Clematis Care and Growing Tips:

Learn from Clematis Expert, Deborah Hardwick

Deborah has spent more than 20 years studying, collecting, growing and hybridizing Clematis, a plant affectionately known as "queen of the vines." A renowned expert, her Hardwick Hall garden in central Ohio includes thousands of varieties.

Spring Hill partnered with Deborah to create our extraordinary, new line of Ready-to-Grow Clematis. These vining plants are known for their versatility, long lifespan and vibrant, exotic-looking blooms. Clematis plants can live 15 years or longer and produce blooms in many shapes, colors and sizes—some as large as 10 inches across.

Deborah's vision for bringing Clematis to your garden springs from her high standards. She requires plants that are colorful, durable, hardy, easy to establish, strong stemmed and heat tolerant.

Deborah and Clematis Plants

Deborah Debunks A Few Clematis Myths

To wet your Clematis appetite, here's a little taste of Deborah's lecture on the

"Myths and Truths About Clematis."

  • Myth #

    They are difficult to grow.

    Clematis are fairly easy to grow when planted correctly and when they receive adequate water during the growing season.

    Myth: Difficult to grow
  • Myth #

    Plants must have their "feet in the shade" to keep their roots cool.

    There's no need to protect Clematis roots from the sun. In fact, growing smaller plants nearby in an effort to shade the roots can hurt Clematis plants by keeping them from getting the nitrogen and other nutrients needed to thrive.

    Myth: Feet in the shade
  • Myth #

    Pruning can harm your Clematis

    Pruning actually promotes Clematis performance. When and how to prune, depends on the type of Clematis. Pruning is a garden style, not a requirement for Clematis. To learn more about pruning Clematis, visit our EZ Pruning Guide.

    Myth: Pruning harm Clematis
  • Myth #

    Plants have a short flowering time.

    In many cases, you control the flowering time. Really. Deadheading, pruning and adequate watering extend the bloom season. You can also plant multiple Clematis varieties with different bloom times to enjoy a longer season of flowering.

    Myth: Short flowering time
  • Myth #

    Clematis need full sun and have special soil requirements.

    Clematis are very adaptable. They can thrive when receiving sunlight levels ranging from full sun to partial shade, and they tolerate many soil types and pH levels.

    Myth: Need full sun and special soil
Myths About Clematis

Deborah's Recent Hits

Introduced for the first time in the U.S. by Deborah and Spring Hill:

Learn more from
Deborah about Clematis
in these videos

Deborah Hardwick Lecture Series

Deborah's Lecture: Vines on Ground
Deborah with Clematis

Deborah's past lecture topics include:

  • Myths and Truths about Clematis
  • The Beautifully Diverse Genus
  • The Virtuous Viorna: An In-Depth Look at Native American Clematis
  • The Best Clematis for your Garden.

Previous engagements include: Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society, Royal Botanical Gardens (Toronto), Hamilton Botanical Gardens, Toronto Gardens, Indianapolis Art Museum, International Clematis Conference (Orleans, France)

Deborah's Top 5 Tips and Tricks

  • Tips: Proper Planting

    Proper Planting

    When planting a vining Clematis, be sure the bottom-most growth nodes on stems go into the soil. Spread the roots out as you firm up the base.

  • Tips: Roots Matter

    Roots Matter

    Bareroot plants can establish faster because you are planting in the soil it will be growing in and they're less likely to dehydrate.

  • Tips: Pruning


    As blooms start waning, vining varieties can be pruned down to about 6-8" from the soil. Non-vining types can be cut off hard to the ground each spring before they commence growing.

  • Tips: Watering


    Clematis prefer to be deep watered on a regular basis, but don't water them too frequently.

  • Tips: Ornamental Supports

    Ornamental Supports

    You can use a variety of supports, from the simplest wire fence to elaborate structures.