Answer: The rule of thumb for clematis is to plant it where its roots will have a cool, evenly moist, yet well drained soil. The top part of the vine will need sun to grow and bloom its best. Clematis do well with sun all day or with sun all morning or with dappled light all day. Afternoon sun only would usually be too hot for it. A year round mulch of several inches of organic material is helpful. All clematis grow by scrambling and twining (not by sticky feet)so it will need some sort of lattice or wire mesh to climb up the pergola.
Some varieties of clematis do not grow very large, so keep that in mind when you make your selection. Different types require different pruning as well, since some bloom on new growth and some bloom on old growth from the previous year. All clematis take several years to become established and reach their full potential.
If your pergola is large, you might be happy with the fall blooming clematis. This has fragrant white blooms in the fall, can be trimmed back as needed in early spring (to control size or do maintenance on its support), and grows relatively large.
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