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General information on clematis hybrids

Large-flowered hybrids are the best known representatives of the species clematis. They are appreciated for their magnificent, large flowers (considerably larger than 10 cm in diameter) and for their long flowering period. There are hundreds of cultivars, but they are more or less susceptible to diseases and need care. These hybrids can be used to green facades, as they grow up to 3 metres in height. Varieties that already flower at pole height are particularly suitable for potting on the balcony. Available varieties and prices can be found in the overview.

Flowering clematis hybrid (the classic clematis "Jackmannii")

Requirements / Price

These clematis do not like hot southeast or west oriented walls, and need a partially shaded location. Many cultivars, such as "Dr. Ruppel" and "Nelly Moser," need full shade. The location must be wind protected and the stem base shaded. The soil should be fresh and well-drained -- standing water should be avoided at all costs! The planting distance is between 0.5 and 1.5 metres. When planting, position the roots 10 cm below the surface. If potting your clematis, choose a pot size at least 12 litres. For available varieties/prices, see the overview.

Characteristics and Pruning

Clematis are frost-resistant, perennial leaf-stalk twiners, with weak to medium growth strength. Foliage develops from May to October and is not very dense. Growth height between 2 and 4 metres. Flowers open in May / June. If the flowers are consistently cut off and the soil is fertilised, there might be a second flowering in August / September. There are beautiful seeds in autumn, but the old leaves don't really fall off by themselves and need to be cut. Cut all shoots to half length at the end of the year.

Large-flowered clematis hybrids are prone to mildew and clematis wilt. Mildew can be prevented by choosing healthy cultivars and a good planting spot. Proper watering is crucial: the leaves should never get wet (just as with tomatoes). As to the dreaded clematis wilt-- all varieties that will flower multiple times and those that flower early are more vulnerable than late summer bloomers, such as the "Ernest Markham."

Wire rope trellis for clematis

A close-meshed arrangement with grid 'squares' 20 to 30 cm is optimal. Vertical axes/ropes should dominate so that the mesh is shaped in 'standing rectangles' rather that squares. See the table of suitable rope systems at the bottom of the page. Our wire rope trellis design 5050 with steel rods is a good choice-- in the easy or light version or with a medium version for optimal development of the plant. Heavy / massive designs are further away from the wall and can be chosen if the risk of mildew is high.

Suitable wire rope trellis?

Click on the image to see wich designs are adapted as a climbing aid for clematis.

Hybrid with large flowers on a wooden trellis
Clematis hybrids on a wood espalier
Blooming large-flowered clematis hybrid
Clematis on a wire rope trellis in medium construction style

Wire rope trellises for large-flowered clematis

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

  = suitable         = sometimes suitable       = not suitable