Climbing plants

Easy Clematis for Laidback Gardeners

Clematis have the reputation of being capricious… and there’s a lot of truth to that. Sometimes one will grow beautifully while its neighbor, even if it is the same cultivar, languishes and a third out-and-out dies. Yet the conditions are strictly identical! It’s enough to make you want to pull out your hair in frustration!

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Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’ is one of the tough ones that anyone can grow.

One way to avoid this problem is to plant varieties of clematis that are known for being easy to grow. The following list (not exhaustive by any means) gives you some suggestions of low-maintenance clematis that really will give good results almost every time:

Clematis alpina and its cultivars (‘Columbine’, ‘Francis Rivis’, ‘Jacqueline du Pré’, ‘Ruby’, etc.) zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Arabella’ zone 5 (USDA zone 6)
C. ‘Betty Corning’ zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Countess of Lovelace’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Elsa Spath’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Ernest Markham’ zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Gipsy Queen’ zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Guernesy Queen’ zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Hagley Hybrid’ (‘Pink Chiffon’) zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
heracleifolia zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Huldine’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
integrifolia zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Jackmanii’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Jackmanii Alba’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Jackmanii Superba’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Lady Betty Balfour’, zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
macropetala and its cultivars (‘Bluebird’, ‘Markham Pink’, ‘Rosy O’Grady’, ‘White Swan’, etc.) zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Madame Baron-Veillard’ zone 3
C. 
mandschurica zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Marie Boisselot’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
montana and its cultivars zone 7 (USDA zone 8)
C. ‘Nelly Moser’, zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘P.B. Truax’, zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘Perle d’Azur’, zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Ramona’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
recta zone 4 (USDA zone 4)
C. ‘Rooguchi’ zone 4 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
tangutica and its cultivars and hybrids ( ‘Bill Mackenzie’, ‘Kigotia’ Golden Tiara®, ‘Helios’, etc.) zone 2 (USDA zone 3)
C. texensis and its cultivars zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. ‘The President’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
 ‘Ville de Lyon’ zone 3 (USDA zone 4)
C. 
 virginiana zone 2 (USDA zone 3)
C. 
viticella and its cultivars(‘Margot Koster’,‘Polish Spirit’, ‘Purpurea plena elegans’, ‘Royal Velours’, ‘Venosa Violacea’, etc.) zone 4 (USDA zone 5)
C. 
 ‘Vyvyan Pennell’ zone 5 (USDA zone 6)
C. ‘Warzawaska Nike’ (‘Warsaw Nike’) zone 3 (USDA zone 4)

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

5 comments on “Easy Clematis for Laidback Gardeners

  1. thanks for the share

  2. Not many perform well within arid climates. We grow a few of the fancy hybrids, and they bloom nicely, but are never happy about it. Some of the basic species (not necessarily their cultivars) are the better sort, such as Clematis montana.

  3. Josephine Mullane

    I just bought four Princess Diana clematis. Am I going to be disappointed? I live in Moncton NB. Thank you.

  4. Why USDA zones? I thought this was a Canadian newsletter. Our zones are not the same.

    • Bill Russell

      The first zone indicated is the Canadian one; the US zone being in parentheses. There are readers of this blog all around the world, not only Canadians.

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