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Plant type Natives, Climbers
Plant Uses

Best uses

Useful for covering walls and fences, clematis can also be trained over other plants. Care needs to be taken to ensure that climbers do not smother valuable plants. Therefore, it is best to train them over well-established trees or large shrubs.

Physical characteristics

Evergreen, woody clematis that quickly rambles to around 4m.

Flowers and foliage

Pale yellow, sweetly scented flowers are produced profusely from September to November. The leaves are lime green in colour and comprised of three leaflets, which are covered in brownish down when young.

Preferred site

Plant in partial shade and allow to climb into the light.

Preparation for planting

Prepare the planting site when soil is moist and easily worked, such as after the first rains in spring and autumn. Remove all weeds and incorporate bark, compost or other organic material. Before planting, ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball, press in and water once planted. Plant with some general slow-release fertiliser and then every spring, apply an organic fertiliser (such as blood and bone) at a handful per square metre.

Maintenance tips

Climbing plants require similar types of maintenance as trees and shrubs. Apply an annual dressing (50g/m2) of general-purpose fertiliser. The first summer and autumn after planting is critical for young plants, so water thoroughly during dry periods. Mulching helps conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Organic materials, such as sawdust and bark, contribute to soil structure. Be sure to keep deep mulch away from plant stems.

Clematis is easily grown from seed. It can also be grown by taking cuttings, but these can be fickle and slow to strike.

Pests and diseases

Free from pests and disease.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Native Identification Trail