Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet Autumn Clematis

It’s that time of year when the fall plants begin to start their show. One such plant is the Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora). This non-native clematis grows prolifically through the summer and gladly will climb any structure it meets then blooms in the fall. I picked up two of these on the discount racks and even though I know they can be invasive I gave into the temptation to plant it. The reason why is easy to see – the massive amounts of blooms! (which means massive amounts of seed) One is in our back deck garden and the other is planted up by the mailbox. 

Sweet Autumn clematis attracts the bees and the butterflies and adds an almost honeysuckle like scent to the air. In the picture below a single clematis was planted next to our deck and covered much of the railing as well as two hooks that I used to use to hang bird feeders – in one season! Given the right place this Sweet Autumn could be an asset to the garden. It needs somewhere to cover or sprawl where it won’t effect other plantings – somewhere like an arbor, and that’s where I’ll be moving it this fall. I’ve noticed around town spots of this white flowering clematis blooming in the wild which does concern me but it definitely isn’t to the level of other invasives like honeysuckle. According to the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council it’s listed as a lesser threat similar to mint but definitely not to the level of kudzu and mimosa. I guess it’s easy to get too much of a good thing!

What has been your experience with Sweet Autumn Clematis?


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. It sure is pretty and it seems decks are the place for it as that is where Geri grows hers. As for me I removed all of mine this spring. I still have tons of seedlings popping up. I don't personally like it because for a week of glory you deal with 51 weeks of misery. As in you must pull seedlings and remove the old vine once it is past. A messy job. Funny thing, I was pampering 4 red clematis growing on two arbors and I was thinking to myself how wonderfully ONE of them was doing. I just found out it is SAC. Sigh. Since it is in a far away spot in a somewhat wild garden I might leave it and see how it does on its own. Depends on those seedlings.

  2. I love Sweet Autumn clematis but please don't encourage planting by mailboxes. As a retired mail carrier, I cannot tell you how many time I risked attacks by bees trying to deliver mail. I don't think people realize how dangerous it can be. It is beautiful just not on mailboxes. ;}

  3. I have been trying for over a year to find a seedling of this beautiful vine!! Some one please help me out..I'll send a self addressed stamped whatever if some wonderful gardener would share!!

  4. It is definitely a stunning vine! I really like white plants and this one is probably looks like a snow drift in full-peak bloom.

  5. Our neighbors in Greece have Clematis terniflora in their garden. I love the honeysuckle-like scent they add to the air!

    Dave, did you have the chance to read the email I sent you at thehomegarden[@]gmail.com?

  6. I know most gardeners consider it a thug. Okay it is a bit aggressive, but I love mine. Every year to keep it in check I give it a severe haircut in the spring followed by regular trims right up till July. It still blooms beautifully inspite of it too! 😉

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