Clematis Serious Black
Photo of Clematis recta 'Serious Black' courtesy of Walters Gardens

Bush Clematis

Completely different from vining Clematis, recta 'Serious Black' is a bush type that it can stand up on its own but also is the perfect companion for taller perennials like Delphiniums which can be used for support. It is easily grown in decorative patio containers as well.The name SERIOUS BLACK™ comes from its extraordinarily dark purple new foliage which matures to deep olive green. In late spring to early summer, antique ivory colored blossoms about the size of a nickel appear in clusters reminiscent of Sweet Autumn Clematis. They often reappear in midsummer, blooming on the deep purple new growth, and silvery seed heads follow in fall. You can imagine how the light colored blossoms jump out against the dark foliage; the effect is stunning!

  • Height: 121-182 cm (4-6 ft)
  • Spread: 90-137 cm (3-4 ft 6 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Sun or Shade: full sun to light shade
  • Leaf Colour: dark purple
  • Bloom Colour: white
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits
  • Nature Attraction: butterflies

Growing and Maintenance Tips

This clematis is a member of Group 2. This means that it begins to bloom in early summer, with the first flush of flowers appearing on the previous year's growth. This is sometimes followed by a second flush flowers appearing on the new growth. These flowers will likely be smaller than the first ones.The time to prune this group is in early spring just as buds swell. Dead and weak shoots should be removed and the remaining shoots cut back to 6-9 inches above a couple of well-developed buds.

All clematis should be planted about 8 cm deeper than in pot. Bury the first set of leaaves and then mulch the plant well. If it is not planted in a mixed border shade the roots of the plant with other plantings.