Favorite Clematis

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

What's your favorite clematis?
Why?
Which pruning group is it in?

I'm looking for a couple of clematis.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I had a purple one where I used to live-it was there when I moved in and I think it was probably C. jackmanii, I loved it.
Where I live now, I planted several, trying to pick those that would be tolerant of neglect, so mostly C. viticella cultivars.
C v. Etoille violette has taken off, it gets up in the neighbors magnolia, 30 feet and covers it with blooms which I see from my second story window. I bet the neighbor does not even know it is there!
One of two C. v. prupurea plena elegans died, as did 'Huldine" and 'Wada's Primrose'.
For shear beauty, C v. 'Blue Angel' is lovely, but I planted it in a spot that has become too shady. Also C. texensis 'Odoriba', same problem, but these have survived an extremely droughty situation under a cedar.
On the north side of a sunny fence, I have C. fargesioides 'Paul Fargas' (aka 'Summer Snow' which is covered in blooms all summer, like, well, a summer snow!
One thing you may have noticed-I choose Clematis in pruning group 3, so it is super easy-in late winter I go around and whack them off at a foot off the ground. That way I never have those ugly snarls of branches, and none get overgrown because they have to start over each year. Well, except the ones I want up in the trees- I leave a few stalks so they will get up there easily when they start to grow in the spring.
Most of these that survived are not the large flowered hybrids, I tend to choose (or keep) the smaller types, they are just more vigorous here.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I too have started buying only Group 3 Clematis. I have C. Henryi, C. Clair de Lune, and C. Ernest Markham, C. Belle of Woking. I had bought all of these before I knew what I was getting into with the pruning. Eh.
I bought C. H F Young since I figured out the pruning, but I do believe that one is worth the special pruning. It's gorgeous, prolific and blooms a very long time.
I don't prune Ernest Markham. It seems to do fine.
Clair de Lune is beautiful but is a little more temperamental.
I put in C. Huldine last year. It's pumping out quite a few buds this year.
I also have C. Duranadi. It blooms from early Spring to fall. Very nice and a very true blue color with yellow centers. I have C. rougouchii that is really prolific. It blooms all summer and goes all over the place. I'm looking at C. Snow Showers but haven't found anyone that is offering it for sale.

Now, I look for Group 3 clematis. They are so much easier to take care of not only for purning but just in general. I ordered C. Princess Diana and C. Cardinal Wyszynski.

I was hoping this thread would encourage input from members.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I am tempted to try C. durandii again, I have a garden I am trying (with little success) to do true blue. I tried one where I lived before, it did not take. Is yours in sun?
One thought I had on the Group 1 and 2, is just to prune hard like a Group 3 every 3 or 4 years, and just miss the early blooms that year. I hate the snarley brown tangle that develops.
The Snow Showers-I am layering a few starts, probably could pot them up next spring. If you remind me in March or April I could send you one.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My C. durandi is in terrible soil by the mailbox so next to the blacktop. It's in full sun and doesn't skip a beat. It blooms all summer. I have thrown some horse manure on it this past year. Other than last year, it's had very little care. It's a nice blue. It's more of a "warm" blue than a cool purple-blue as are most blue and purple clematis.
I've been tempted to prune some of mine that get rather tangley like a group 3 also. I too hate the tangled mess. I spent quite a bit of time today tieing up one of mine that is a noid. I bought three clematis years ago and didn't have the sense to keep the tags. I sure have regretted that. I can't figure out which Clematis I have. :( I've done a lot of research trying to figure out what those three are.
I have come to the conclusion I have one of them is C. Asao. It's the very first one to bloom in the spring. The blooms are red-violet that lightens almost to white down the center of the petals, lovely yellow centers and about 7 inches across. It has lots of blooms from the bottom on up. I have it growing up a dogwood tree so is in quite a bit of shade.
In my opinion, the clematis in my area is fine in bright shade or dappled shade.
In my research, I have found some Clematis in one resource will label the Clematis as a group 2, others say it's a group 3 and then, others will say it's a 2 or 3. HF Young is one of them. Mine is in a wad right now. I had a Thnubergia growing up it and the Thunbergia literally took over causing the Clematis to get in a big tangled mess. (I won't do that again!!) It blooms for a very long time. I've already got blooms on it as well as Henryi, Asao and Clair de Lune. I'm going to let H F Young bloom this season and then, I'm cutting it back to 12 or 18 inches from the ground.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Although I have never layered a Clematis, I could try to layer the C. Durandi. We could trade. Let me know what you think.
Durandi vines are more "fleshy" unlike the brittle vines of other Clematis. I think you should try it again. It's a good one and pretty easy to grow.
I'm going to post a new thread about one of my C. Henryi.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Oh a trade sounds fun. Maybe try a layer, but also since durandi is herbaceous rather than a climber, it might not have nodes to put roots out, so maybe dividing is the way to go?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I'll go check it out and see what I can figure out.

