Clematis cirrhosa, or Evergreen Traveller’s Joy, is an exquisite clematis vine that blooms in winter.
Name – Clematis cirrhosa
Family – Ranunculaceae
Type – Vine
Height – 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – November to March
- All our pages about clematis
This Christmas clematis is one of the rare species that bloom in winter. The range of colors is extensive, with patterns such as pink-studded cream and bell-shaped flowers. The evergreen leafage is also beautiful.
Planting Clematis cirrhosa
Traveller’s joy clematis (also called Evergreen Virgin’s bowler) is planted indifferently in fall or in spring. Clematis cirrhosa, like all other clematis vines, loves being rooted in a shaded spot while the head basks in the sun, especially during the winter blooming.
In summer, if sunlight hits the root collar, then cover it with an old tile or form a tent with a few flat rocks.
How to plant Clematis cirrhosa:
Cirrhosa Clematis requires some kind of structure to climb up along, it must be set at a distance of about 8 inches (20 cm) away from the root collar.
- 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 garden 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 cirrhosa:
Christmas clematis is quite easily multiplied, either through layering of young stems or via cuttings.
- Marcotting is performed in spring.
- Cuttings should be prepared in spring from young stems, or at the end of summer with semi-hardened stems.
Potted Clematis cirrhosa
It is perfectly possible to grow your winter clematis in a pot, even though some varieties such as Clematis alpina are better suited because they grow even more slowly.
- Proper flower plant soil mix is required.
- The pot must have a drainage hole at the bottom and must be wide enough.
- Repotting every 2 or 3 years will be a necessity for your potted clematis to keep growing and blooming.
Caring for Clematis cirrhosa
- No pruning is actually needed, particularly so because Christmas clematis growth isn’t very fast.
However, at some point in time, you might wish to reduce the size of the branches or balance out the growth of your Evergreen Traveller’s joy. Best do this at the beginning of spring or in fall after the blooming.
- Shorten older stems without pruning young new ones.
- Cut to the shortest stems that have died off and weak stems.
Watering Christmas clematis
However, if in pots, you’ll have to water your Evergreen Virgin’s bowler as soon as the soil feels dry to the touch.
Watering in spring and summer:
Evergreen traveller’s clematis can’t withstand drought, and neither can it cope with excess water that might make the roots rot away.
- Regular watering is recommended over the first year after planting.
- Maintain moisture in the soil.
- Always protect the base of the plant to keep it cool. For example, you might lean an old tile against it, or use mulch.
Learn more about Clematis cirrhosa
The botanical name of this clematis, “cirrhosa”, has nothing to do with the liver. The latin meaning of the word relates to how it latches on to branches and trellis: it has small tendrils.
Clematis cirrhosa varieties
- C. cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’
- ‘Jingle Bells’ winter clematis (a timely fragrant bloomer for Christmas!)
- Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, possibly the easiest to get your hands on (very worthwhile)
- A subvariety of its own, native to the Balearic islands: C. cirrhosa ssp. balearica
- ‘Landsdowne Gem’ has uniform violet petals
You can attach your traveller’s joy clematis to a lattice to ensure it grows the way you hope it will as it develops! Clematis cirrhosa can resist freezing and cold temperatures down to 5°F (-15°C), and even -4°F (-20°C) if it’s only a short while.