The Q&A Archives: Growing Clematis

Question: Hello,

I would like to grow a clematis vine on the front of my house to soften the garage area. The front of
the house is stone and this area receives sun, although, it doesn't directly hit the front of the garage
(the front of the garage area is shadowed by an overhanging roof so the sunlight stops about 2'
from the front of the garage).

Would the sun's reflection off the concrete driveway be good enough for the clematis to thrive and bloom?

Also, when pruning back a wisteria vine, how far can I prune it back to keep it under control but not
damage the plant?

Answer: Clematis generally do not do well when grown in a hot location, which this may be if there is heat reflecting off the driveway and the stone on the house wall. This does sound like a bright location, so you might try a honeysuckle or perhaps a trumpet creeper. Both of these would need a trellis and can be pruned to control their size.

Wisteria can be pruned as needed to control its size, but allow three or four buds when you cut it back. This plant seems to thrive on frequent pruning and it must be done to keep the plant in bounds -- or the plant should be grown in a location where it may run wild.

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