© RHS/Tim Sandall


Herbaceous clematis

Clematis are known primarily as climbing plants, but there are a handful of species that do not twine or climb. These herbaceous clematis, that grow up from the ground each spring and die back in autumn, make ideal companions for other perennials, shrubs and roses in a mixed summer border.


Slender stems, that can become woody towards the base, emerge in spring. Most have foliage that resembles their climbing relatives, though the leaves of Clematis heracleifolia are larger and more vine-like. Small, starry or bell-shaped flowers with curving petals in shades of white, pink, blue or purple appear between early summer and autumn, depending on the species. 


Herbaceous clematis grow best in deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil. They need a position in full sun to flower well.  


Very wet or very dry soils, and deep shade where flowering will be poor.   

Did you know?

Being non-climbing, the stems of these plants can be quite floppy. To best appreciate their delicate flowers, use plant supports or plant near a low-growing shrub, allowing the clematis stems to splay into its branches.

Growing guide

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Useful advice

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Clematis problems: frequently asked questions

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