Clematis and Roses

Clematis and Roses

(Photo of Prince Charles clematis in our Zone 5 Display Garden)

I just can't help myself when it comes to adding a new clematis to the garden. There is always a space that needs more color or a new clematis that is the perfect shade of blue to go with a pink or red rose. I did a walkabout early in the garden this morning and counted 68 clematis in our Display Garden in Spokane, Zone 5. All were blooming or about to bloom. We plant clematis as companions to roses, but sometimes they grow alone because they can have more bloom power than roses. Burning Love clematis is an example of that; medium size, deep magenta blooms that cover the vine, almost to the exclusion of the leaves, and the blooms last over most of the season. 

Roses and clematis are natural companions but it is important to choose wisely. Some clematis are so vigorous they will eat the rose bush or overtake any bush it is growing next to. An example if one our favorite clematis, Paul Farge (Fargesoides Summer Snow). He grows quickly and we love to train him over the tunnels and trellises. He will quickly overtake a climbing rose which is why we've had to give Paul Farge clematis his own place to grow. 

paul farge clematis spokane garden

Photo of Paul Farge Clematis (white) with Rugosa Robusta (red)

Some of my favorite combinations of roses and clematis in the Display Garden are John Davis climbing rose and Elsa Spath clematis, New Dawn climbing rose and Princess Diana clematis, Rosarium Uetersen and Arabella clematis. Around our gazebo we have Coral Dawn rose and Venosa Violacea clematis, Colette rose and Marie Louise Jensen clematis, Alchymist rose and Negrijanka clematis are growing together and blooming at slightly different times for a beautiful and surprising display.

One of my all-time favorite combinations is Above and Beyond climbing rose with Countess of Lovelace clematis. They grow at the arbor leading in the Laburnum Arch. Countess is a little prima donna, only appearing some seasons but when she does, she is a double, delicate, periwinkle blue and quite lovely. I see that she laid her vine out quite nicely this year so I am watching for a bloom to appear soon. Above and Beyond rose is blooming all over - and while I love the rose blooms, I love to unexpectedly find a clematis bloom peeking through the foliage of a rose. 

Some thoughts on planting your clematis. For the most part they want to have sun on the vine, but some varieties will tolerate shade. Be sure to protect the root area of the clematis from the sun shining and heating up the root zone. Plant something near by the base of the clematis to shade this area if you are planting in full sun. It wants the tuberous root system to be moist and shaded although it loves to have its vine in full sun. Fertilize in the spring when you are pruning and cleaning up your plant and use organic fertilizer is always a good plan.

When you shop at the Rosarium, we will help you choose the right clematis and give you specific planting instructions to take home. Ask any of our experienced, Master Gardener-trained staff. 


Here are a few of our other combinations.

Amadeus climbing rose and Rhapsody clematis 

Leonardo da Vinci rose and Burning Love clematis 

Zephirine Drouhin rose and Pinky clematis 

Veilchenblau rose and Etoile de Violette clematis  

Complicata rose Vancouver Danielle clematis 

Clematis Arabella and clematis Venosa Violacea 

Many clematis look fabulous planted together, consider a trio of colors.

clematis rose garden spokane

Clematis 3: Edda, Abilene, Zara  


 Sevillana rose (red) and Romantika clematis (deep purple)


 Whimsy miniature rose (pink) and Natasha clematis (purple)


 clematis and roses spokane garden

 Zephirine Droughin rose (bright pink) and Pink clematis (light pink)