The right soil is key to success with clematis. It must be cool, and well-drained but moist.
Prune back to 2' in spring.
"Feet in the shade, head in the sun" - that's the old adage for success with clematis. This vine will thrive if mulch, a rock, or neighboring plants are positioned to keep the roots and base of the plant in cool, shaded conditions, while the leafy vines themselves bask in the sun. Provide a sturdy structure for vines to climb on at planting time.