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Sweet Autumn Clematis

"Garden Journeys" Video Feature

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Recommended Vines -

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet autumn clematis vines are completely covered with small, four-petalled blooms through much of the month of September.There are few plants, vines or otherwise, the produce more flowers over the course of several weeks than a vigorous sweet autumn clematis, right!

Native to Japan, it's Latin name may be given as Clematis paniculata,C. maximonowicziana, C. terniflora, or C. dioscoreifolia, depending upon the reference.

Despite the confusion surrounding its scientific nomenclature, there's no confusion regarding this plant's reliability as a late summer through early Honeybees flock to the blooms of sweet autumn clematis in September.autumn-flowering vine suitable for almost any Central New York landscape.

Simply plant a young vine (they're very easy to find and fairly inexpensive at many garden centers) in any average garden soil (not too wet, nor bone dry) that's fairly well drained. Providing it's planted next to a trellis, arbor or fence that's exposed to at least a half-day of sun, you'll then want to stand back.

I say this because, though it may take a season or two to become established, sweet autumn clematis can easily grow twenty feet or more in a single season, overwhelming any and everything in its path!

One of our sweet autumn clematis makes itself at home on the Japanese maple tree next to the pond in our back yard.The good news is that throughout the growing season if it takes over something you'd like to keep uncovered (nearby plants, pets, young children, etc.), just grab the offending vines by the handful and cut them back as hard as necessary. I generally need to do this two or three three times a summer to keep one of our vines off the cut-leaf Japanese maple near the waterfall above our pond, above right!

The most difficult part of pruning sweet autumn clematis is disposing of the previous season's growth.Speaking of pruning, the process is very simple with sweet autumn clematis.

Because it sets flower buds on new shoots in late summer, simply cut the previous season's growth back to a couple of strong buds a foot or two off the ground on each stem in late winter or early spring, at left and at right, below. As soon as warm weather arrives in late April and early May, you can almost watch the new shoots grow, as it's not unusual for them to put on the better part of a foot of growth every couple of days!

New shoots will grow twenty feet or more in three months from buds just above the ground!One final thought/concern regarding sweet autumn clematis is it's ability to produce and disseminate a tremendous amount of seed each year, below left. This has lead to its escape from cultivation throughout many southern states and it's therefore landed on a number of invasive species lists. Fortunately, having grown this vine for the better part of fifteen years and observed many other plants for at least as long, I've yet to see it escape from cultivation anywhere in Central New York.

Sweet autumn clematis sets a lot of seed, but doesn't seem to escape cultivation this far north.So, if you're looking for a low-maintenance vine that'll cover a lot of ground, so to speak, over the course of a growing season - and produce a bumper crop of blooms, this clematis is for you!