Do Clematis Vines Grow Well in Florida?

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Clematis bloom can bloom for months.
Clematis bloom can bloom for months. (Image: clematis image by madlen stahl from Fotolia.com)

Clematis are flowering vines with blossoms that bloom in an array of colors including white, pink, lavender and blue. In fact, flowers often change hues throughout the blooming season, which can last from late winter until late fall, depending on the variety and climate. Though clematis are not as commonly grown in Florida as they are in many other parts of the United States, several varieties can be grown in much of Florida.

Florida Climate

Florida consists of United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. Northern Florida and the panhandle in the cooler area of the state is classified as zone 8, where temperatures normally do not dip below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Central Florida is classified as zone 9, and winter lows rarely go below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. South Florida is classified as zone 10, and winter minimum temperatures almost never fall below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The Florida keys is the warmest part of the United States and is classified as zone 11, where winter temperatures are almost always above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clematis Varieties

Several clematis varieties are well suited to grow well in many parts of Florida. In zone 10 and 11 most will not survive, but in zones 8 and 9 there are several varieties from which you can select. For example, Clematis texensis, Clematis crispa, Clematis reticulata, Clematis viticella and Clematis florida will thrive in north and central parts of Florida, provided that they are well cared for.

Planting Tips

Plant clematis in the sun and in soil that has been amended well with 4 inches of compost, well rotted manure or another organic matter. Amend the soil 12 inches deep and 3 feet wide. Plant the clematis at the same depth as it was in the nursery container. Mulch the plant well with a couple inches of mulch, because clematis thrive in cool soil. Water clematis after planting.

Providing Support

Clematis needs proper support it you want it to grow upright; otherwise it will trail along the ground. The support should not be thicker than 1 inch. A trellis, lattice work or arbor usually works well for the taller varieties, but a pole is good for smaller varieties. If you are planting next to a wall or another solid structure, place the support about 3 to 4 inches from the wall so the clematis has good air flow even from the back.

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