A gorgeous sight when covered in pure white, lightly fragrant flowers in late summer, Sweet Autumn Clematis becomes a silvery mass of fluffy seed heads in the fall. We're particularly fond of the established plant that grows on an old stone wellhead at the nursery (shown in photo) that's over 10 years old. But this prolific, small-flowered species will look equally impressive covering an upscale arbor or embellishing a utilitarian fence or garden shed. Pruning group 3.
This hardy climber is a rampant grower that can reach to 30′, but can easily be kept in check by cutting stems back to 12″ in spring. It blooms on the current year's growth, and unlike many Clematis, it will thrive and bloom well in partial shade. Plants are unlikely to bloom the first year, but expect them to begin blooming the second year.
For more information about Clematis, click on Growing Guide.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
Average Customer Rating: (38 Reviews) Write a Review
R. Jonathan from Binghamton, NY
Craves aggressive spring cutback about a foot from the ground. Blooms early fall when everything else is looking dull this one takes center stage. Grows rapidly from cut back, needs delicate trellis to give tendrils a foothold. Provides lots of privacy and heady fragrance when in full bloom.
BILL.I.AM from Arlington, VA
This vine holds fond, fragrant memories from childhood, before it became a major pest here. It is choking woodland and riparian areas along with porcelain berry, English Ivy etc. It should not be planted. No fragrance or fleeting beauty is worth degrading our natural landscapes and smothering the food plants our birds and butterflies need!
Marge from Evanston, IL
We purchased a Sweet Autumn Clematis 17 years ago with a gift certificate from WFF that was a wedding gift. We've had to move the original plant several times to accommodate repairs and construction. I planted it in its 4th location just yesterday, and expect it will be just as happy in its new home as in the previous ones. We've grown it in part sun-part shade on a fence around the deck, on lattice beside the deck to create a sense of privacy, and in a resting spot in a dormant veggie garden. Once it gets going, it's relatively care-free. If you wish to direct where it grows, it requires some training by weaving or tying. Its vines are fast-growing, its flowers are prolific. After several years, think big poufy 1950s bouffant hairdo draped with lace. It has survived large dogs and high winds. Ours is fertile and self-seeds. We have planted its offspring in other places in our yard, have given them away, and tossed them away as weeds. Some offspring have differently-shaped leaves than parent plant. New shoots just out of the ground can break off easily, so handle with care until stems become tougher. It attracts bees.
Evesongbird from Oneonta, Al.
From early spring, it provides a privacy screen as I live right near a street. I let it climb up the trellis, up the pole and up on the roof and also along the flower bed floor. People are amazed. I have to spray about 3-4 times a season for bugs as it will die otherwise, but it is well worth that!!! Amazing plant! I use it in 4 different places. Going to train it on a huge cross next year for our Lord.
Latin Name Pronunciation: klem'uh-tis
This very diverse group of lovely, ornamental vines will entice you to garden on the vertical plane. There's a Clematis for virtually every situation: grow the shorter and non-climbing types through shrub Roses and small trees and cover an arbor or a trellis with the taller varieties. The long flowering season begins with the compact alpinas and macropetalas in early spring, progresses through early summer with the large-flowered hybrids, continues through late summer with the boisterous texensis and viticella varieties, and concludes with the exuberant and infallible Clematis paniculata that will literally cover an unsightly structure or arbor in one season.
Light/Watering: In general, these lush vines like at least 6 hours of sun; some varieties are adapted to partial shade and all benefit from afternoon shade in the South. Clematis prefers a cool root run, so lay flat stones at its base, or plant annuals or shallow-rooted perennials around them. Regular watering is desirable, especially during seasonal dry periods. Clematis is deep-rooted, so water thoroughly.
Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Clematis is at its best in rich soils with good drainage. It prefers a neutral soil, so check pH and add lime if needed. Dig a generous hole and amend soil as conditions indicate, avoiding fresh manures. Plant the crown of your plant 3–4″ below the soil surface; this will protect dormant buds that will provide new growth if the existing stem(s) are injured. Provide support immediately or plants will languish. Clematis is a heavy feeder; supply a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10 in spring, when the buds are about 2″ long. Alternate feedings every 4 to 6 weeks with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Continue this alternate feeding until the end of the growing season.
