Evergreen Clematis

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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Clematis or Clematis – how do you pronounce it? Either way is fine and usually, most gardeners know what group of plants you are talking about.

I have an arbor that is covered with the Evergreen clematis, Clematis armandii. Another common name for this plant is Armand clematis. It is a wonderful, evergreen vine, that doesn’t seem to have any major insect or disease problems. Literature resources do list all parts of the plant as poisonous, causing a severe burning sensation of pain and mouth ulcers if eaten. Sensitive persons may have minor skin irritation. So, keep small children and pets who chew away.

The glossy, dark green foliage is an excellent backdrop for the pure white flowers on the vine that I have. The flowers begin to appear in March and sometimes persist into May and are wonderfully fragrant. There are cultivars such as Snowdrift, Apple Blossom, and Farquhariana available in the trade with pure white, white shaded pink, and pink flowers.

Evergreen clematis is a fast-growing vine that climbs via twisting stems and petioles and can quickly cover a trellis, fence, or arbor. This vine will grow in sun to part shade. It does prefer to have its roots protected from the sun and the top part of the vine in full sun. The plant likes rich, loose, well-draining soil, high in organic matter with a pH of 6-7.5. It flowers on old wood and may require pruning after flowering to prevent a buildup of tangled dead stems in the center of the vine.

Besides the wonderful traits of being evergreen and having deliciously fragrant flowers, the vine provides cover, and food for birds and is resistant to deer damage.

Join the Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Union County for Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer this Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9–11 a.m. at the Teaching Garden. Come out to ask questions and see what’s blooming and growing in the garden.