Clematis 'My Angel'

Clematis for shade

Shady fence or wall? Browse our pick of the best clematis for shade.

Clematis is a versatile genus, which includes climbers for sun and shade, large gardens and small patios, open ground and pots. Most clematis need training initially but some are self-clinging. Some forms have a shrubby habit, meaning they can be grown as ground cover instead of trained as a climber.


Shade-tolerant clematis are particularly useful, as they provide colour and shelter in spots that might otherwise remain bare. Many clematis evolved growing beneath the tree canopy, and will therefore tolerate partial, dappled shade very well. Few will thrive in full, deep shade.

More on growing clematis:

Browse our pick of the best clematis to grow in shade, below.


Clematis ‘My Angel’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘My Angel’

This beautiful Group 3 clematis is in the Tangutica group, and bears similar nodding yellow flowers to others in the group such as ‘Bill Mackenzie’. An extremely attractive clematis, the stems and undersides of the leaves are burgundy, and the dark yellow flowers are flushed with burgundy, and edged with a paler yellow. Blooms appear from midsummer through to autumn, and are followed by fluffy seedheads.

Height x Spread: 3m x 1.5m


Clematis alpina

Clematis for shade – Clematis alpina

Clematis alpina is a group 1 clematis, flowering in spring. Its cream-centred, purple-blue flowers contrast beautifully with dark green foliage, and are followed by fluffy seedheads. It’s perfect for growing up a north- or east-facing wall or fence.

H x S: 3m x 1.5m


Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’

Clematis for shade – Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’

Clematis montana is a Group 1 clematis with a vigorous habit and large, almond-scented pink flowers with yellow centres, in May and June. Being so vigorous, it’s perfect for growing over a trellis or covering an unsightly wall, and is very tolerant of shade. 

H x S: 3m x 1.5m


Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

This double-flowered cultivar bears large, fully double blooms in a rich wine red, from mid-summer to late autumn. A viticella clematis, it’s perfect for growing with a climbing rose to extend the season of colour, or training through a tree. As a Group 3 clematis, it does need some sun but will tolerate partial shade.

H x S: 4m x 1m


Clematis tangutica ‘Bill Mackenzie’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Bill Mackenzie’

Sometimes known as the ‘orange-peel’ clematis, this Group 3 cultivar is vigorous and late-flowering, providing a boost of colour from July through to October. It’s perfect for growing up a fence or wall, and will tolerate partial shade.

H x S: 3m x 3m


Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’

This sumptuous Group 3 viticella clematis beats large, deep purple flowers from July to September, in contrast with dark green leaves. It’s perfect for growing over a pergola or trained through a tree, and can be planted alongside climbing or rambling roses to extend the season of colour. Tolerates partial shade.

H x S: 4m x 2m


Clematis ‘Prince Charles’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Prince Charles’

Another Group 3 viticella clematis, ‘Prince Charles’ bears masses of large, pale blue-purple flowers with yellow stamens. A compact variety, it’s ideal for growing in pots or small gardens, in partial shade.

H x S: 2.5m x 1m


Clematis ‘Fujimusume’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Fujimusume’

This compact variety bears huge, saucer-shaped flowers – up to 20cm across – in a beautiful mauve. It flowers initially in June and July and then bears a second flush in late-summer. Compact enough for pots, it’s ideal for smaller gardens and tolerates full shade.

H x S: 2.5m x 1m


Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’

Another Group 3 viticella type, Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ is a popyular variety, fames for its velvety flowers in pink-purple. It flowers from July to September and is suitable for pots. Tolerates partial shade.

H x S: 2.5m x 1m


Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’

Clematis for shade – Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’. Getty Images

Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ is one of the most well-known shade-tolerant clematis, as its brightly coloured blooms do best in shade – they can bleach in too much sun. A Group 2 clematis, it flowers in May and June and then again in September. Train it over a pergola or arch, or up a north-facing fence or wall. Partial to full shade.


H x S: 3m x 1m