Many Group 1 clematis flower in late winter and early spring, so they’re well-worth considering if you’re after some early colour in the garden. Plus, many Group 1 clematis have rich fragrance to appreciate.
Clematis in Group 1 are those that flower on wood created the previous year, so don’t require pruning. However, if you’re growing a vigorous clematis in need of cutting back, such as Clematis montana, you can cut them back immediately after flowering.
More on growing clematis:
Not sure how to grow your clematis? Take a look at these tips on training climbing plants for ideas and inspiration.
Discover some of our favourite Group 1 clematis to grow, below.
Clematis montana is perhaps the most well-known of the Group 1 clematis. As well as the species, there are numerous varieties to pick from, including the double-flowered ‘Marjorie’ (pictured). Most are shade-lovers that flower in May and June.
Double, pink Clematis montana ‘Marjorie’
Clematis armandii is an evergreen species with shiny, exotic-looking foliage. The white blooms are beautifully scented and appear from March to April. Best grown in a spot in full sun. Cultivars to grow include ‘Snowdrift’ and ‘Appleblossom’.
White blooms of Clematis armandii
This species includes popular varieties like ‘Freckles’ and ‘Wisley Cream’, and they’re ideal if you’re after winter flowers. Plant Clematis cirrhosa in a sunny position and it’ll provide pretty blooms against a backdrop of glossy, evergreen foliage.
White Clematis cirrhosa
Clematis x cartmanii
Clematis x cartmanii originates in New Zealand and has evergreen, filigree foliage with an abundance of fragranced blooms – usually appearing in April and May. Cultivars to grow include ‘Early Sensation’ (pictured), ‘Avalanche’ and ‘Fragrant Oberon’.
White Clematis x cartmanii
This tough clematis is ideal for growing in cold spots, such as north-facing boundaries. Take your pick of the many cultivars, including early-flowering ‘Pamela Jackman’ (March-April) to the cornflower-blue ‘Frankie’. Discover more plants for a north-facing wall. This species is also the best for growing in containers.
Clematis alpina ‘Helsingborg’
This species includes gorgeous cultivars like ‘Amber’ (pictured), which was named RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2016. Most Clematis koreana cultivars flower in April and May, while ‘Amber’ will flower in May, June and again in September.
Pendulous, pale-yellow blooms of Clematis koreana ‘Amber’
Planting your clematis
Most clematis prefer to be planted in garden soil rather than in containers. If growing in a pot, plant in John Innes no.3 with added grit. Plant your clematis in a position where the roots will be in shade and the top growth in sunshine.