Pests/Diseases: Clematis is susceptible to fungi that can cause the vine to suddenly wilt and turn brown or black. Carefully prune out all diseased tissue and destroy; disinfect your pruners with a bleach solution. Generally this disease is not fatal, especially if you have planted the vine correctly, as dormant buds will send up new growth from the crown. Handle gently when planting and be careful when cultivating, as physical injury to the stems can cause them to wilt and die.
Companions: Plant these lovely vines at the base of shrubs and small trees; they will weave their way through the supporting foliage and extend the season of interest with their showy blooms. Use the woody structure of Shrub Roses to support the non-clinging Clematis varieties; for instance, grow purple or blue Clematis through a yellow Shrub Rose for a fabulous contrast. Remember that a supporting woody plant will compete with the Clematis for water and nutrients and adjust your culture as necessary.
Reflowering: To promote reflowering for late season bloomers during the growing season, the vine can be cut by one-half after the main bloom period. Varieties that flower on old and new wood will often throw out a few blooms at the end of the growing season.
Transplanting: Young vines may be moved with plenty of soil as long as they are watered religiously. Depending on variety, cut back lightly or severely before moving in early spring.
Pruning: Dead or damaged stems may be removed at any time. Early in the first spring after planting, prune the stems of all Clematis varieties down to the lowest pair of healthy buds. Thereafter, prune to control size and shape or to encourage more profuse bloom.
Flowering tends to decline on stems that are four or more years old, so it's a good idea to prune out very old stems periodically in early spring. This pruning helps produce more compact plants with flowers closer to eye level. Sometimes, on older vines, the flowering is confined to a small area at the tops of the stems. If you wish, you can rejuvenate old plants by cutting them back severely, to about 18in. Wait until after the first flush of bloom to perform the surgery.
Clematis are divided into pruning groups as follows:
Group I plants bloom on old wood and require no pruning except to control size, in which case prune lightly after flowering back to a pair of healthy buds. Group I varieties include Clematis alpina 'Stolwijk Gold' and Clematis montana 'Mayleen.'
Group II plants bloom first on old wood and then again on new; prune lightly in early spring to shape and remove weak growth and then prune after bloom if desired.
Group II varieties include:
Group III plants all flower on new growth and can be cut back to 12″ in early spring. This group is ideal for growing through shrubs as all old growth is removed annually.
Group III varieties include:
End of Season Care: Plants may be mulched, but take care to keep mulch material away from the crowns and stems of the plants. Check to make sure that the vines of Group I and II plants are tied securely to supports to withstand winter winds.
Calendar of Care
Early Spring: Fertilize with 5-10-10 when new growth reaches two inches. If you need to move a plant, transplant young vines now. Wait until new growth appears before removing dead or damaged stems and before pruning as required by variety: leave Group I Clematis alone; prune Group II plants lightly to shape and remove weak growth; cut Group III varieties back to 12 inches above the ground, or higher if you desire taller vines.
If this is the first spring after planting, prune stems of all varieties down to the lowest pair of healthy buds to encourage strong growth and new stems.
Mid-Spring: Continue feeding every month, alternating 5-10-10 with 10-10-10. Plant annuals at base of plants if unprotected by flat stones to allow for a cool root zone. Gently tie vines to supports as they grow.
Late Spring: Mulch if desired but keep material away from crowns and stems. Water thoroughly if season is dry. Cultivate around vines with care as physical injury will cause wilting and death of injured stems. Continue to guide new growth by tying to supports as needed. Lightly prune Group I Clematis immediately after flowering to shape the vines if needed.
Summer: Watch for signs of fungal wilt and remove and destroy affected plant parts if it occurs, then sterilize pruners with bleach solution. Group II Clematis may be pruned back by one-half after main flush of bloom to encourage strong growth and new flowers. Continue to water if conditions indicate.
Fall: Check to be certain that the vines of Group I and II varieties are tied securely to supports to withstand winter wind and snow. Mulch if desired, keeping material away from the crown. If the season is dry, water well and deeply.