Clematis montana, the mountain clematis

Clematis montana, or Mountain Clematis, is a vine that is simply beautiful.

Core Clematis montana facts

NameClematis montana
Family – Ranunculaceae
Type – vine

Height – 20 to 25 feet (6 to 8 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – deep and cool

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – May

Described here are the right practices to bring out the best in your Clematis montana, a plant full of vigor bearing many flowers.

Planting Clematis montana

Clematis montana is planted indifferently in fall or in spring.

Clematis montana, like all other clematis flowers, loves being rooted in a shaded spot while the head basks in the sun.

  • It the base is in direct sun, as in, if sunlight will hit the root collar, then cover it with for example an old tile or a few odd rocks.

Planting Clematis montana

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 montana

Clematis montana is quite easily multiplied, either through layering of young stems or via cuttings.

Layering in spring, herbaceous cuttings end of spring, semi-hardened cuttings in summer, sowing in fall under a cold frame.

  • Layering is most successful in spring.
  • Cutting preparation is best performed in spring on young stems or at the end of summer on semi-hardened stems.

Potted Clematis montana

Growing clematis in a pot is as simple as ABC. Several Clematis montana varieties are well suited to container growing, although other Clematis varieties like Clematis alpina are better suited to it because of their slow growth.

  • 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.

Pruning and caring for Clematis montana

Pink clematis montana flowers cover a bush.The right time to prune Clematis montana is after the blooming, most often during summer. But since it is rather hardy, pruning in fall is also possible.

The more Clematis montana is pruned, the more it bears flowers!

  • Cut back stems, but not too drastically.
  • Cut to the shortest stems that have died off and weak stems.

Watering Clematis montana

Watering Clematis montana is important in case of extended dry spell and/or intense heat.

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.

Types and varieties of Clematis montana

Pale pink small-flowered clematis montana.Clematis montana ‘Alexander’

This is one of the Clematis montana cultivars that bears the largest flowers. These come in a cream-white color. If it doesn’t bear flowers immediately, don’t worry: it needs a few years before reaching the point of blooming.

Clematis floribunda ‘Lilacina’

Lilac violet-colored flowers, as its name shows. It is particularly interesting for the size of its flowers that can grow as large as saucers, over 6 inches (15 cm) across. It bears flowers all summer long.

Clematis montana grandiflora

Its blooming is immaculate white, simply magnificent against its gray-green leafage. It adapts particularly well to shaded areas.

Clematis montana var. rubens

Speed is what stands out about its growth, and its leafage and very interesting lilac pink flowers are remarkable.

Clematis montana var. wilsonii

Its blooming comes late, but patience is rewarded when the superb fragrant white flowers appear: some say they have chocolatey smell!

Smart tip about Clematis montana

You can attach your clematis to a lattice to ensure it grows the way you hope it will as it develops!


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Two white clematis blooms by 阿橋 HQ under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Pink clematis montana bush by WillowGardeners under © CC BY 2.0
Newly opened Clematis montana blooms by Josh Egan-Wyer under © CC BY 2.0

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