Last updated on March 7th, 2022
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Anyone with a garden knows that spring brings with it new growth and a collection of flowers, whether it be pinks, purples, oranges, reds, blues, or any other shade you can think of. But at the end of summer, most of those flowers have run their course and the plants go into dormancy.
Thereafter many gardens become bare and desolate. However, there are things you can plant to prevent this from happening. If you want to add colour to your garden in the winter with something to grow up fences, over a wall, or ramble through deciduous trees, you can choose a variety of clematis that flowers specifically in the winter, so that when all your other flowers have gone into dormancy, your clematis will be right there to fill in the gap and produce flowers in abundance.
The Top 5 Clematis that Flower in Winter
There are of course many flowering clematises from which to choose in order to get blooms all year round, but below are 5 of our favourite varieties specifically for winter flowering clematis. They are all evergreen and provide cover all year round too. The 5 varieties we have listed here all actually flower in winter, some clematis flower very early spring but we have avoided naming these because they are not true winter flowering varieties. We start our list off with our favourite variety, Jingle Bells.
1. Clematis cirrhosa ‘Jingle Bells’
The ‘Jingle Bells’ clematis gets its name, not just because of the white bell-shaped flowers it produces, but because the flowers start to appear in December, right around the time that everyone is singing their favourite Christmas carols.
In addition to the stunning whitish-yellow flowers that bloom all the way from December through to spring, the green foliage will remain intact for the rest of the year. With these varieties, you can plant them in pots or directly into the ground, so there are plenty of opportunities to be able to enjoy them in any garden.
The good news is, there is no pruning required, they are easy to care for and just require the odd trim to keep them in check. All you need to do is plant them somewhere that gets winter sunlight and then sit back and watch as your ‘Jingle Bells’ gorgeous flowers begin to appear. They really do create a stunning display of flowers in the depths of winter and are very hardy. They do prefer a sheltered spot in the garden but will grow in nearly any well-drained soil, in full sun or partial shade.
2. Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’
This clematis is a large evergreen climber that brings with it stunningly dark green leaves that in the wintertime turn a bronze shade. They are complimented perfectly by the pale cream flowers that span 8cm across and are produced at the end of autumn all the way through winter and early spring.
This climbing plant not only produces flowers in the winter, but those flowers produce a delightful fragrance that can uplift any garden. They do need full sun, so any location in your garden that gets full winter sun will suit the plant just fine. It will do well in nearly any type of soil including sandy, chalk and loam soil. It can take up to five years to reach maturity, at which point, it will have spread up to 4 metres tall by around a metre wide.
3. Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’
The clematis ‘Freckles’ is an evergreen climber that brings with it lobed and toothed green leaves which will remain green throughout the spring, summer and winter.
During the winter the foliage also takes on a bronze shade with yellow and red speckled flowers, which will continue through until spring. Come summer, those flowers will manifest fruit. If you live in colder areas you can grow them in containers or you can plant them in the ground so long as the base remains shaded and cool with the plants properly protected in the winter with a good layer of mulch.
Ideally, they prefer a more sheltered spot in the garden and do dislike acidic soil so be sure to check the soil pH before planting or plant them in large deep pots.
4. Clematis cirrhosa var. ‘Balearica’
A truly unique clematis, this winter flowering evergreen climber produces creamy white flowers that span 6cm across, assuming a bell shape, freckled with purple dots on the inside. They will bloom from the middle of winter through to the early spring, after which they give way to fluffy seed heads for that extra decorative effect.
Throughout the year you can enjoy the dark green leaves that turn a purple-bronze shade in the winter. As a climbing clematis, this is perfect for covering a wall or a fence near your doorways or your paths in the garden so that you not only enjoy the flowers throughout your winter walks, but the fragrant scent they produce too.
This is a fast-growing plant that, at its full maturity, can reach up to 240cm tall and 150cm wide.
5. Clematis clarkeana ‘Winter Beauty’
The ‘Winter Beauty’ is an evergreen climber that can reach up to 4 metres tall. Not only does it have dark green foliage but it has bell-shaped flowers that hang downwards in small clusters taking on a prominent wax-like texture and a cream colour.
When the flowers first emerge they are pale green and eventually become paler until such a point that they open up, the tips flair and you get the creamy white flowers you can see in the picture above.
This particular evergreen clematis is very well suited to acidic, alkaline or neutral soil so is not particularly fussy. You can enjoy green foliage in the summer, autumn, spring and winter with the white flowers throughout winter.
It does best in full sun during the winter but can also accommodate partial or dappled shade.
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API