Description & Overview

Never failing to impress, these brilliant, velvety crimson blooms grow on a woody vine with leathery-textured, green foliage. Rouge Cardinal Clematis is a compact vine, making it an excellent choice for containers and small spaces. It’s also great for covering a fence, trellis, or arbor, and it also works well climbing through tall shrubs, or unsupported as a groundcover. This is an easy-care plant and a vigorous grower.

This plant is no longer in production. The product info remains for informational purposes.

Core Characteristics

Category: Vine

Wisconsin Native: No

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 8-12 feet

Mature Spread: 3-6 feet

Growth Rate: Fast

Growth Form: Vine

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Site Requirements: Moist, Well-drained

Flower: Crimson-red

Bloom Period: Early Summer and Fall

Foliage: Medium green

Fall Color: N/A

Urban Approved: No

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)
Never failing to impress, these brilliant, velvety crimson blooms grow on a woody vine with leathery-textured, green foliage. Rouge Cardinal Clematis …

Wildlife Value

Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Maintenance Tips

This Clematis thrives in well-drained, lightly alkaline soil, with roots sheltered and top growth in the sun. 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. Prune spent flowers to promote repeat bloom and to stimulate a large flush of new growth. Type 3/Group C pruning – flowers on new wood.

Never failing to impress, these brilliant, velvety crimson blooms grow on a woody vine with leathery-textured, green foliage. Rouge Cardinal Clematis …

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

As climbers, Clematis are unsurpassed in their long flowering presence and rich diversity of color. Originated in China. The essential oils present can be used as a migraine treatment but can cause skin irritation as well.

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).

Never failing to impress, these brilliant, velvety crimson blooms grow on a woody vine with leathery-textured, green foliage. Rouge Cardinal Clematis …
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Written by Johnson's Nursery