Sweet Summer Love Clematis

Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’

Description & Overview

Sweet Summer Love is an easy to grow and maintain clematis with great hardiness for upper Midwest and Wisconsin climates. Another award winning, vigorous clematis option! It produces small but profuse cranberry-violet flowers in July and August, sometimes into October depending on weather conditions. Like most clematis varieties, it has a range of uses from ground covers to specimen to trellis/screens. It’s also desirable to butterflies.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 20′
Mature Spread: varies
Growth Rate: Fast
Growth Form: vine
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Moist, Well-drained
Flower: Cranberry-violet
Bloom Period: July-October
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: N/A
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)

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.


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 cultivar was the 2014 Green Thumb Award winner from the Direct Gardening Association. Sweet Summer Love Clematis has strong vanilla scent with a hint of almond and can produce over 2,000 flowers in a growing season! Originating in Poland, this clematis boasts excellent cold hardiness.

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).

Butterfly Bush and Hydrangeas will also shade the ground/soil, helping to keep the roots cool. Clematis prefer a cooler root zone.

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