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The Best Clematis Varieties for Shade

best clematis for shade

Clematis is a beautiful flowering vine that can add color and interest to any garden. While many varieties thrive in full sun, there are also plenty of options for gardeners who have shady spots to fill. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best clematis varieties for shade and discuss how to care for these lovely plants.

Best Clematis Varieties for Shade

Nelly Moser

One of the most popular clematis varieties for shade is Nelly Moser. This stunning plant produces large, pale pink flowers with deep pink stripes. It's a vigorous grower that can reach heights of 8-10 feet, making it perfect for covering arbors or trellises. Nelly Moser prefers partial shade and moist, well-draining soil.

Princess Diana

Another great option for shady areas is Princess Diana. This clematis variety produces deep red flowers with yellow centers. It's a compact grower, reaching heights of only 6-8 feet, and prefers partial shade and moist soil. Princess Diana blooms in mid-summer and continues to produce flowers until early fall.

Jackmanii

If you're looking for a more traditional clematis variety, Jackmanii is a good choice. This plant produces deep purple flowers and can reach heights of up to 20 feet. Jackmanii prefers partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. It's a fast grower and will quickly cover any trellis or arbor.

Caring for Shade-loving Clematis

Watering

Clematis plants that grow in shady areas still need plenty of water to thrive. Make sure to water your plants deeply once a week, especially during hot and dry weather.

Fertilizing

Clematis plants also benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 formula, and apply it once a month during the growing season.

Pruning

Pruning is an important part of clematis care, regardless of whether your plants are growing in full sun or partial shade. In general, it's best to prune your plants in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

Other Shade-loving Plants to Pair with Clematis

Hostas

Hostas are a great choice for pairing with clematis in shady areas. These low-growing plants have large, attractive leaves that provide a beautiful backdrop for clematis flowers.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding hearts are another shade-loving plant that pairs well with clematis. Their delicate pink or white flowers add a lovely touch of color to any garden.

Ferns

Finally, ferns are a classic choice for shady gardens. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be used as a backdrop or filler plant for clematis vines.

FAQs

What is the best time to plant clematis?

The best time to plant clematis is in the spring, after the last frost. This will give your plants plenty of time to establish themselves before hot summer weather arrives.

How often should I water my clematis plants?

Clematis plants should be watered deeply once a week, especially during hot and dry weather. Make sure the soil around your plants stays moist but not waterlogged.

Do clematis plants need support?

Yes, clematis plants need support to grow properly. You can use a trellis, arbor, or other support structure to help your plants climb and spread.

Can clematis be grown in containers?

Yes, clematis can be grown in containers as long as they are large enough to accommodate the plant's root system. Make sure to choose a container with good drainage and use a high-quality potting mix.

How do I prune clematis plants?

The best time to prune clematis plants is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. The exact pruning method will depend on the variety of clematis you're growing, so be sure to research specific instructions for your plant.


Clematis is a versatile and beautiful plant that can thrive in shady areas with the proper care. By choosing the right variety and providing plenty of water, fertilizer, and support, you can enjoy stunning clematis blooms all season long.

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