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Clematis root shade

I have two clematis growing over an arch that were planted last year. I have another in the garden which is a monster and the base is naturally shaded from the situation it's in. However these new ones have no protection so I was wondering what simple type of evergreen small compact shrub could I plant by it to shield the base? Hebe? Alpine? Ideas anyone? 


  • You could try a Hosta or Fern maybe, depends if they're in shade or not. Other than that, how about one of the many Heuchera? 

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    I seem to remember Richard (Clematis King) saying  that shade wasn't as important as moisture. I imagine a nice Hosta would do the trick if you want to underplant. It would be happy with similar conditions.

    I have mixed success with clems so he may be along later to correct me. image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,165

    The shade thing is definitely a bit of a myth. As long as they're well watered they should be fine. I have planting atthe base of most of mine, simply because they often look better with it. Clem stems can look a bit iffy lower down. Bear in mind that when you plant anything at the foot that there will be more competition for water and nutrients.

    What sort of space do you have at the base of them? Hebes will do well, but pick one of the smaller varieties if there isn't a lot of room. Some of the lighter perennials will also be ideal - Polemonium if there isn't full on sun, hardy geraniums, hostas etc.

    I have all sorts of things under mine - from primulas and hellebores, to alliums, libertias and phormiums. I also have hackenochloa and various other bits and pieces of bulbs  planted with mine.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,152

    Good, fertile soil and a deep root run are far more imporatnt than shade.  I grew lots of clems in full sun in my last garden and have brought some and bought more for this new garden which is much hotter and sunnier.

    Make sure you feed them every spring and water them well in dry spells and plant some ground cover or a supply a good layer of mulch and they'll be happy.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Must say I like the hosta idea from 'plant pauper'..................divert the snails from the clematis  !!

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