It’s Clematis Time!

When we returned from DC we discovered that the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ had entered into its peak bloom period.



This clump of Clematis reaches from the ground up to the roof, and then a little bit further. It’s actually three vines, the original and two offspring.

DSC_0486How can anyone resist those big purple flowers?

DSC_0489This may sound like hyperbole, but this burst of Clematis bloom is considered an annual event by the dog walkers and others who regularly pass by on foot. I know because they’ve told me. Really.

DSC_0536This year’s display, while certainly pretty good, is not quite up to the standards of the recent past. The last couple of years the entire wall above was a great mass of rich purple. In the current year, however, patches of white trellis can be seen and the blooms are not so dense.

I suspect that this year’s less spectacular showing is the result of my chronic inability to follow directions. I had gotten the misconception that this Clematis should be cut back by half after blooming, and last year I did so for the first time. However, this was entirely wrong.

I just checked my source, which isΒ The Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis, by Linda Beutler. What the author actually says is that you can cut ‘Jackmanii’ back by half (instead of to 18″) in February and you will get blooms about a month early. Cutting it back in July simply reduced the amount of energy captured by the foliage for the following year’s flower display.


In any case, all the Clematis news isn’t about ‘Jackmanii’. In the Driveway Border, ‘Betty Corning’ is still going strong.


And Clematis ‘Multi-Blue’ is preparing for a second round of blooms. It flowers in May on old growth, then has a burst of new growth producing a new bunch of buds. Nice to see a plant behave like it’s supposed to. ‘Ice Blue’, on the other hand, is resting now after producing a second round of flowers earlier in June.

How are the Clematis doing in your garden these days?


42 Comments on “It’s Clematis Time!”

  1. Your clematis look great and I admire that each one has it’s own spot with it’s own support. Mine are left to fend for themselves and it’s a lucky day when the blooms come up and can be seen. I really need to work out a few supports!

  2. Gorgeous! I can believe people stop and remark on its beauty! It wasn’t a great year for the clematises in my gardens–the trellis supporting ‘Nelly Moser’ fell down over the winter, so she’s been slow and not as prolific as usual (I did put the trellis back up), and someone came along and ate all the buds off ‘Jackmanii’! Not sure if was deer or woodchuck. It was the first time that’s ever happened, and hopefully the last! I have to admit that I’ve never cut any of my clematises back–I’m so scared I’ll do it at the wrong time! Normally, it’s a system that’s worked out well for me! (Not sure I’d even be able to find ‘Jackmanii’ in a normal February to cut it back!)

  3. You have some wonderful Clematis vines! I can see why your ‘Jackmanii’ bloom is an annual, anticipated event–it’s spectacular. I only have two patches of ‘Nelly Moser,’ and while I love them, they peak in May. The seedheads are fascinating, though, and they persist through the winter. I think that’s true of all Clematis plants?

  4. That’s certainly a nice welcome home greeting somewhat akin to the excited welcome dance done by dogs. Your clematis must have missed you. My clematis are always a jumble of foliage and wiry vines as I never really prune them other than to use the hedge trimmer to keep the ones on the arbor from dangling into people’s eyes as they pass by. Funny, some folks just don’t enjoy being hit in the face by flowers. Go figure.

  5. Clematis here are on hiatus for the most part. The early ones are finished. My Jack is finished with the big flush but has some blooms still. Rooguchi has several little blooms on it but it doesn’t get enough sun to do much. I should move it but I hate the thought that it might not live if I move it. The double blue has done it’s major bloom and now has a late flower on it. That is how it goes here right now with the clematis. I really like your jack. Amazing how prolifically it blooms. The perfect spot and a trellis that encourages growth and space for blooms.

  6. I must say that I’m beginning to look forward to seeing jackmannii each year, what a jewel!!! Not at all surorised passers by admire it. That is always so satisfying! You must have the perfect soil for clematis, they like it here

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