Live to Plant

How to Care for Clematis Plant

Updated: July 18, 2022

Clematis is a beautiful and popular flowering plant that adds color and interest to any garden. These plants come in a variety of colors and sizes, and they can be trained to grow up trellises or along fences. While clematis plants are relatively easy to care for, there are a few things you need to know to ensure they thrive.

Choosing the Right Location

Clematis plants prefer a sunny location with well-draining soil. They also like their roots to be kept cool, so it’s a good idea to plant them in an area where the base of the plant is shaded. You can achieve this by planting low-growing plants or placing mulch around the base of the plant.

Planting Clematis

When planting clematis, make sure you dig a hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball, but not too deep. The crown of the plant should be at soil level. If you’re planting more than one clematis plant, space them at least 2-3 feet apart.


Clematis plants need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Make sure the soil around the plant stays moist, but not waterlogged. Water deeply once or twice a week instead of giving the plant frequent shallow waterings.


Fertilize your clematis plant in early spring before new growth appears. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can also add bone meal or compost to the soil when planting to provide extra nutrients.


Pruning is an essential part of caring for clematis plants. The timing and method of pruning depend on the type of clematis you have.

Group 1 Clematis: These early-flowering clematis bloom on old wood, meaning they produce flowers on last year’s growth. Prune these plants after they bloom by removing dead and damaged wood.

Group 2 Clematis: These mid-season flowering clematis bloom on both old and new wood. Prune them in early spring before new growth appears by removing dead and damaged wood and cutting back last year’s growth to the first pair of healthy buds.

Group 3 Clematis: These late-flowering clematis bloom on new wood, meaning they produce flowers on this year’s growth. Prune them in late winter or early spring by cutting back all the stems to a height of 6-12 inches above the ground.

Common Problems

Clematis plants are generally hardy and disease-resistant, but there are a few problems you may encounter:

  • Yellowing Leaves: This can be a sign of overwatering, poor drainage, or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Wilted Leaves: This can be caused by dry soil or a fungal disease called clematis wilt.
  • No Flowers: This can be due to pruning at the wrong time or not enough sunlight.


Can I grow clematis in a container?

Yes, you can grow clematis in a container as long as the pot is at least 18 inches wide and deep. Make sure the container has good drainage and use a high-quality potting mix.

How often should I fertilize my clematis plant?

Fertilize your clematis once a year in early spring before new growth appears.

Can clematis grow in shade?

Clematis plants prefer full sun but can tolerate some shade, especially at the base of the plant.

How tall do clematis plants grow?

The height of clematis plants depends on the variety. Some grow to only a few feet, while others can reach up to 20 feet tall.

In conclusion, caring for clematis plants is relatively easy if you follow these simple steps. Choose the right location, water and fertilize regularly, prune at the right time, and be aware of common problems. With proper care, your clematis plant will reward you with beautiful blooms year after year.