Toms River, NJ(Zone 7a)

I wish I had remembered to only choose GROUP 3 Clematis - but unfortunately, I have a whole slew of Group 2's: Josephine, Rosemoor, Snow Queen, Niobe, H.F. Young, Elsa Spath, Barbara Jackman, Westerplatte, and Versailles. I only have a few Group 3's: Hagley Hybrid, Jackmanii, Rouge Cardinal. I have Warsaw Nike listed as Group 3, but just read that I should treat it as a Group 2.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I read somewhere that If a Group1 or Group 2 Clematis turns into a snarly mess, the next spring you can just whack it off at a foot tall, like a Group 2. That year you will lose the early blooms, but will still have late blooms and it will look much better. I don't know if it is true, but have sometimes been tempted to try one (I have drooled over the ones you chose) and see how this works.

Toms River, NJ(Zone 7a)

I only have (4) Clematis planted in the Ground - all of the others are planted in Containers (Stone Urns). I love container gardening, and since I have very limited
space and property around my mobile home, I had to resort to planting some of the Clematis in containers, but in containers that would be able to 'winterize' outdoors, so Stone Urns was the only option. This is my 1st year in growing Clematis - so Wish me Luck ! Thanks.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I know that now Clematis are being specifically bred to be small and suitable for containers, some of them look lovely! Are you trying any of those?

Toms River, NJ(Zone 7a)

I just bought the new Book out by Raymon Evison - on Patio Clematis, which includes all of his own cultivars of Clematis bred for Containers. Some are nice, but some are not to my liking. I prefer the larger-flowered varieties, some of which can be grown successfully in containers provided they are under 8' tall.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I just pulled my favorite Clematis book off the shelf: Clematis by Keith and Carol Fair, Clematis experts/growers from England. It was published in 1990 so is surely out of print, but it has an enormous amount of detailed info on the plants. They of course don't have the newer cultivars, but do have lists of suitable ones for containers, organized by when they flower. I see your Niobe, Elsa Spath, and H.F. Young on their list. They also mention that all the May/June flowering hybrids including doubles, can be grown in containers, but they do list the best ones. They consider the best ones to have "compact growth".
I will have to get this new book by Evison from the library.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Nice to have some activity here.
I have read you can treat HF Young either as a 2 or 3-but really a 2. Mine is VERY prolific in flower as well as vines. I grew a BES vine on it last year and the BES vine took over--I mean took over grew across the 3' sidewalk and into the garden across the sidewalk. HF Young is blooming prolifically and beautifully I might add right now. I believe it's my favorite clematis.
I bought 4 clematis probably 25 years ago. I bought 3 for hummers not realizing back then hummers like trumpet-shaped flowers, but I knew they liked red. So. three descriptive tags said RED color. The fourth was a pink one. Wow. I misplaced the tags and didn't pay attention to the names. Back then, I didn't realize how interesting it was to "know" which Clematis you own. Well, I have been trying to figure out for years what the names of the first 3 "red" clematis were. Two of them were not red at all. One was red. I posted several pictures on the forum last year asking for help identifying them without any success. Well, after years of research off and on, I finally figured out what those 25-year-old "red" clematis are:
1. Asao: group 2 my first one to bloom. Light red violet with an almost white stripe down the center of the petal. It blooms for a long time.
2. Ernest Markham: group 2. It's pretty much a real nice red-- a blue red, but red. I figured it out as the stamens have a brown stripe half way down the center of the stamen. I find that quite interesting, and what a way to distinguish it from others.
3. Ville de Lyon. It blooms the latest.
Asao and Velle de Lyon look quite a bit alike. One has to really scrutinize these beautiful plants to determine which is which.
4. And lastly: The pink one: I believe it is Comtesse de Bouchaud. All these years I "thought" it was Clematis montana 'Mayleen'. I have figured out is not Mayleen. I believe it is Comtesse de Bouchaud. It blooms mostly at the top and to a nice surprise, it's a group 3. Yea!

So, after all of these years, I finally figured out what those very first Clematis I bought all those years ago are.
Almost all of my Clematis are in some sort of or all shade. I think Clematis do quite well in the shade here in hot, humid Mo.

I have read you can plant Clematis in pots and not have to worry about them freezing in the winter if they can grow in two zones colder than your zone. In other words, I am in a zone 6, so I could put a Clematis that is capable of withstanding zone 4 winters in a container. I hope that makes sense.

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