sweet autumn as ground cover - Knowledgebase Question

Glen Rock, Pa
Avatar for stesno
Question by stesno
October 16, 2005
I recently read a magazine article that said sweet autumn clematis can be used as a ground cover. Is this true, and, if so, how quickly will it spread? How far apart should individuals be planted to cover a sunny slope in my front yard? Does it die back completely in winter?

Answer from NGA
October 16, 2005
This clematis grows more quickly than some, however it does defoliate completely and then die back each winter. Furthermore it needs to be pruned back very short each spring to remove the winter damage and to encourage vigorous new growth for the coming season. For this reason I would not recommend it as a groundcover -- even though it is a terrific plant otherwise.

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