10 Mar Spring flowering Clematis varieties
If you think of one climber that puts on a huge show for us in Spring, it’s Clematis montana varieties. The plants are adorned with masses of four-petalled single flowers in a range of pinks and white from late Spring to early Summer. They are a perfect choice for a pergola or an arch, as they have a vigorous growth rate which creates fast coverage.
The secret to success with Clematis, is to ensure it is planted in a sheltered sunny position in moisture-retentive, well-drained soil. Even though a sunny position is best for producing good bloom, there are many varieties in the montana group that are tolerant of shade too. It is essential to keep the base of the plant cool by planting other plants around it to create shade at the roots or place a layer of pebbles or bark to act as a mulch. Always plant with the crown of the plant about 2 to 3 inches (5-8cm) below the soil level, as this will encourage plenty of new shoots from below ground level.
Pruning is always a bit of a challenge with Clematis and often it is hard to make sense of all the pruning groups and what they mean. The montana species fall into group 1. Like all early-flowering clematis such as the montana species, its requires little pruning other than the removal of any dead or damaged growth after flowering.
With so many varieties now available on the market, you are spoilt for choice. If shades of pink or white fits into your planting scheme, then why not try some of my recommended varieties to brighten up your garden this Spring:
Clematis montana ‘Grandiflora’ – This variety has trifolate leaves with pure white blooms that can reach up to 7cm across.
Clematis montana ‘Freda’ – A fast growing shade tolerant variety reaching 7m and has bronze young foliage and deep cherry-pink flowers of about 5cm across.
Clematis montana var. rubens ‘Tetrarose’ – This vigorous variety has large bronze-green leaves on reddish brown stems with rich mauve-pink flowers with golden yellow stamens.
Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’ – Another vigorous shade tolerant variety with bronze young trifoliate leaves turning mid green with age, bearing slightly scented pale pink flowers of about 6cm width.
Clematis montana ‘Fragrant Spring’ – a highly perfumed vigorous variety with dark-green divided leaves, tinged purple when young, and bearing deep pink flowers in abundance during late Spring.
Hopefully you are inspired to visit your local Garden Centre and see which varieties they sell, so you can buy one that will create some great visual impact on a bare wall or fence for this Spring.