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Home » Evergreen Clematis (Clematis vitalba): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

Evergreen Clematis (Clematis vitalba): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The Evergreen Clematis plant, also known as the old man’s beard, is a very attractive vine growing all year round. They will twist around any nearby structures or the supports you provide and sprout lovely-looking white flowers.

Old man’s beard flowers grow in abundance during the spring, from March to April. A great added bonus is if you live in an urban area because they are typically fragrant. Evergreen clematis leaves grow to 3 inches long and droop downwards.

They can grow up to 15 feet tall and stretch to over 10 feet wide. If you don’t have the space for these plants in your garden, you may want to consider investing in a different plant – they can take over!

Taking Care of the Evergreen Clematis

Plants such as vines are generally known to make their own way in expansion.

These vines grow best in either full or partial sunlight, but the vine base should be shaded. If you live in an area of particularly extreme heat your clematis should be partially shaded, as strong and consistent heat and direct sunlight can damage the vines.


Spring or early autumn is the best time to plant an Evergreen Clematis. Avoid planting the Evergreen Clematis during the extreme months – the high summer heat can lead to early problems, and the cold of winter can stunt its growth. Neither of these provides the best environment for the plant to settle in.

When planting the Evergreen Clematis, apply a few inches of mulch, which can be straw or leaf base, onto the soil above the root. This can help maintain an ideal ambient temperature, keeping in heat during colder months and keeping the roots cooler in the summer. This small detail can really boost the growth of your evergreen clematis – this is one of our top tips for this plant!

These plants are tolerant to draught once fully grown, but be sure to water them regularly, especially if you live in a drier place.


Pruning your Evergreen Clematis is one of the most time-consuming but important parts of clematis care. Wait for the flowers to fade, and take time to trim the dead vine wood. A lot of this will be inside the vines, hence why it can be time-consuming.

Allowing dead vinewood to build up inside each other vines can be detrimental to the health of your Evergreen Clematis.

Pruning your Evergreen Clematis is a crucial step. Otherwise, they’ll just become a tangled mess. Failing to prune your clematis can also lead to empty base stems. It means that all the flowers will be further up the vines, and you’ll be left with gaps of vines holding no flowers.

Pruning is the vine equivalent of cutting your hair or mowing the lawn. By keeping the vines healthy, you’re promoting growth and a healthier, longer life.

Depending on what type of clematis you own, you’ll need to prune at different times. Even if you’re unsure, you can easily follow the flowering rule. If your clematis flowers are before June, they must only be lightly pruned. If it flowers after June, take closer care and prune more excessively in February.


Many forms of clematis, including the Evergreen Clematis will typically thrive in most conditions. They can be a little fussier about water and you should make sure to keep them away from too much direct heat and sunlight. However, other than that don’t bother it too much!

Plants like vines generally make their own way. To take care of them, you just have to prune them annually and clean them, and they will find their way on their own.

Propagating Your Evergreen Clematis

Propagating Evergreen Clematis from cuttings is the most common and effective way to propagate this plant. Here’s a basic guide on how to successfully propagate your clematis:

Find a double-leafed bud and cut where appropriate. This should be taken from a non-flowering stem and entirely healthy, with no signs of wilting.

Provide humid and warm conditions for these cuttings and expect root growth within 6-8 weeks. Repot after roots show in the spring, and you should find flowers appearing in the next two years.

Potential Problems of Evergreen Clematis

Unfortunately, the Evergreen Clematis is prone to numerous diseases and pests. There are some of the most common things to keep an eye out.

Clematis Slime Flux

Clematis slime flux is a bacterial issue that colonizes the plant with heaps of bacteria. This can lead to wilting, and unpleasant smells and can even kill the plant if left unattended. Pruning the infected areas is the best way to cope with this issue. Early signs of slime flux include wilting and yellowing foliage, failure to sprout leaves, and a thick slime, often misinterpreted for froth, originating from the stem.


Mildew can be the result of poor care. A group of fungi causes a white dust coat on the leaves. Another fungal disease that can affect the Evergreen Clematis is the clematis wilt, which, as its name would suggest, it causes wilting and black stems.

Vine Weevil and Other Pests

The Evergreen Clematis attracts a collection of pests too. Aphids, earwigs, slugs, snails, vine weevils, and capsid bugs are on the list of dangerous pests. These pests will likely eat into the plant or infect it with dangerous diseases they may be carrying. Vine weevil is particularly found in species of clematis that are kept in containers. However, if you intend to grow your Evergreen Clematis outside, this should be less of a threat.

Final Thoughts

The Evergreen Clematis isn’t for everyone, but it’s a very rewarding plant for those who put the effort in. Once planted, the clematis should do its own thing as long as you maintain pruning.

Providing a lovely scent and a beautiful look, this plant is a great addition to any garden, particularly those with lots of space!

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