clematis as groundcover

Campanula UK Z8February 12, 2014

I have it in mind to plant a few clems to ramble around the woodland floor (there are some sunnier parts and lots of very dappled sunlight).....or even over the banks and dykes which enclose the woods. I am thinking, obviously, of the herbaceous types, particularly integrifolia and also species clematis. Anyone use clems in this way? I have had a few of the shorter herbaceous ones such as Alionuskka and Pangbourne Pink but was wondering about Rooiguchi and other more vigorous scramblers. Durandii?

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aachenelf z5 Mpls

That's the way I grow durandii, but I wouldn't call it vigorous. Maybe in your climate it would be so, but not for me and I've had it for many, many years. It does grow nicely though.

I wasted so much time and effort with this one trying to get it to grow upright which despite my efforts, just looked ridiculous. Then I kind of trained it to grow through a shrub which worked nicely until that shrub died. I didn't want to move it, so I just let it sprawl on the ground. Perfection! I love it that way. It also has the good sense to hold its flowers high off the ground.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:04PM
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I tend to grow my clematis upward into shrubs, but I've heard others say that if you have slugs, the clematis will get munched on if they are on the ground. As long as you don't have slugs and you won't need to mow the area, I can't see any other problems.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:13PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I've seen Sweet Autumn Clematis as erosion control (?)on the banks of White Rock Lake in Dallas Texas. It's in full sun, though.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:21PM
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I have used Petit Faucon this way and like it. I've often wondered if Alba luxurians would work as a rambler; could be quite striking.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:01PM
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It is a good idea but in my own experience I had a Jackmani clematis that lost its trellis and started meandering around. It was quickly smothered by other plants and eventually died out. I think it could work but would require alot of care.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:16PM
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I am having to fight a clematis whose trellis rotted after 25 years and has became a bed covering ground cover (lol). Last years casualty was a 25 yr old (companion plant) tritomia that was completely enveloped all season. I wonder what the clematis will eat this year....

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:35AM
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Campanula UK Z8

ah, it can go on a munching rampage in the woods - the greedier the better.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:20AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I tried it years ago and it didn't work - it never really rambled very far (a foot or two maybe), and overall wasn't very vigorous. Not sure if it was the cultivar (don't remember which cultivar), the fact she didn't like being on the ground, or both.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:06PM
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justmetoo(z5 IL)

My praecox is a thug with thickness to what sprawls. Bloom is not much to get excited about, but the width and rambling is good. It'll go for the sun (run out or up whichever way it can get it's tips to the sun). It'll also do a decent job of overtaking whatever it's in it's way. Large leaves with lots of side branching.

My rooguchi does have the 'cute' little blooms. It's not near as sturdy of a vine though. It's my first one up in the spring and grows fast up I'm not sure it'd handle roaming around on it's own and bet it's competition. (I have mine on an upright support structure).

My durandii is a sweetheart. But I have it going both up and also rambling in a bed setting. It's not near the length, width nor fighter the praecox is though. I'm not sure it would do well and what you wanting in the setting you're thinking it for.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Campanula UK Z8

I will surely be letting C.flammula free and, having seen C.cirrhosa running wild in Greece, I might let that loose on the sunnier south-facing bank into the dry ditch (apart from when the Yare overtops).

Interesting responses.....would say the jury was still out so should be worth a punt.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:25PM
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