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The Plant Guide

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Downy clematis

Clematis macropetala

KLEM-ah-tiss mak-roe-PET-ah-lah
Clematis macropetala 'Blue Bird'

Downy clematis is a hardy, deciduous early bloomer that can flourish in Zone 4. The species will climb to 10 feet with a little support, and it has bell-shaped, purple-blue, almost columbine-like flowers about 1 to 2 inches, sometimes up to 4 inches in diameter, that mature to fluffy, pinkish seed heads. Blooms appear in spring and early summer, sometimes followed by a second flush in late summer to early autumn

Noteworthy CharacteristicsVery hardy. Large, purplish blue flowers and attractive seedheads.

CareUsually grown in sun but well suited to shade. Can be grown scrambling through low shrubs or in a tub or basket. Needs little or no pruning. They can be hard pruned to 12 inches, immediately after flowering, if they have outgrown their space. New shoots will bloom the following spring. Keep roots cool and moist and grow in fertile, well-drained, acidic soil with abundant organic matter. Plant with the top of the root ball 3 to 5 inches below the surface and provide strong support.

PropagationRoot softwood cuttings in spring or semi-ripe cuttings in early summer.

ProblemsWilt, powdery mildew, rust, fungal spots, and stem cankers are common. Scale insects, whiteflies, earwigs, aphids can occur.

  • Genus : Clematis
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Uses : Containers
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring, Early Summer, Late Spring, Spring, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Characteristics : Showy Seed Heads
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Vines
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