Clematis in Florida?

Lithia, FL

Has anybody been successful growing clematis in Florida? If so which ones?
I have been looking for a good vine to grow on the posts of my front porch. I love the pictures I have seen on the Clematis but have been unable to find any reference to any in florida gardening books even though all the info I see shows that they do grow in zones 9a/9b. I live just south of Tampa.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I bought a couple of clematis from Wal-Mart soon after I bought my house. I struggled with them as they attempted to survive, but, even though they kept returning after the winters, they never grew more than a few inches tall. It may have been partly due to my continuing to move them from spot to spot trying to find where they would be happy, but that spot was never found. I finally put them by a fence (probably with too much shade) and gave them the direction to live there or die and I've never considered trying to grow hybrid clematis again.

I do, however, have what I think is the native Clematis virginiana in abundance (but it could be C. terniflora after reviewing the info in the Plant Files) It was here when I bought my house and overtakes the entire back yard if I let it (and I generally never get around to taming the back end of my yard). It is wonderful! It blooms in Autumn with white flowers that are very fragrant.

C. virginiana:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/1168/index.html

C. terniflora:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/683/index.html
The C. virginiana's southern most range seems to be Zone 8b, but you are welcome to try some. The C. terniflora seems to extend further south. If you would like to try the plant, I could send you a pot of what ever it is I have when Spring comes.

I greatly envied and coveted a neighbor's clematis that I would see from my vehicle coming and going near where Sugarweed lives. I had wondered how anyone could get a clematis to grow so beautifully. It was coming up out of a pile of rocks and trailing down over the edges with big white blooms in the neighbor's front yard. When I finally found the time and was brave enough to risk a closer inspection, I found out that the clematis was PLASTIC! That may be the only type of hybrid clematis we can grow in Florida. LOL

Jeremy



Lake City, FL(Zone 8b)

Nancy - I have also tried in vain to grow Clematis and have failed everytime I get the urge to try one. I think the reference to the Zones are sometimes deceiving as some of those recommendations are for other areas of the country in Zone 9a/9b where the summers and weather is alittle different. I think Florida summers are just too long, humid and hot for them. Every plant I have bought grew as well as Jeremy's did with never a bloom and never growing more than 10 inches high. One of the plants that I have used to substitute the Clematis down here is the Passiflora - there are many different varieties to choose from, the butterflies luv them and I've had luck with everyone I've tried so far.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I too have never had success with a clematis....after years of trying, I finally decided with all of the vines that grow and bloom in Florida, I may as well stick with one of them instead...When in Rome...
:)

Orlando, FL

Hello I live in Orlando and our neighbor around the block has vines growing on the side of his house on a trillis and they had these big
flowers on them last month and he was out there and I asked him what kind of flowers he had growing and he said clemitis. He has had them growing for years so guess they do grow here. My mom gave me one she had in Miss. and I bought it home but it was in oct and even tho it growed it has not bloomed so thought it would do so when spring arrives her maybe march. I have no idea which ones the neighbor had or the one I have is. mary

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

AhhHa, My dear friends the secret is 3 years. The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third they LEAP.
The top of the plant loves sun. The roots do best shaded and cool. I have one that bloomed twice this year, spring and fall. I plant them next to the fence and the put a low bush over the roots.
Sidney

Wimauma, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi,

I'm in Hillsborough, too. Lots of things that say they can grow in zone 9 should include the words "except for Florida and the gulf coast" ... and where in Florida makes a big difference, too - up near Georgia gardeners can do things we can't, and vice versa. Those gorgeous clematis in the catalogs will not give you the results you want. There are a few clematis that live here... the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants at http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/ has pictures and maps of where the plants are growing (documented... not every plant everyone is growing!) Just put "clematis" in the search box and a list will come up.

There are lots of vines that do thrive here. I used to fight more with the climate - but I would rather just work with it and use the plants I don't have to coddle (much!)

Diane my garden website: http://home.earthlink.net/~hidiane2/dianesgarden/

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, Sugarweed, I may have to slip up the block and pilfer some clematis! I love them, but gave up on growing them. I guess patience and leaving them in one spot is the key. I knew the part about full sun but cool roots. I tried pampering my weak stemmed clematis with some nice cool rocks around their roots, but still not much happened. I've left them alone the past year, so maybe in another year or two they will LEAP! That would be nice.

Jeremy

Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

I live in North Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. I grow several different varieties of clematis. While the vines do not cover themselves in blooms, they do perform okay.Mine get full sun until about three pm. The roots are well covered in mulch.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

I have had them in the ground about three or four years. This past year they did much better. I am hoping for even more this year. Mine start blooming in April. the pics are from April 05.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

I agree that the secret is to plant and leave em alone. Make sure the roots are very well mulched.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

In May of last year I got a few more blooms.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

And while the vines have not grown huge, I am happy with the blooms I do get.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

And this one was a late bloomer in June.

Thumbnail by rylaff
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, Rylaff, you've restored my love for clematis. Maybe I'll give them a chance again but start with good strong stock. I'm not sure the little $1.98 guys I bought in plastic bags at Wal-Mart had much of a chance with all the odds against them.

Jeremy

Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, mine were actually Walmart buys.

Lake City, FL(Zone 8b)

WOW - Rylaff - IF I see them at Walmart again this year - I also may try them.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Another wowser!, Rylaff. If you can get those results from the little wisps of prepackaged plants at Wal-Mart, then you must have an especially green thumb when it comes to growing clematis! I sit in awe and envy and will give the clematis another try.

Jeremy

Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

The area of mine yard where the clematis are growing tends to be a bit cooler than the rest of the yard. My pond, which has a waterfall nearby and the shade comes over it about3pm. The roots have a good amount of mulch. There are quite a bit of plants nearby to help shelter. I dont think they will ever grow huge, but the multiple blooms are good enough for me. Just dont let them cook.

Paxton, FL(Zone 8a)

I'm right above rylaff about 40 miles. I have one of the Wal-mart clematis and it is doing well. It grows on an arbor and gets sun most of the day til late afternoon. It has been there two years I think. Last year it bloomed pretty well and grew probably 15-20 feet. LIke rylaff, I keep the roots mulched for coolness. But I will say, my first tries were not successful. I don't think I shaded the roots with mulch or anything.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I'll check to see if there are any signs of life from the spot where I stuck my ailing clematis. A passion vine I planted (fragrant variety, Passiflores indicum, I think) completely took over the area of the fence where the clematis and other vines were planted. I somewhat regret planting that variety of passion vine. While it is wonderful to have so many passion flower blossoms with a nice, light fragrance, it crowded out a lot of other vines and is now sending out shoots as far away as about 30 ft from the original plant!. A bit too much of an otherwise good thing.

Jeremy

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