© RHS/Tim Sandall


Early-summer-flowering clematis

These valuable climbers produce a flush of showy flowers in late spring and early summer, with many producing another flush of smaller, single flowers in late summer. Perfect for making a feature of a trellis or support, their twice-flowering habit is a bonus where space is limited. 


These clematis bear large, star-shaped flowers, mostly in shades of white, lilac-pink and blue-purple. A number of popular cultivars, like ‘Nelly Moser’ and ‘John Warren’ have distinctive striped petals, while double forms, like Arctic Queen have a central mass of petals. Most grow to between 2-4m high, with smaller-growing cultivars like ‘Bees’ Jubilee’ making good container plants. 


These clematis will grow best in deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Most will grow happily in full sun or partial shade, though double forms are often best in sun.   


Clematis won’t thrive in very wet soils, nor poor soils that dry out in summer. They dislike their roots getting too hot, so plant the base of the clematis in light shade or provide shading with other plants or a dressing of pebbles. Flowering will be poor in a very shady spot. 

Did you know?

The showy flowers of double forms, which have multiple layers of petals, appeared originally as natural mutations on single-flowered hybrids.  

Growing guide

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