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What To Plant Under My Clematis? X Ideas To Consider

Clematis has astonishing diversity, with enormous purple, white, or pink blossoms. Some have yellow bell-shaped flowers. If you're trying to decide what to plant under your clematis, choose foreground plants whose flower colors contrast with the clematis blossoms. We've done thorough research on this topic and found the best answers for you.

When trying to decide what to plant under your clematis, it is best to select plants that will complement the clematis. Here are six plants that you can place under your clematis:

  1. Groundcover roses
  2. Koeleria Vallesiana grass
  3. Sea Holly
  4. Maiden grass
  5. Cosmos
  6. Sweet Peas

We will also discuss why clematis leaves turn yellow, if you can deadhead clematis, and how often you should water clematis. We have answers to all these questions, so continue reading to discover more about clematis. 

Clematis flower hiding a garden fence, What To Plant Under My Clematis? X Ideas To Consider

Foreground Plants For Clematis

Blooming clematis "Niobe" in the garden. Shallow depth of field.

Clematis is a perennial plant that gives gardens frequent fragrant blooms and vines. Clematis thrives in every climate in Oregon

Clematis is incredibly diverse, and they are sensitive to cold. Some plants fit as foreground plants for clematis, but avoid overcrowding at the base of clematis to ensure optimum growth by making sure each plant is correctly spaced.

Here are six plants that can be placed under clematis:

1. Groundcover Roses

An excellent option for planting clematis' base is a groundcover rose. Clematis and roses are a classic match. Groundcover roses are known as the spreading and trailing shrub roses. They have glossy leaves and thorny stems.

Groundcover Rose "The Fairy" in the summer garden.

Most people refer to groundcover roses as just low-growing shrub roses. These robust and long-flowering plants perform best in locations such as slopes. They typically require little care and have high disease resistance.

In areas where the clematis is exposed to the weather, they primarily flourish. After planting, give roses plenty of water to help them grow. You should be able to prune both the rose and the clematis simultaneously. 

Like all roses, the optimum conditions for groundcover roses are full sun. However, plants in part shade have a lower chance of illness, even though they might not bloom quite as well. You may use organic materials to modify the soil to keep your plants looking their best.

Click here to see this Saxifraga seeds Rose groundcover on Amazon.

2. Koeleria Vallesiana Grass

When the grass is not cut, the garden becomes a natural reserve favorable to biodiversity.

Koeleria vallesiana grass grows in North America, Asia, and Europe. Try planting grasses under Clematis for a modern appearance. It is beneficial for extending the season because they bloom sooner than most other ornamental grasses.

Koeleria vallesiana can receive full sun to moderate shade. It also requires good drainage. You may water it when necessary but not in excess.

3. Sea Holly

Sea Holly - Eryngium - flowers

Planting perennial crops at the base of the plant trellis is a natural fit because clematis is an herb that grows back every year from its root system. Sea holly has gorgeous steely-blue flower heads that can endure for a long time.

With its prickly leaves and colorful blooms, sea holly plants make a striking addition to garden plants. They are incredibly resilient plants that may survive when they are ignored.

Too much water is their only drawback. You'll get the healthiest sea holly plants and the most blooms when exposed to a full sun. 

Sea holly is not picky about the pH of the soil, and anything in the neutral range will do. These perennials have a lengthy lifespan once they are planted.

Click here to see these silver ghost Sea Holly seeds on Amazon.

4. Maiden Grass

Maiden ornamental grass.

Maiden grass is tall ornamental grass that is beautiful. It is perfect as a foreground plant for clematis. 

Maiden grass maintenance is relatively easy. The grass needs well-drained soil, although it may survive in overly wet, dry, acidic, and even hard clay environments. 

It can grow to a width of 6 feet and spread to 10 feet in full sunlight. Maiden grass can tolerate moderate shade but prefers intense sunlight, which it receives for around six hours daily.

Maiden grass needs to be wet after planting to strengthen its roots. Give the grass ample room to grow by considering how tall and wide it will eventually get.

5. Cosmos

Cosmos bipinnatus, commonly called the garden cosmos or Mexican aster, is a medium-sized flowering herbaceous plant

Annual flowers are perfect for use in locations where you want to create a focal point since they provide color to the landscape throughout the growing season. Cosmos have bright, daisy-like flowers supported by their long stems.

You should deadhead the cosmos to extend blossoming. This helps to branch and hastens bloom development. Cosmos can reach heights of  1 ft  - 6 ft 7 in. 

Don't overwater cosmos because excessive watering can cause plants to produce fewer blossoms. They work best in soils with medium moisture and good drainage, although they can also function well in dry soils.

Select a location that receives direct sunlight for the finest flowering. These plants will likewise flourish in the warmest temperatures with unbroken full sun.

Because cosmos self-seed, remember to remove blossoms before they set seed or to thin seedlings in the spring to prevent weed growth in cosmos beds. The plants may grow too tall and topple over if planted in rich soil.

Click here to see these Cosmos flower seeds on Amazon.

6. Sweet Peas

Blue shades of Spencer Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are cultivated for their lovely, ruffled blossoms, which come in pastel and blue hues. They are a beautiful cut flower since many types have scented blooms. When plants are 6 inches tall, pinch off the tops to promote bushy growth.

Keep the soil wet. Unless the soil becomes dry, you might not need to water your sweet peas if you mulch.

Although they do well in a site that receives some afternoon shadow in warmer climes, sweet peas prefer the full sun.

You won't need to fertilize if you plant with a lot of compost and aged manure. High potash feeds to supplement the diet because nitrogen provides excessive top development. A fertilizer added to the soil is believed to help maintain the stems long and is ideal for cutting.

Click here to see these Sweet Peas red seeds on Amazon.

Should You Deadhead Clematis?

Remove any dead or broken ones. Doing this may ensure that the plant grows fresh flowers and gives it new life. Clematis vines overgrow with wilting stalks that bear few flowers if they are not clipped.

Pruning yearly will improve the performance of most clematis. This plant performs better if it receives a light trim after it has stopped flowering.

How Often Should You Water Clematis?

The amount of water clematis needs might vary depending on the weather and soil quality, but it typically needs approximately an inch of water each week. After irrigation, check the soil to ensure the moisture penetrates deep enough.

The leaves will gradually turn yellow and brown and fall off after some time if you overwater your clematis. Additionally, the plant's base will begin to rot and turn mushy. In this case, drainage needs to be improved.

Why Do Clematis Leaves Turn Yellow?

Overwatering causes clematis plants to turn yellow, while underwatering causes brown discoloration at the tips of the leaves. This condition typically affects the oldest leaves first. 

Clematis plants prefer having their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. In other words, clematis requires at least six hours of direct sunlight to bloom, but the root zone needs to be well mulched or have plantings that protect the vine's base.

Does Clematis Need Full Shade? 

Clematis do well when they receive at least three to four hours of daylight. Try to place your clematis in the full sun if you want to produce the most flowers. The half-day sun will let most types grow, but they won't make as many blooms.

During summer, the filtered shade will help prevent the fading of dark-colored blossoms. 

Take-Home Summary

The spectacular flowers of clematis, with the help of its foreground plants, always draw attention.

Groundcover roses, koeleria vallesiana grass, sea holly, maiden grass, cosmos, and sweet pea are plants that can be well blended with Clematis. We hope you find these suggestions helpful.

Before you go, you might want to see these other posts:

When To Transplant Clematis—And How To