A Vine for all seasons
Common Name: evergreen clematis
Botanical Name: Clematis armandii
Form: woody vigorous vine
Plant Type: woody vine, liana
Mature Size: 15 to 30 feet in length and up to 15 feet in width
Growth: fast, aggressive
Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10
Foliage: deep green glossy, compound trifoliate (3 leaflets), 3 to 6” x 1” wide, hang downwards
Flowers: fragrant, clusters, star-like, 2 to 3 inches wide, with 4 to 8 white petals, March, April
Fruit: achene, many dry seeds with a silky tail, resemble fluffy plumes
Stems: stems climb by twisting around their support, becomes woody, aggressive
Exposure: full sun to part shade
Soil: good draining soil and organically rich
Uses: screens, birds, hummingbirds & butterfly gardens, winter garden, woodland, rock walls
Propagation: division or stem cuttings
Pruning: prune after flowering, blooms on old wood
Problems: aggressive growth, sap can cause contact dermatitis
This beautiful, but vigorous woody climbing vine, is coveted for their vanilla to almond scented white flowers that are so profuse their leaves go undetected. Two to four inch star shaped blossoms bear four to 8 petals with prominent stamens in the centre. Sporadic blossoms may appear occasionally after the major flowering period in March to April. The flowers are not just pretty, they attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators.
This evergreen woody vine looks good all year round with its deep green, shiny leathery trifoliate leaves. Because it’s evergreen, it makes a perfect screen when grown on a trellis. Since this vine grows quickly and is woody, provide a sturdy support. It’s best not to grow it on your house as its twining stems will grab on to anything, making it difficult to remove. Plant them independently of permanent structures such as arbors, pergolas, fences and gazebos.
To keep the plant in check cut it back once the flowers have faded. Remove all dead, spindly, diseased and broken stems. Once that is done, cut back all side shoots to a couple of buds. If it is too rambunctious, remove some stems entirely. This vine is not recommended for containers because it just gets too big and aggressive.
Problems occur when evergreen clematis are not planted in the right spot and if their soil is too dry and lacks nutrition. They need at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. Good draining organically rich moist soil is best. Mix a few inches of compost or well-rotted or composted manure into the soil. Top it off with a 3-inch layer of mulch over top of the soil around the plant but keep it a few inches away from the stem. Since evergreen clematis dislike dry soil, the mulch helps retain moisture.