Seedling Clematis Up and Over Almost Everything

Seedling Clematis

Seedling clematis used as a groundcover.

In our old garden, we have lots of seedling clematis. We started out with several varieties from nurseries. That’s how you get those insanely large, colorful flowers. But over the years, as a result of some plant sex, we have been able to score some free offspring. Most NEARLY approximate the beauty of the parent plant. I took a little walk today and counted thirteen seedling clematis in bloom with colors ranging from a deep purple to pink to blue to white.  Yet to come are the leather flowers, native clematis sporting small bell-shaped blooms of pink or blue or near purple or yellow. In the fall, attractive seed heads resembling silver fireworks cover the vines.

These flowering vines prefer morning sun and need some afternoon shade from the rank, late afternoon light and heat. They need sun to flower their best, and prefer to have their root ball in the shade. Last winter I dug a teenage clematis to transplant. The root mass was as large as a volleyball. I lost no clematis during the drought of 2016, which surprised me since I failed to provide additional irrigation to these plants.
It’s unusual to see clematis at the nurseries. I send my friends looking for a specific clematis to Dan Long’s online nursery: www.brushwoodnursery.com. Located in neighboring Georgia, I can be assured that Dan’s plants are suitable for the Birmingham area.

White, seedling clematis climbing plastic netting on an 8 foot fence.


Seedling Clematis

Leather flower native clematis climbs up a simple bamboo tripod.

Purple clematis seedling in a quince shrub.

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Mike Rushing

Mike and Paula Rushing have been gardening in St. Clair county since 1990, and In Forest Park since 2007. A Jefferson County Master Gardener and course instructor at Master Gardening classes, Mike also volunteers weekly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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