Clematis montana to cover a 5' high fence

I once saw a montana that covered a fence about 5' high and and 15' long.  It looked beautiful and I'd love to grow one on one of my fences.




This is the photo I took of it.  Is there a variety that is less rampant than some or can you keep it from getting too high by pruning it after flowering?


  • cairnsiecairnsie Posts: 389

    They all get pretty large, There are small varietys such as new dawn but the can still reach heights of 8m. Saying that you can prune them back after flowering to keep them under control.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...this is 'Wee Willie Winkie'.... it had a lovely scent, of vanilla...  but unfortunately got a bit much for me to manage.... it was contained on a 6 by 6 foot trellis...



  • The montanas are lovely but are all potentially 'big' but also easy enough to cut back. I've had 'Elizabeth' and also the white 'Grandiflora'. Awaiting the one I've rescued flowering to see what it is! 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,128

    Montanas can be pruned back after flowering to keep them in bounds and encourage new flowering stems down below.  They are vigorous and will always want to grow well so need decent support in the form of trellis or sturdy wires stretched taught across the fence and held in place by vine eyes.

    The Vendée, France
  • Obelixx, could I use plastic netting on the fence as a support, or would that not be strong enough?

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,288

    I inherited a montana rubens, think all of them grow into big plants, but really easy to keep in check or train where you want them to go. Mine started out on the shed has now covered a trellis and is inching it's way across the fence

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,128

    Defintely not plastic net.  It will sag and snap in no time.  best to start with decent wires and vine eyes from the start and keep on top of tying in and pruning once it gets to the size you want so it stays looking good..

    The Vendée, France
  • Salino, your pic of Wee Willie Winkie is gorgeous!  I must have a look out for that one.

  • f I want the montana to cover a 15' or so length of fence, would I need one plant or two?  Actually about 6' of the fence doesn't really see the sun as it's shaded by trees and faces north west, so perhaps it wouldn't be a good idea to try and get the montana to cover that particular bit.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ^I'm glad you liked the photo... my advice would be to only buy one of these... personally I would find 2 to be a nightmare, I just couldn't cope with that, and the 15 foot should be no problem for one.. even the shady bit, you just train it along the way you want it to go, you might have to be a bit persistent as it may try to turn it's head the other way, but it will do the rest.... just give it a bit of time.... it won't be longimage


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,128

    .This montana - will do 7 to 10 metres.    So will this one -  This one will only do 5 to 7 metres -

    All are easily available and all will grow well.   I suggest you plant whichever montana you choose in the middle of the sunnier 9' of your fence and in a good deep hole enriched with plenty of garden or bought in compost.  Give the new clem a good soak to wet its rootball then plant 4 to 6" deper than it was in its pots a sthis will encourage new stems to form.   When planted, remove any ties and its cane and train onto your wires.  It will grow into the shadier part eventually if it wants to.

    The Vendée, France
  • Oh thanks, Obelixx - always lovely to have pics!  By the way, are you as knowledgeable about obelisks as you are about plants?  I can't decide which one to choose for my sweet peas!

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 93

    Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in, but I have a very large bare wall at the bottom of my garden.  We had the area flagged but would like to have wooden planters, could I grow Montana in a container, I would like it at least to spread up the wall and fence a good way, the wall must be at least 8ft.  In the winter does it stay green, if not I can plant another container with a evergreen. 

    Would appreciate some advice.




  • Hi Chris- never planted a montana in a container but I expect if it was big enough it would be fine. Anything grown in a pot will just be a bit smaller but as the montanas get pretty substantial  this shouldn't be an issue- you'd just need more of them- and a framework of support on the wall. I'd be inclined to lift some of the flags though as it would be better for them in the long run, or build a raised bed against the wall instead, making sure you create suitable drainage if it's on top of your flags. They're not evergreen but they have a woody framework once they die back.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,705

    Clematis armandii is evergreen - I've never grown one in a container but I expect it can be done if sufficient tlc is provided.  

    I'm looking at this one for my bottom fence image

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • Forgot about that one Dove! I have one here and had it at last house but they don't seem to do well here. Too wet windy and my oldest when she was a baby...image

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 93


    Thanks for the great info, I think I will try and lift a flag, there is a small bed on the side I could use that and train it onto the wall.




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