Clematis viticella is actually a single species that has been developed into many different cultivars over centuries. Less showy than the large-flowered hybrids, viticella's graceful, modest flowers are most loved for their long flowering period, and their tendency to appear in abundance. One of the healthiest clematis, viticella is a great choice for facade greening, able to reach up to 5 metres in height. Many varieties and breeds have emerged that are very close to the wild form and now form a group of their own within the clematis family. However, the group based on the wild form is not to be confused with the 'viticella' group, because though they have viticella ancestors, they include large-flowered hybrids and are actually much further away from the wild form than the varieties described here. Clematis viticella are excellent partners for climbing roses!
Varieties available: see Overview
Clematis viticella needs a partially shaded location. These clematis don't like hot south-east or west facing walls! While they tolerate moderate to even poor soils, you'll want to give them rich, well-draining, composty soil. Ideally, the base of the plant should remain in shade and in a spot protected from wind. Plant the root ball about 10 cm below the surface. Keep a distance of 1.5 - 3 metres between individual plants. For available varieties, see the clematis viticella overview.
Clematis viticella are leaf tendril (petiole) climbers, frost-resistant, and perennial. They grow with moderate vigour, with foliage from May to October, up to about 5 metres in height and often just as wide. Older plants can cover large areas with their dense vegetation. The flowering is very long and even the seed capsules are beautiful... but, wilted leaves won't detach by themselves and need to be cut toward the end of the year (autumn). This pruning is done according to "pruning group 3" -- cut down to 20 - 100 cm above the ground, depending on the height the plant should reach the following year. Hearty and resilient overall, susceptibility to mildew and clematis wilt is quite low.
Clematis viticella will need a support with a finer gauge, so with grid spaces 25 - 35 cm. The vertical axes should dominate (standing rectangles instead of squares). See the bottom of this page for suitable wire rope systems. Light versions are sufficient, but trellises in the medium range allow for optimal development.