Clematis is one of the best-loved flowering vines. With thousands of varieties, it is helpful to know which basic type you have, when or if it will need pruning, and how to provide the best growing conditions. Have a look at these best tips for growing clematis.

This is part of the Complete Clematis Care Guide with tips on planting, propagation, fertilizing, and more.

Clematis Growing Tips & Inspiration

1Choose What Works Where You Are

Look for varieties that thrive in your area without being wimps or thugs.

Watch out for varieties known to be invasive in your area.

If you are planting the clematis in a container, choose a variety that is hardy to at least one zone colder than yours and be prepared to properly protect it in winter.

More: Clematis 101 Easy Care Guide

2Choose a Sunny Location

While clematis vines can tolerate partial shade, some may not flower if they do not get adequate sun.

More: Why Your Clematis is Not Blooming and How to Get it to Flower 

3Install the Trellis First

Clematis are not tough plants. When green, the stems are fragile and vulnerable to bending and breakage.

This can be a big problem if you get the plant established and then decide to add trellis.

Those tiny tendrils will have already wrapped themselves around whatever is available and the stems may be intertwined.

Do yourself a favor and start with the trellis, get the plant in the ground, and check on your baby frequently, adding twine as needed to guide its growth.

More: How to Choose The Right Clematis Trellis 

4Visit Your Clematis Daily

While some garden plants practice forgiveness, your clematis will not tolerate completely dry soil.

Check on it daily to ensure the soil is moist, and set up an automatic watering system for super hot days or times you will be away.

More: Self-Watering Garden Options

Watch Clematis Tips

5Know Your Soil

Instead of throwing fertilizers or other items on your soil and hoping for healthy growth, consider getting a soil test from an accredited laboratory first to understand what you have.

Find a lab that will check for a variety of macro and micro nutrient levels, pH level, and provide recommendations to amend any deficiencies or monitor any excesses.

Plants can only use what they need (they will not overeat) and only if conditions are right to take up the nutrients from the soil. Adding surplus—particularly in the form of synthetic fertilizers—doesn’t help the plants and may harm the soil and water.

Know your growing environment to make the best choices.

More: Should You Get a Soil Test?

6Get an Eye for Fungi

One of the worst problems with clematis is clematis wilt. Caused by fungi, a healthy-looking plant can wilt down to nothing within days.

In addition to checking moisture levels daily, watching for wilt can save your plant’s life. The moment you notice it, it’s time to act.

More: Clematis 101 Easy Care Guide

7Know Your Type

You don’t need to know the name of your clematis, but you do need to know it’s pruning group. Of the three groups, there’s just one that needs a good haircut each year.

More: Types of Clematis and How to Identify Yours 

8Learn to Propagate

Knowing you can’t have just one clematis and they are addictive, learn how to propagate clematis cuttings so you can grow more from the ones you have.

~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