appropriate place for clematis?

lalalaApril 5, 2009

Last fall I cut down a wisteria vine that was threatening to take over my front railing. I'm considering replacing it with a clematis, but I'm not sure if it's an appropriate spot. I am attaching a photo of what the wisteria used to look like, but you can't get the whole picture so I'll try to describe it as well.

My front stoop is a concrete base about 3 feet high. There is an approx. 3.5 foot wrought-iron railing on top of that. I would like the vine to grow up that height (more than 6 feet total) and then grow sideways to adorn the railing (as the wisteria is doing in the picture).

The base of the plant would be in a mostly shaded spot (to the right in the photos). The railing gets sun for most of the day, at least 6 hours.

Does clematis commonly grow long enough for this, and will it train horizontally? Does this seem like an appropriate location? If so, I'd love any suggestions for varieties. I'd prefer something with a lighter-colored purple or pink bloom. Thank you!

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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Sure a clematis would work in that area but just realize that removing a wisteria vine can be a multi-year project. Just when you think you have removed all the roots and vines, a new vine will sprout up in a nearby area. I would insure that the wisteria was gone before I planted a clematis there. A great variety with pinkish blooms is Betty Corning which does have a fragrance. You would have to take the time to train it to grow horizontally, but if you are up to it, it can be done.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:40AM
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Are wisteria that bad? Shame, I always wanted one.

Once the wisteria is gone, I'd also advise planting more than one clematis for longer bloom period, or contrast. Betty Corning is great, in that same color scheme and easy care (trim down each year) would include:

Comtesse d. Bouchaud
Margot Koster
Emilia Plater
Prince Charles
Pink Fantasy

...all in the light purple/pink spectrum and widely available, I believe.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:04AM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Michael, wisteria can be an issue depending on the variety you plant. I had it at two previous houses and it just required pruning to keep it in control. Its vines can get rather large and can bend and splinter wood with age. The other issue are the runners that can pop up in various other parts of the yard far from the parent plant. Again, whether this happens depends on the variety that you plant. The only reason that I don't have it at my current house is that I did have two plants which were trained as shrubs but they always developed buds too early which were zapped by early frosts. I figured if I am not going to get the main spring flush of blooms why bother. They were summarily removed but I still occasionally find a vine popping up that I either try to remove by digging it out or killing it with roundup.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Thanks, everyone. That's helpful advice! So far this spring no signs of the wisteria re-emerging, but I'll wait and see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:47AM
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