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Clematis Montana [KLEM-uh-tiss, MON-tah-nuh] is a flowering plant belonging to the Clematis genus and the family Ranunculaceae.
Learn more about Clematis Vine Care
Montana clematis is a late Spring bloomer producing masses of flowers.
Clematis Montana is commonly called:
- Mountain clematis
- Himalayan clematis
It’s native to the mountainous regions of Asia, from Taiwan to Afghanistan.
While the popular garden plant grows well in temperate regions, it requires specific care to control its growth.
Here’s a closer look at how to cultivate Himalayan clematis.
Clematis Montana Care
Size and Growth
Clematis Montana vine is a fast-growing deciduous climber.
The vines easily climb over structures and can grow up to 40′ feet long and spread up to 15′ feet without grooming.
While mature plants grow quickly, it grows slowly during the first couple of years.
It may also take several years for vigorous blooms to appear.
Flowering and Fragrance
The bloom time starts in late spring or early summer, producing delicate pale pink flowers with four rounded petals and yellow centers.
The flowers produce a delightful scent and as the blooms mature, the pale pink color starts to fade.
After the flowers wilt, the seed-heads remain, providing color for the rest of winter.
Popular Varieties Include:
- Clematis Montana var Rubens – Oldtimer from 1958
- Clematis Montana var Grandiflora – pristine white flowers
- Clematis Montana ‘Pink Perfection’ – single 2″ inch pink flowers
- Clematis Montana ‘Broughton Star’ – unusual beautiful two-toned double-flower
Light and Temperature
Himalayan Clematis grows well in a wide range of regions.
It’s winter hardy to USDA zones 6 to 9 and may survive occasional freezing temperatures.
Grow in a spot receiving full sun or partial shade during the afternoon. The plant needs at least six hours of full sunlight.
Watering and Feeding
Water young plants and potted plants weekly, ensuring the soil doesn’t completely dry out during the warmer months.
- Keep the soil slightly moist.
- Mature plants may not require weekly watering.
- Add slow-release organic fertilizer at the start of each spring to promote more flowers and fuller foliage.
- When the flowers appear, use a liquid fertilizer with each watering until the end of the bloom.
Soil and Transplanting
Himalayan clematis prefers well-drained soil with neutral or slightly alkaline pH levels.
If the soil is too acidic, the leaves may turn yellow or develop yellow spots.
TIP: Add limestone to acidic soil to increase the pH level.
Transplanting isn’t needed unless it outgrows its container.
Transplant in the spring using the same soil recommendations.
Trim dead vines to promote more growth the following spring and to control the size of the plant.
How To Propagate Himalayan Clematis
Propagate by seed or cuttings.
- Collect seeds from the seed heads after the flowers wilt.
- Wait for the seed heads to brown and develop a feathery exterior.
- Pull them from the vines while holding a container under your hand to collect fallen seeds.
- After collecting several seed heads, shake them over the container.
- Pour the seeds into an envelope and store in a dry place until the following fall.
- Sow the seeds directly in the ground or starter trays indoors.
- The seedlings should appear within several weeks.
- Wait about two months before moving plants from a starter tray to their permanent homes.
- Keep in mind plants grown from seed may take several years to mature and begin producing full blooms.
For faster results, propagate with vine cuttings.
- Take healthy cuttings in early summer.
- The cuttings should be woody and contain a few sets of leaves.
- Dip the tips in the rooting hormone and place it in well-drained soil.
- Keep them in bright sunlight, but not direct afternoon sunlight.
- Spritz the plants with water every other day to maintain high humidity.
- The cuttings may take one to two months to take root.
- After new growth appears, add fresh soil to support the young plants.
- After the plants are fully rooted, trim the stems back to just 12″ inches.
- This helps it branch out, creating fuller growth.
- Young plants may not automatically start climbing.
- The stems cannot wrap around anything with a diameter exceeding half an inch.
- Use twine or fishing line to give younger plants something to grab on to until it begins to secure to a permanent feature, such as a trellis or fence.
Himalayan Clematis Pest or Disease Problems
Aphids, scale insects, thrips, and whiteflies are known to attack Himalayan clematis.
These pests suck fluids from the leaves, creating small holes or causing the leaves to yellow.
A strong spray of water may remove the pests.
If the plant is in a container, take it outdoors and spray it.
If water doesn’t work, try trimming away the infected parts of the plant.
Spraying the plant with homemade insecticidal soap or White Oil may also stop the infestation.
When using insecticidal soap, coat the entire surface of the leaves.
Along with pests and diseases, pay attention to the location of the plant when planting outdoors.
It’s considered invasive in some parts of North America, as the climbing vines and root system can spread quickly.
Clematis Montana may also pose a threat to animals.
It’s considered toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
It may also cause mild irritation in ingested by humans, so keep it away from pets and children.
Suggested Clematis Montana Uses
The climbing plant is perfect for adding a cover to walls or fences.
It also climbs easily on trellises and works as a ground cover.