PLANT PROFILE:
Sweet Autumn Clematis

sweet autumn clematis paniculata vines at johnson's nursery ftimg

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Clematis paniculata

Description & Overview

While the name is ever-changing, Sweet Autumn Clematis produces a cloud-like appearance of deliciously scented, small, creamy-white star-like flowers in early fall followed by attractive feathery seed heads. It’s a vigorous grower that can be used in a variety of garden and landscape scenarios like container gardens, trellises, and ground covers. The sweet scent of the flowers are attractive to butterflies.


Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 6-7 feet
Mature Spread: Varies
Growth Rate: Fast
Growth Form: Vine
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Moist, Well-drained
Flower: White
Bloom Period: Late Summer and Fall
Foliage: Dark Green
Fall Color: Yellow
Fruit Notes: Feathery clusters

Suggested Uses:

  • Border (through medium sized shrubs to act as groundcover),
  • Container gardens (again, to act as groundcover or keep the vine contained),
  • Cut flower garden (flowers are beautiful and make nice additions to any bouquet),
  • Espalier (there is not much depth in the z-direction but it grows full in the x and y directions),
  • Ground cover (for areas where grass can be out of the question or some color is wanted); just don’t trellis it,
  • Privacy screen (adds beauty and density to a fence or trellis),
  • Specimen (showy flowers are enough to attract anyone’s attention and create a focal point in any garden),
  • Urban garden (similar reasoning as espalier, this vine does not take up as much space and can tolerate limited horizontal area as long as there is room for vertical growth),
  • Woodland garden (while not a native, some species of Clematis are and this variety will still make a nice addition or climb tree trunks if the garden is near the woods)
sweet autumn clematis paniculata vine forms cloud of fresh scent flowers

Wildlife Value:

Flowers are attractive to bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

Maintenance Tips:

Bark mulch will help conserve moisture. Water deeply, regularly in first growing season to establish the root system. Fertilize regularly beginning in spring. Pruning time: late winter or early spring by cutting back stems to a strong pair of buds. Prune spent flowers to promote repeat bloom. Type 3/Group C pruning – flowers on new wood.

sweet autumn clematis paniculata vine flowers then leaves feathery seed heads

Pests/Problems:

Clematis in general have no known serious issues.

Most plants can be prone to common, ornamental (non-lethal) issues caused by various environmental conditions. Clematis may be susceptible to wilt/stem rot (potentially fatal), powdery mildew, leaf spots, rust, and viruses. Potential insect pests include aphids, vine weevils, slugs, snails, scale, and earwigs. Watch for spider mites. Alleviate these common issues with over-the-counter insecticides or pesticides.

Leaf Lore:

This clematis blossoms to profusely that it often covers the dark green leaves. Their delightful fragrance, a mixture of sugar, honey, and vanilla, fills the air as you pass by. The thin, silvery seed heads left by spent flowers add winter interest to the vine. Sweet Autumn Clematis can be considered invasive in warmer climates, as it is native to New Zealand.

Companion Plants:

Japanese Maple, Climbing Rose, Daylily, Hydrangea, Butterfly Bush. Japanese Maple (foliage color often compliments flower color, most Clematis are native to Japan and this combination is often grown naturally together). Climbing Rose (flower texture and colors add contrast to the Clematis flowers while maintaining a similar foliage, this is not a plant we sell). Hydrangea (can help fill in the bottom when the vine matures upwards). Butterfly Bush (an additional source of color and also attracts pollinators, while filling in the bottom when Clematis begins to mature upwards).


sweet autumn clematis paniculata vines at johnson's nursery benchcard

SWEET AUTUMN CLEMATIS BENCHCARD