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Could I grow Clematis Warszawska Nike through Wisteria?

NollieNollie Posts: 6,759
edited April 2019 in Plants
Oh no, I’ve gone and bought a clematis! Having failed to grow them before in my climate (went crispy and died) I was seduced in the garden centre...

I have no idea how this one will fare, but I’m thinking of growing it up my (still young) wisteria against an east-facing wall, where it may survive better than my last efforts. Mostly because the wisteria flowering season is so fleeting the wall looks a bit boring in the summer.

I know both are pretty hungry/thirsty plants and I can deal with that, I think... The space is a raised bed 1.2m2 and reasonably deep, the Wisteria is planted centre-back, so 30cm each side of the clematis, between the wisteria stem and the side of the raised bed. There are a few perennial salvias in front but nothing too demanding.

Is this a bad idea?
Is there enough space?
What do you suggest to give the clematis the best chance of survival?
If the clematis is a bad idea, is a climbing rose a better option, or will the Wisteria, being such a bully, crowd out any competition?

Sorry for the litany of questions!
Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Don't see why not. You can move it if it's not thriving.
     It's a group 3 prune so you cut down every year so you will be able to prune your wistertia in the spring. Summer pruning maybe more of a problem though.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,706
    If you think the clematis will look good with the wisteria and the clematis wasn't too expensive (they're usually relatively cheap plants in the UK - but that may not be the case where you are) - then I'd certainly give it a go. You only have the planting and tending time and a few pennies to lose.

    You already sound prepared for feeding / watering / mulching. In my experience once a clematis is established they're fairly tough plants. I do tend to grow viticellas though - and they are supposedly a bit more bullet proof than some of the other groups out there.

    I'm in my second year of experimenting with growing clematis through shrubs. One particular combination I'm hoping will work is Prince Charles (pale blue) growing through a black elder. The elder always starts to look a little funereal after August and a little pop of colour might lift it.

    Don't forget the old mantra for clematis - year 1 sleep, year 2 creep, year 3 leap. So don't be surprised if it doesn't do much this year.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    edited April 2019
    It is a group three, so a hard cut back each year.
    It reads as a not overly vigourous one on the Hull site, according to them two to four metres it says.

    When do you prune Wisteria? Would it interfere if you pruned the clematis in March?
    It would be over by late September into October, not sure how much your weather varies compared to the UK?
    So you could tidy it a lot after flowering leaving a few feet, then do a final lower chop in spring.
    If it is dry bed with lots of wisteria root then sink a piece of pipe or a plastic bottle with the big end cut off, (like a funnel? biggest part top most) near the roots to get water and feed to it. Though they could grow up together as your Wisteria is young the clematis would have a chance to establish .

    There probably is a suitable rose, but I like clematis for mixing because they don't have thorns. I think you have to prune wisteria regularly every year to get good bloom?
    Unless you get a relatively thornless one, there are some.

    Clematis like tangutica and orientalis might be a bit vigourous but they don't mind drier conditions better for them in fact with finer roots.
    Oops you already have Warsaw Nike and that was the question, sorry.

    @Topbird I like the idea of the black elder and Clematis, sounds a lovely combination, I was writing and didn't see your reply. I fancied getting something dark like your elder, but to try a pale pink with. Or purple hazel.
    Give Nollie ideas for a few more clematis o:)
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,759
    Sounds as if it might be worth a shot, thanks, I didn’t think about summer pruning @K67, but the wisteria is not very advanced yet so I could probably manage for now (until the clematis dies, probably!)

    @Topbird, I’ve never seen a viticella for sale here, that would have been the sensible thing to try. This one was €10, in a good deep pot and about 1m high, so not the end of the world, I guess, if it fails. The wisteria is in full flower now, so will be well over by the time the clematis is in flower, so hopefully, there shouldn’t be a colour clash but not sure how the foliage will look together...

    TBH, I find the Wisteria a bit dull, pale lilac against a pale stone wall, but OH insisted we have one:

    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    I am sorry to @K67 too, I compose so slowly I don't see the posts so repeat others good advice, embarrassing.

    Nollie I can see what you mean about the colouring but it looks fantastically floriferous.

    Wonder if you could have a more evergreen plant to help show it off. Or perhaps in years to come with more stems and flowers you won't see the wall :D
    The rate it is going it will looks stunning if a little pale.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,759
    Thanks @Rubytoo, this was a pure impulse purchase regardless of suitability but all your advice is appreciated.

    I think I can probably juggle the pruning needs of the two, group 3 being the easy one.
    I don't know a lot about Clematis so the easier the better to begin with.

     I actually prefer the wisteria foliage to the flowers, sacrilege I know, and the green shoots are beginning to form already. Generally, our winters are similar to the UK (down to -8 so far but drier) but we are about three to four weeks in advance of the UK in the early Spring because February is usually a warm, dry month and that sets everything off. Our main rains are happening now and will continue sporadically but spectacularly tropical-style in the summer, which can be bakingly hot. Its a tricky climate to get my head around and somewhat confusing for plants too!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,811
    I've got a similar wisteria against a pale Bath stone wall with clematis 'Josephine' (I think) with it. Last year I had the immense pleasure when both flowered at the same time - together with dark purple irises in front which was sensational. When yours has grown a bit more, you will get the massed effect of more colour so it doesn't look insipid. Your idea of a later flowering clematis is probably a better idea than mine.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,818
    My two wisterias seem to thrive in poor or almost no soil up against thick walls and face east and south respectively.  They are far more vigorous and floriferous than the one I grew in Belgium so I assume they like the heat.  Mine flower in a big whoosh in April and then continue flowering in bursts right thru to September.  I spend all summer cutting back long tendrils that try and get up under the guttering or in the door or just generally make a world takeover bid and in Jan/Feb we cut off any we missed because we didn't see them in all the foliage.   

    Your clematis, on the other hand, will need rich soil, a deep hole and plenty of moisture so plant it away from the wisteria and run it along wire supports till it meets the wisteria and vice versa.  As long as it has good deep soil to get its roots down and you keep it watered it should establish well.  The trick then is to make sure it continues to have an annual feed and mulch in spring, occasional tonics of liquid tomato food thru the summer, and regular watering throughout the growing and flowering period.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,759
    Thanks, @Lizzie27, not a planned planting, more I’ve bought this, now what do I do with it! Its good to know you have successfully combined the two, how far apart is your clematis from the Wisteria? Do you have a photo?

    Thats my only remaining concern, mine would have to be planted 30cm from the Wisteria if its going to fit the space, with 30cm the other side and a bit more room in front plus the salvias hopefully shading the roots. I will feed and mulch it as well.

    Thank you @Obelixx, the soil is quite rich there, being very well-amended clay, so should suit the clematis, if it doesn’t frazzle, but there isn’t much space to plant it away from the wisteria, as above!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,811
    I actually just bunged in the clematis (which was a sad looking rescue one) and didn't expect it to survive, it's only about 2 ft away from the main wisteria trunk. It took a year or two to decide to survive, but with a bit of manuring, feeding and watering, it's now going great guns, although I frequently forget to prune it. I'll look out a photo on our desktop computer later.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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