Purpurea Plena Elegans Clematis Plants
- Deciduous climber
- Colour: Reddish-purple
- Height: 4m
- Scent: None
- Flowering: Jul-Sept
- Size: Double, 5cm
- Pruning Group: 3
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans. Pruning Group: 3
For a burst of dramatic, deep colour in your late summer garden, Purpurea Plena Elegans is a wonderful Clematis. This heritage variety, one of the easy-going viticella group, produces masses of double, velvety, red-purple flowers from July to September.
Because its flowers are small compared to the large-bloomed hybrids, they come in quantity. Each double flower lasts a fortnight, then its outer petal fall away, with the inner pompom lasting another week or so.
It's vigorous, growing up to 4m in a season, and is easy to prune.
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- Group: Deciduous Climber.
- Colour: Reddish-purple.
- Height: 4m.
- Scent: None.
- Flowering: July to September.
- Size: Double blooms to 5cm across.
- Resistant to clematis wilt
- Pruning Group: 3.
- Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Growing Plena Elegans Clematis
Growing well in full sun or partial shade, it's hardy, undemanding and will tolerate any soil type with adequate drainage, so is ideal for beginners. This variety is resistant to clematis wilt, a fungal disease that particularly affects large-flowered hybrids.
Like all clematis, plant them deep. As the old rhyme says, 'keep their feet in the shade and their heads in the sun'. Plant the crown 5-8cm deeper (2-3 inches) than the soil level in the pot. Keep the root area cool and shady (use organic slug pellets).
Clematis pruning Group 3: In early spring, cut back last year's growth to a pair of strong buds about 15-20cm (6-8 inches) above soil level. Feed the plant with a slow-release balanced fertiliser (like Growmore). Mulch with a ring of well-rotted garden compost or manure around, but not over, the crown.
Purpurea Plena Elegans in your Garden
As it flowers late in the season, it looks great with climbing roses or clambering up a tree. Use it with rambling roses that only flower once - as they finish their season, the plummy-red blooms of this viticella variety will continue until autumn.
If it is paired with a repeat-flowering climbing rose, choose a contrasting colour and shape, such as Perennial Blush, whose simple, single pale pink flowers are the perfect companion.
Of course, it is ideal for covering a trellis or obelisk quickly and the flowers are showy enough to hold their own as a focal point in a border. As it is so fast-growing once established, it is a good choice for a pergola.
Did You Know?
Abbreviated to PPE by clematis lovers, it is thought to have been bred by François Morel, the famous French breeder, circa 1900.
Purpurea Plena Elegans translates as 'purple, double and elegant'. It was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Like most plants with fully double flowers, it is of little value to bees and butterflies.
How to plant Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans
Choose a site in full sun or partial shade. Remove roots, weeds, large stones and other rubbish from the planting hole. Mix in about 25 per cent by volume of well-rotted compost or manure.
Place the crown about 5-8cm deeper (2-3 inches) than the pot soil level. Spread the roots out, wet them and sprinkle them with Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi. Place pebbles or flat rocks on top of the soil to keep the roots cool.
Backfill the hole with mixed soil and compost, firming it gently as you go. Water in thoroughly.