Clematis armandii, early and fragrant

Clematis armandii vine blooming with white five-petaled flowers along a lattice of crisscrossing wood.

Clematis armandii is a beautiful vine with evergreen leafage and early, fragrant blooming.

Main Clematis armandii facts

Name – Clematis armandii
Family – Ranunculaceae
Type – vine

Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – deep and cool

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – March

They are perfectly suited to old walls, lattices and also container growing.

Planting Clematis armandii

The most desirable season for planting Clematis armandii is spring, but it can also be done in fall if winter is mild in your area.

The golden rule with Clematis armandii is that the foot of the plant should stay in the shade while the head basks in the sun. If the base is in direct sun, i.e., if sunlight will hit the root collar, then cover it with for example an old tile or a few odd rocks.

  • Place the foot of the plant about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the lattice or structure you expect it to climb along.
  • Dig a hole more or less 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter.
  • Lean the young seedling towards the wall or lattice that is will hang from later on.
  • Backfill the hole with a blend of soil mix and heath soil. If the soil is very heavy, add in ⅓ river sand.
  • Fertilize the plant right at the moment of planting with a little compost or dehydrated manure: this will allow for stronger growth.

Propagating Clematis armandii

Clematis is quite easy to propagate.

Clematis armandii in pots

If you’ve got a terrace, deck or balcony and that you wish to grow your Clematis armandii in a pot, it’s perfectly doable.

For that, selecting the pot and substrate well is important.

  • Proper flower plant soil mix is required, blended with heath soil.
  • The pot must have a drainage hole at the bottom and must be wide enough (at least 16 inches (40 cm) across the first year).
  • Repotting every 2 or 3 years after that will be a necessity for your potted clematis armandii to keep growing and blooming.

Since growing plants in pots is more demanding as regards watering, the solution is to mulch the base of the clematis with a thick layer for it to keep its foot cool while still having its leafage in the sun.

Pruning and caring for clematis armandii

Once properly settled in, Clematis armandii requires very little care.

Since the armandii Clematis blooms quite early in the year, pruning can take place at the end of the blooming. Pruning serves to increase foliage density and enhance flowering in the following season.

The more clematis is pruned, the more it bears flowers!

  • Perform in March or April depending on the blooming.
  • Cut back stems that have born flowers by about 20 inches (50 cm).
  • Cut back dead wood and the weakest stems completely.

Clematis armandii can take severe pruning in stride. Even if you hard prune it to a stump, it will sprout back new stems.

  • Simply remember to prune just after the blooming to have flowers in the following season.

Watering Clematis armandii

Watering is a good idea over the 2 first years, but no need to add fertilizer. Doesn’t this make it an easy plant to care for?

  • In pots, water regularly, especially in summer.
  • Keep the soil a bit moist.
  • Always protect the base of the plant with a tile or shingle or stone to keep it cool.

Clematis armandii in pots – watering

Needs of potted plants are more important in pots, because they dry off much faster when the weather is dry.

  • Water as soon as the soil is dry on the surface, especially in summer.
  • Mulch with a good layer of mulch or clay pebbles to retain moisture and cool the soil.

All there is to know about Clematis armandii

Bright white blossoms of a clematis armandii vine.Clematis armandii lavishes us with superb evergreen leafage, thick and at the same time shiny leaves. Its early blooming starts at the end of winter and lets us sample cute white flowers with a vanilla-like fragrance which are very ornamental.

Clematis armandii is native to China.

Hardiness isn’t what Clematis armandii is best known for. Indeed, it won’t resist temperatures lower than 14°F (-10°C). Consequently, it must be grown with care in places where winters are rather cold.

Areas with milder winters are actually where it will bloom earliest in season, sometimes as early as February. Its flowering will be all the more impressive.

Smart tip about clematis

You can attach your clematis to a lattice to ensure it grows the way you hope it will as it develops! Make it strong, because Clematis can live decades and grow rather large!

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
White Clematis armandii on a lattice by Peter Stevens under © CC BY 2.0
Clematis armandii bunch by 阿橋 HQ under © CC BY-SA 2.0