A clematis is something everybody should have in their garden because it adds drama and draws the eye to places you’d ordinarily ignore. The wall of your house isn’t particularly interesting, and neither is your 6ft tall fence, or at least it isn’t until it has a clematis growing up the side of it making it more appealing. But in order to grow clematis, you need to make sure it’s suitable to where you’re living. Today, then, let’s focus on Phoenix, Arizona, and whether or not a clematis vine will grow there well.
In theory, a clematis in Phoenix might not work, but with extra care, attention, and protection, you might be able to pull it off.
Clematis Growing Requirements
Before we start looking at Phoenix, specifically, let’s just take a closer look at what a clematis plant really needs in order to grow well and bloom in all their beautiful colors. That way, we can start to think about whether your garden in Phoenix can provide it with what it needs.
First, it’s important to understand that there are different types of clematis and they all need slightly different things. Generally, they grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4-9, so you’ll need to pick a clematis for Phoenix that is at the higher end of those hardiness zones (since the higher the USDA hardiness zone number, the hotter the climate, and we don’t need to tell you that Phoenix is HOT!).
In terms of their other requirements, they should be planted in a neutral, well-draining soil since they don’t like soaked soil. Wet soil is fine, but if it is soaked, then your clematis may die. They’ll also need to be in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day – preferably along a south or west facing wall or fence. Mulching at the base of the plant is really important, because a clematis needs to keep cool roots. Feeding them with compost fertilizer annually is also a great idea.
Phoenix USDA Hardiness
If, after hearing that, you are starting to think about whether you can provide what your clematis would need in your garden in Phoenix, that’s great! But before you get too excited, let’s take a look at Phoenix’s USDA hardiness zones.
Generally, and there may be some exceptions since USDA hardiness zones can change from one area to the next, Phoenix is in the USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10a. That’s right at the very top end of a clematis’ requirements, so you’d have to only focus on clematis plants that grow well in zone 9, and even then, it might be too hot for them…
Will Clematis Grow In Phoenix?
Don’t get disheartened just yet, because we aren’t finished! On paper, a clematis will probably struggle to grow in Phoenix, so if you’re somebody who only likes to plant their garden and leave it alone with just a little maintenance, then a clematis probably isn’t going to work for you.
However, if you’re somebody who is willing to go the extra mile to get the plant in their garden they’ve been dreaming of, then there might still be hope yet. Can we guarantee that a clematis will grow in Phoenix? No, we can’t. But with a few tips for success below, you’ll be giving it the best possible chance to survive and thrive.
Tips For Success
If your heart is set on a clematis plant and you’re in Phoenix, we might be able to help. Follow the advice below and you might be able to add a clematis plant to your garden, but we make no promises…
1. Shade Is Key
Your clematis will still need sunlight, so partial shade is what we’re talking about here. Yes, 6 hours of sunlight is great for clematis plants, but in a garden as hot as yours in Phoenix, it’ll need sunshine when it isn’t too hot. See if you can find a spot in the garden that only has sunlight during the morning or late evening.
The last thing you want is for your clematis to be in full sun between 12 and 3 when the sun is at its hottest. If you’re able to give it the sun it needs during the cooler times of the day, and keep it shaded during the hottest times, then your clematis might do well in Phoenix.
2. Mulch Those Roots
This has got to be the number one reason for clematis plants dying in warmer climates: failure to mulch the roots. A clematis needs to have cool roots, or the strain it puts on the plant is simply too much to survive. Soil temperatures in Phoenix are clearly going to be hotter than clematis plants need, but by mulching the roots, you can support them in staying as cool as possible.
3. Keep The Soil Wet
A clematis plant loves wet soil – not soaked, this will hurt them too – but wet is absolutely great! In fact, wet soil is imperative in a climate like Phoenix’s, because your clematis plant can dry out much quicker than you realize. During the hottest days, consider checking the soil once in the morning and once in the evening, and watering as required.
4. Protect As Needed
And finally, protect your clematis during the hottest periods. If that means throwing up a cover during hotter days to provide shade, then so be it. The point is, a clematis can burn quite easily, so if temperatures are up, then your clematis should be covered to prevent damage to the plant.
Will clematis grow in Phoenix?
In theory, a clematis in Phoenix might not work, but with extra care, attention, and protection, you might be able to pull it off. Again, unfortunately, we can’t make any promises… But hey, if you love a clematis, it might be worth a shot anyway, right?