Clematis and Roses: A Favorite Combination

It is quite the scramble in May as the clematis climb over the roses. Just select your favorite clematis and your favorite rose and mix them up.

In my garden, I use two common varieties. Clematis 'Jackmanii' and Knock Out™ Rose 'Radrazz' are planted along the inside of the cottage garden fence. As with many combinations in my garden, these provide the purple and deep rose bloom colors that I love so much.

The clematis is rated for zones 4-9 and is a Group 3, meaning to prune back in late winter at the same time as roses. I have good results by leaving a few leaf nodes when pruning. There are three along the inside of my front fence.

The roses are suitable for zones 5-9 and are tough, drought-resistant roses that bloom off and on from May through a few frosts. I've had them bloom up until Thanksgiving. The only real maintenance problem is due to Japanese beetles that attack in the summer. I've tried a number of solutions, but cutting off the rose blooms while the beetles are around worked better, and was easier, than other methods. It took a few weeks for the roses to push new growth and bloom again, so there was some down time.

Yes, the deer will normally eat clematis and roses, so the plants need to be inside a fence. In May, there tends to be enough food in the wild that the deer allow me to enjoy the blooms that spill over, outside and through the fence.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron


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