply at the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves.


Clematis benefit from being fertilized regularly during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a tomato fertilizer, and follow the instructions on the package.


Pruning is essential for keeping clematis healthy and blooming well. The pruning group of your clematis will determine how much pruning it needs.

Pests and Diseases

Clematis are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to a few problems, such as aphids, mealybugs, and clematis wilt.

10 Pretty Summer Clematis to Grow

Here are 10 of the best summer-flowering clematis to grow in your garden:

  1. Clematis `Warszawska Nike’ (Group 3): Velvety purple flowers in late spring to early summer, and autumn. Grows to a height of 3m.
  2. Clematis `Night Veil’ (Group 3): Small, semi-nodding flowers with a redder central bar on each petal and white filaments with dark purple anthers. Grows to 250cm.
  3. Clematis florida `Alba Plena’ (Group 3): Double, greenish white flowers appear from June to October. Plant this variety in full sun, to achieve long stems of up to two meters.
  4. Clematis `Etoile Violette’ (Group 3): With an abundance of rich, deep purple flowers throughout summer, `Etoile Violette’ is ideal for growing through an evergreen or spring-flowering shrub.
  5. Clematis `Kingfisher’ (Group 2): The large blooms are prolific in May and June and may then disappear until September. To encourage more, cut the stems back in the July lull.
  6. Clematis `Picardy’ (Group 3): Suitable for a container, ‘Picardy’ rewards with lots of relatively small, but prolific flowers. These are occasionally semi-double. Intensely dark new flowers become paler with age.
  7. Clematis `Princess Diana’ (Group 3): This texensis type of clematis flowers from June to September, with vibrant pink long slim tepals, set off by bright green foliage. One of the tallest of these clematis, ‘Princess Diana’ will reach a height of 3m.
  8. Clematis `Carmencita’ (Group 3): This viticella clematis tolerates shade and grows to a height of 3.5m.
  9. Clematis viticella `Jolly Jake’ (Group 3): Prune this tough, robust violet-burgundy variety down to 20cm in February, to benefit from lots of flowers on new growth, or allow it to scramble through a trellis and flower on branch ends.
  10. Clematis `Chatsworth’ (Group 3): A vigorous grower, ‘Chatsworth’ is best suited to growing up a sturdy obelisk in a large herbaceous border, or being trained to grow through a tree or shrub.

With so many beautiful varieties to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect clematis to add color and interest to your garden.

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