Why should you buy clematis? “Cause they’re beautiful, that’s why!!”

These colorful perennial vines can be at home almost anywhere. In addition to the usual planting on trellises, try growing them on a fence, a stone wall, around a tree trunk, or over stumps and rock piles. Use them to frame porches and other entrances or to cover unsightly utility poles. You can also grow them along with your climbing roses, or through shrubs of all kinds. Clematis can also be grown as a ground cover. They even make a good cut flower to add to your vase or float in a bowl.

Perhaps you will choose the large double pink blossoms of Empress, the rich lavender of Elsa Spath, the deep velvet purple of Jackmanii Superba, or the soft mauve of Proteus. Maybe the smaller but iridescent blossoms of Blue Angel or the ruffled dark pink Hagley Hybrid will catch your eye. Or you might pick Dr. Ruppel (ruffled lavender with deep red center) or Mrs. Cholmondeley (very large true blue) for their interesting names alone. Whichever of the summer bloomers you prefer, don’t forget Clematis Paniculata, commonly known as Sweet Autumn. Blooming in August and September, this sweet-smelling clematis should be a part of every garden.

Clematis can be planted in spring, summer or early fall. Select a location with at least 5-6 hours of sunlight. Clematis roots are long and run deep and like it cool and damp, though not soggy. A good idea is to plant annuals around the base of clematis to shade the roots, or mulch the ground around the base of the clematis plant to help keep the soil and roots cool. Always apply a mulch around the base of your clematis through the winter dormant months. With proper care your clematis plant will give you much enjoyment for many years!