Horticulture Magazine

Clematis Armandii Plant Care & Growing Tips

white clematis armandii flowers in focus

Clematis Armandii Overview

Official Plant NameClematis Armandii
Common Name(s)Armand Clematis
Plant TypeClimber / Perennial
Native AreaCentral & Western China
Hardiness RatingH4
ToxicityNone
FoliageLeathery, dark green evergreen leaves
FlowersUsually white or pink, star-shaped
When To SowMarch, April, May, September, October
Plant OutMarch, April
When To PruneFebruary, March
Flowering MonthsMarch, April, May
Sunlight

Preferred
Full Sun

Exposure
Sheltered

Size

Height
4 – 8M

Spread
1.5 – 2.5M

Bloom Time
March – May

Soil

Preferred
Most soil types

Moisture
Moist but well drained

pH
Any

Playing with vertical plants is a fantastic way of adding depth and dimension to your garden or outdoor space.

When we think of plants and floral displays, our imaginings often centre on ground level.

Flowerbeds at our feet where colours and shapes intermingle, competing and complementing each other to capture our attention.

Occasionally a tall flower may stand proudly above the rest, but the majority of the visual interest is below our knees.

a wall of Clematis armandii in bloom
Let’s get vertical

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You’re not restricted to ground-level displays.

In this post we’re going to introduce you to clematis armandii: a stunning evergreen vine with cascading white floral blooms that looks simply incredible, whether used as a backdrop or a centrepiece.

After reading you’ll be able to get this plant growing in your garden, ready for experimentation and combination with other flowers of all shapes and sizes.

What is clematis armandii?

Armand clematis, or clematis armandii is an attractive vine that spills forth with white flowers in spring and early summer, against a backdrop of rich evergreen leaves.

The accomplished combination of colours and shades make this plant a great fixture in any outdoor space, whether you’ve got access to soil or you’re limited to containers.

The plant is native to China but has found fans all over the world, and its hardiness preferences suit it well to growth in British conditions.

Incorporate this plant into your garden and we can assure you that you won’t regret your decision. It’s a pleasure to look at, easy to grow, and ready to combine with myriad other blooms.

Why grow it in your garden?

There are a few good reasons to grow clematis armandii.

Firstly, it’s easy to grow. It’s not finicky, and you won’t find yourself outside in all weathers trying to desperately keep your plant alive.

Just take care of a couple of requirements (which we’ll come to shortly) and you’re good to go.

The second reason to grow clematis armandii is simple: it’s beautiful.

There’s something uniquely captivating about vines. The way they take vertical surfaces in their stride, playing with our expectations about space and how to use it.

As your clematis becomes established and confidently asserts itself in your garden, you’ll come to love its vertical presence.

pink apple blossom flowers in spring
Isn’t she lovely?

Third? The flowers.

These small white blooms that burst forth in spring are gentle and delicate.

They’re a great advance party for the annual bloom, too, leading the way for all the other flowers in your garden.

How to grow clematis armandii

In the following few sections we’ll give you all the info you need to get a strong and healthy clematis armandii growing in your garden.

Sowing

Most people will choose to grow clematis from a cutting as this is easier and leads to a quicker bloom, however you can grow from seed. If you choose to do that, here’s how:

  • Sow in autumn into seed compost with a little grit
  • Leave in an unheated greenhouse or similar glass structure
  • Pot in early spring, choosing a 9cm pot and upgrading to 12-15cm when established

Planting out

If you’re planting out your clematis seedlings, wait until they’re well established before transferring to the ground.

Spring is the best time to plant out your clematis, regardless of whether you’re growing from seed or cutting.

You can plant out through to autumn if you live somewhere with mild winters.

Where to grow your plant

The roots and feet of clematis armandii should always be in the shade, whereas the higher parts of the plant will do best in bright sunlight.

If you’re struggling to find a spot in your garden that meets these criteria naturally, you can cover the bottom of the plant manually. Simply erect a barrier around the base using any suitable bits of material.

As well as finding adequate light conditions, you also need to plant your clematis the right distance from the wall or structure it’s going to climb.

The ideal distance is between 15 and 30cm: any closer and growth will be stifled, whereas growing further away will place too much strain on the young plant.

When you’ve found a spot, dig a hearty hole for your clematis to go in. The diameter should be at least 30cm.

Pop the plant in the hole and lean it slightly towards the wall or structure. This helps to orient the clematis correctly, giving it a better shot at taking hold.

Growing clematis armandii in containers

If you prefer to grow plants in containers rather than the ground, you’re in luck here. Clematis armandii takes well to container growth if you take time to get the right soil.

Look for flower plant mix, and make sure to use a pot with adequate drainage. Mulching the base of the plant is a good way to aid moisture retention, and doing so will have a noticeable effect on growth.

To accommodate a growing clematis, choose a pot at least 40cm in diameter. You’ll most likely need to repot every couple of years to give the plant space to thrive.

Fertilising

Adding a little compost or manure when you plant out your clematis will encourage healthy growth from the outset. This plant doesn’t require frequent ongoing composting.

Watering

Clematis armandii likes regular watering, especially through summer.

Take care to keep the soil moist and not over-saturated. As we mentioned previously, good drainage and a layer of mulch stand your plant in good stead to get the required amount of moisture.

Pruning

Pruning clematis armandii is a great way to keep it in check and to encourage a fuller and healthier bloom next year.

The plant’s early bloom lends itself well to pruning at the end of each season. Here’s what you’re looking to do:

  • Prune in February or March depending on when your clematis’ bloom finishes
  • Trim about 40-60cm from any stem which flowered
  • Remove any dead wood

This plant requires very little care compared to some others and will bounce back well from overzealous pruning.

This offers great peace of mind to less experienced gardeners who may be wary about taking the secateurs to their prized flowers!

bushy Clematis armandii in bloom
Pruning keeps things looking pretty

Troubleshooting common problems

Thankfully clematis armandii is fairly resistant to disease, although you’ll need to keep your eye out for some hungry critters.

Slugs, caterpillars, and aphids

Obviously clematis armandii is a tasty treat, as it attracts the who’s who of hungry garden visitors.

If you see telltale holes in the leaves of your plant, one of these three are probably the culprit.

For all, you can manually remove the offending insect from the plant, then apply some herbicide spray to discourage further visits.

Slugs are fairly easy to trap, and depending on how creative you’re feeling you have a few options (beer trap, anyone?).

Enjoy the show

After reading this guide you should have all the information you need to get clematis armandii established and growing healthily in your garden.

The attractive white bloom is a pleasure to behold in spring, and the deep, rich green vines make a dramatic contribution to your garden year-round.

The low maintenance requirements of this plant also bring the added benefit of letting you relax and enjoy the show. If you don’t like the appearance of this plant for whatever reason, take a look at some of the other Clematis types that may interest you.

Whether you have clematis as a backdrop for a bustling floral display, adding vertical interest and lending depth, or as a standalone piece bringing colour and texture to a wall or fence in your garden, we’re confident that you won’t regret growing this plant.

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