Growing Vines in the Heart of Darkness!
Do clematis need full sun?" is one of the most common questions we hear! The Answer? Not usually. Most clematis are fine if they have at least four hours of sun a day. However, as with all-things-clematis, there are exceptions!
These clematis need full, all-day-long sunshine to do their best:
- Any of the varieties with cupped flowers, such as Princess Diana or Duchess of Albany.
- Tangutica, the yellow clematis
- The glorious large flowered hybrids, Perle d'Azur and Ernest Markham.
Most other clematis are fine with full sun or less - down to as little as four hours of direct sun a day. Four hours, however, seems to be the
If you have between two and four hours of direct sun a day, you still have a few good options: Silver Moon, Elsa Spath and Tranquilite.
Our Silver Moon gets two hours of direct sun in the morning - and the rest of the day grows in shade so deep it might as well be in a closet! It blooms reliably for us, usually in May and again in September.
Clematis 'Silver Moon'
Our Elsa Spath grows under the overhang of a large maple tree, which blocks the morning sun. In the late afternoon, more trees to the west shade her. Throughout the early afternoon, she wanders through the center of a 'French Lace' weigela - and never climbs to the top! This means that she receives only dappled sun even during the sunniest part of the day. She blooms heaviest in June here in Maine.
Maturing at just 4 to 5 feet tall, Tranquilite is a shorter option for a shady spot. This clematis
is small enough to grow in a container or snuggle into a group of hostas.