Getting Clematis To Bloom

Getting Clematis To Bloom

Getting Clematis To Bloom

In previous articles we have written about where and how to plant clematis to get the most out of the plant. Clematis is a garden stalwart, being both easy to initially start growing, while also having a longevity like no other as a perennial. The plant is especially desirable due to its unique violet colored flowers that fill the plant and make it stand out among other smaller or less attractive plants.

Some Basics

Planting Clematis is a relatively easy process that has been highlighted previously in our blog. But here are some other brief pointers on how to get started:

  • Clematis plants love the sun. Though the plant is hardy and will do well in most situations, they thrive in full, direct sunlight. Likewise they will do well in partial sunlight, but will struggle in mostly shaded areas.
  • Make sure to support this large plant. To get the most out of your clematis plant, you will want to support it as it continues to grow and get bigger. Eventually clematis will become too heavy for itself and will fold over and create a simple mound of foliage. To keep the elegant and climbing nature of the plant as it gets bigger, find a trellis that will fully support the weight of the plant.
  • Prune back the plant regularly. Clematis is a steady grower and can take over your garden quickly due to its relatively large size. Make sure to prevent the plant from getting out of control by taking the time to occasionally prune back old and overgrown growth to maximize the beauty of the plant.

Seeing Your Work In Bloom

But what if you have done all the work that we’ve highlighted as important to setting yourself up for success in gardening clematis and the plant is simply not blooming the way you thought it would. Nothing is more infuriating for a gardener than this inability of a plant that you’ve spent so much time working on failing to bloom. While there could be certain factors that are outside of your control, we’re going to explore a few different options to make the clematis plant properly bloom.

Time Of The Year

Like nearly every other plant, clematis has a distinct season during which it thrives and others where it either does not grow or does not grow as well. The spring and early summer seasons are prime time for this plant, as this is when the largest number of blooms and the greatest growth will occur. However, once the summer is into full swing, the excess heat will likely force the clematis plant to grow at a slower pace. This slower pace likely means less blossoms and less growth. For this reason, don’t panic if your clematis starts the spring and summer with a large number of blooms and then tapered off, this is a completely normal reaction to the weather.

The spring and early summer seasons are prime time for this plant

Soil & Roots

For optimal growth, clematis can be pickier about its roots and the soil than one might think. While the vines and branches of a clematis plant will want as much sun and heat as possible, the roots and soil will actually require exactly the opposite. The soil the clematis is planted in should drain well, but should remain moist for most of the growing season if you want the most desirable results. While these soil conditions may be uncontrollable depending on where you have planted the clematis, keeping water and shade on the soil, whether through consistent watering or mulch to keep the soil and roots cool.

Clematis can be pickier about its roots and the soil than one might think


While you may expect your clematis plant to start producing blooms almost immediately, be sure to give the plant plenty of time to grow. Clematis plants will often take 2-3 years to reach their full size and begin to produce blooms at the greatest volume. For this reason make sure that your clematis plant has had plenty of time to begin producing blooms before making major changes to your gardening plans.

Clematis plants will often take 2-3 years to reach their full size


Though this part is briefly mentioned in our first article about planting and caring for clematis, make sure to take care of the plant by regular pruning. Pruning becomes an important part of caring for your clematis plant by providing young growth to mature without being strangled by the older branches that simply don’t produce as many blooms. Secondly make sure to prune away the old blooms (deadheading) to make sure that there are still plenty of locations of the clematis plants to produce the beautiful blossoms the gardener is looking for. 

Make sure to prune away the old blooms

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