Ville de Lyon in shade, risky?

garystpaul(4)June 5, 2009

Two websites, one here, one in the UK, claim Ville de Lyon to be "excellent for full shade" and "will thrive and bloom in shade." I'm skeptical, but had a great spot where it will get shade and dappled shade. The deed is done, but any opinions or testimony, especially favorable, welcome. GaryStPaul

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I have two (see post "lack of vigor..tired from winter"). One is on the north side of the house, but faces south and gets sun for about half a day (11-6pm), it is tall and it is in its second year. The other faces SE and is shaded in late afternoon and is 4 inches tall and hasn't flowered yet. I think it can take more sun (supposedly non-fading, unilke Nelly Moser)- but would also be interested to see it shade ability. Perhaps leave it there for a few years and see how it does, you can always move it elsewhere, right?

I think the best shade-clems are the fading types like Nelly, and Silver Moon. Most of mine are at least partially shaded sometimes. One thing I have done is to prune the canopy (assuming the shade is from trees) to let in light.

Also, if you have it in a spot where the flowers can reach for the sun (like on the other side of a fence) it might not matter, the flowers will open on the sunny side. I have a Snow Queen climbing a crap apple and the flowers all face SW, which is fine since you see it as you turn the corner.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 5:20PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Full sun or at least 6-8 hours for all clematis to flourish..remember that your sun intensity in Summer is NO WHERE as hot as mine in Texas...Jeanne

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 5:23PM
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I am totally confused. So many sources say that many clematis will do well in any aspect. Should we not believe CotW or Mary Toomey?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:59PM
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Thanks, Bradarmi and Jeanne. Janet, I have 43 clematis varieties in my garden, including a number growing in part shade. It seems to depend on the variety, but several of mine do quite well in a less than full-sun location (Gillian Blades, Snow Queen, Nelly Moser, Alabast, Allanah, to name a few).

I wrote in about the Ville de Lyon, since I've only seen that in full sun and was surprised by the claims made on these two websites. Since it takes a good couple of years before a clem really takes off, I was apprehensive about trying VdL in a shadier spot. But time will tell. GaryStPaul

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 10:49PM
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Gary...What other varieties do well for you in shady areas? I have mostly shady spots left and am in your zone. My Alabast is in bloom now (huge flowers), never gets sun as it is on north side of house.
Thanks, Marlene

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:33AM
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Guernsey cream, lemon shiffon, Clair de lune, Silver Moon, Elsa Spath, Ramona, viticella violacea, Josephine, Pink fantasy all do well in my highly pruned dappled shade. Most whites should be ok, dark colors like purple will look very non- distinguished.
Check out Donahue site for clems for shade list.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:38AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX) won't ever do wrong if you give your clematis at least 6-8 hours sunshine..some that fade will do better in that amount of morning only sun..I have found that especially here in my hotter zone of 8B..Jeanne

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:49AM
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Jeanne, you're said full sun or at least 6-8 for all clematis for flourish. Obviously, others have had good luck growing some clematis in shade.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:02AM
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On the online nurseries' websites, I've seen *recommendations* that certain clems be planted in shade or part shade. Check the thread "Need good clem for very shaded area" for a sampling.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:37AM
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I don't have experience with VdL in shade, but I do have experience with him getting powdery mildew even though he gets light from noon-sunset & gets great air circulation. Same growing conditions as Niobe, a few feet away, which never gets it. I keep telling myself to get him in morning sun to solve the problem. I may just get rid of him altogether if I get sick of it enough.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:51PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Janet..I have many that flourish in 6 hours of morning sun and shaded from then on. what do you consider to be shade?..remember that my southern sun is much more intense than yours and I tend to plant most of my two's in morning sun only and the 3's adore full sun ..I always thought plants are considered full sun if they get at least 8 hours of sun?..Jeanne

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:18AM
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trowelgal(Kansas Zone 5)

Hi Janet,
I have a Ville de Leon on a trellis in shade nearly all day and it is full of blooming flowers. It gets about 2 hours of late day Kansas sun and thrives like crazy.
Tina or trowelgal

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:48PM
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That is good to know, Tina.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:17AM
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Yes, very good. I'll know in a couple of years how this VdL likes its shady spot. In general, I'm happy to grow and enjoy clematis in different modes, from the lavish displays put on by those in full sun to the more modest and in some ways more "natural" looking ones that throw out a few flowers now and then from a shadier corner of the garden.. GaryStPaul

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:03AM
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I don't mind it either if some plants don't produce a profusion of blooms as long as the plant is healthy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:55AM
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lostmermaid(zone 5b Ontario)

My ville De Lyon is on the south side of a pole on the north side of the house. Hardly get any sun till late afternoon. Seems to be doing well and flowered excellent last year(being the first year in). I see it is about 10' up the pole right now. We shall see how well it performs.

I also have Fireworks on the east side of the house competing with a wisteria. Doesn't get tall but boy does it bloom!. Polish spirit and Rubromarginata are on the trellis that gets about 3 hours sun in the morning then again very late in the afternoon in summer. They get more than 8' as well. Tangutica (several!) is in full shade and doesn't hurt it a bit. But then what could?

Etoile de Malicorne does well underneath a very bushy cherry tree. Flowered great this year but didn't manage to get it trained up the trunk very far.

Probably the best performance this year was Freda. Rated zone 7 ( just read that this year). I have had her for 5 years and she is in full shade underneath another wisteria. I got the best performance out of her yet. I am so pleased. Due to the zone I would not risk moving her to accomodate the montana nature of her.

I'd say try it and if Ville de Lyon doesn't do well then perhaps it does need more sun.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 6:07AM
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I love it! Thank you Tina & lostmermaid for contributing your experiences! This information is more valuable than you can imagine. Both in z5 too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 5:18AM
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I have a Ville de Lyon growing over a hydrangea on the east side of a large barn where it gets probably 3- 5 hours of morning sunlight, depending on how the sun angle relates to the trees, followed by shade the remainder of the day. It's been there for 3 seasons and is thriving, good vegetative growth and plenty of flowers.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:13PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)


I know this is an old post but here is my input on Ville de Lyon. Mine grows in part shade, entangled with a Franziska Maria. They both receive 2-3 hours afternoon sunlight and are full of blooms.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:55AM
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