- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained, neutral soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Enjoying a revival in recent years, this tough and vigorous climber is thought to date back to the 1500's. It was thought to have been lost for several hundred years, but it was rediscovered in the 1980's by Barry Fretwell who named it Clematis 'Mary Rose'. You will want to grow it for its nodding, dusky purple flowers, which appear over a prolonged period from midsummer.
- Garden care: In early spring cut back the previous year's stems to a pair of strong buds about 15-20cm (6-8in) above ground-level and apply a slow-release balanced fertiliser and a mulch of well-rotted garden compost around the plant, avoiding the immediate crown.
“Spring is an excellent time to plant a viticella clematis, such as ‘Flore Pleno’. It will have a chance to put its feet down and flower by late July. Climbers take up little ground room and viticellas, bred from a Spanish species, are drought tolerant and easy to prune. Just cut them back hard now. They flower on new wood. 'Purpurea Plena Elegans’, 'Etoile Violette', 'Polish Spirit’, ‘Romantika’, and 'Dark Eyes’ are all excellent viticellas.”
Val Bourne - Garden Writer