The Best Reblooming Clematis

Clematis alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’ first blooms in April and again later in the season.

When visiting older established gardens, if there is a border garden, it will probably contain at least one of these three plants: peony, bearded iris, and clematis. These are often considered old-fashioned plants because they have been regularly planted in gardens for so many years. All three of these plants are generally considered reliable spring bloomers and once blooming. The bloom period can be over several weeks, and there are usually early and late-season varieties, but their flowering time is usually spring and early summer with additional flowers not expected until the next spring. There are, however, exceptions.

Over the past several years, there has been a resurgence of interest to select those that will rebloom. This is especially true with clematis, and with a little effort, a gardener can have plants that will rebloom once and sometimes even twice. I recently discussed reblooming clematis with Linda Beutler, curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and here are some of her thoughts.

The fully double ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ blooms as many as three times in a season. (Image from the Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection archive)

Reblooming Clematis Care

Most clematis grow best in the full to partial sun and like to have their roots shaded and their tops in the sun. After a clematis has flowered, deadhead it, (remove old flowers) and do some light pruning if necessary. Deadheading prevents the plant from setting seed and light pruning removes any dead stems and opens the plant up to more sunlight. Fertilize the plant at this time. Linda said a rose & flower fertilizer is generally good. At the Rogerson Clematis Collection, they use a fertilizer with an NPK, (Nitrogen- Phosphorus-Potassium nutrient numbers on the bag or box) ratio with numbers under 10. Currently, they use a 5-7-2. Often, 30-45 days after fertilization, the plant will re-bloom. For a full list of care tips, visit the Rogerson Clematis Collection page on clematis care (click here).

Five Recommended Reblooming Clematis

‘Blue Ravine’ is a large-flowered rebloomer. (Image from the Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection archive)

Naturally, some plants will consistently rebloom easier, and for that consistent rebloom the following are five clematis varieties that Linda recommends.

  1. Clematis alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’ (Zones 3-9) flowers first in April and reblooms well, often in late summer. It requires trellising and can also be grown well in a container. With this clematis, you can have April in August.
  2. Clematis ‘Elegant Rhythm’ (Zones 5-9) is a handsome herbaceous perennial clematis named and introduced by Joy Creek Nursery. If you do not allow it to set seed, it will rebloom through late spring and summer, just like annual Scabiosa or perennial Astrantia.
  3. Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ (Zones 4-9) is a double that can bloom as many as three times in a long growing season. Deadhead the spent blooms and fertilize with most any fertilizer for roses. The fully-double flowering clematis will often produce flowers that are less doubled when they rebloom.
  4. Clematis ‘Blue Ravine’ (Zones 4-9) is an excellent large-flowered variety and has the added advantage of flowering well—if paler—in partial shade. The photo above was taken in September 2020 and looks as though it were in spring.
  5. Clematis ‘Niobe’ (Zones 4-9) is a deep-red variety (pictured below reblooming in the autumn). Look closely at the image and you can see this clematis is growing through and is supported by another plant. This particular support plant is Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’.
The deepest-red-flowered ‘Niobe’ is growing up an Osmanthus shrub. (Image from the Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection archive)

Clematis are often grown in this way using another plant for support. Often some of the old garden roses are used because they not only offer a good support system, but the clematis will flower again when the once-blooming roses are finished.

If you are visiting the Pacific Northwest, and have any interest in clematis, be sure to visit the Rogerson Clematis Garden, which is part of the Lake Oswego, Oregon, Parks & Recreation system. With over 900 taxa represented, it is the most comprehensive collection of clematis within a public garden in North America. Admission is free.

The handsome clematis ‘Elegant Rhythm’ has pendulous flowers. (Image from the Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection archive)

What Tulips Rebloom Year After Year?

“Why is it that some years tulips just grow leaves and no flowers? I’ve planted hundreds of bulbs much to my disappointment to have so many of them never grow flowers.” Question from Linda of Middlesex, New Jersey

Answer: There are several reasons why tulips stop flowering. Many varieties are bred to bloom only for a year or two before their bulbs need to be divided. Without division, they will not bloom by year three or four. For this reason, pick tulips that reliably return year to year and even naturalize, or spread, over time. Here are five good types sure to keep blooming.

  1. Clusiana Tulips – These pretty, slender tulips come in various varieties that bloom in mid-spring and spread over time. ‘Cynthia’ is one with pale yellow and red-striped flowers.
  2. Bloemenlust Tulip – The bright red, mid-spring bloomer returns yearly.
  3. Cretian Tulip (Tulip cretica) – Species tulips like this are often the best perennials. Cretian tulip is multi-flowering, clump-forming, and has pink-tipped flowers. They will even spread when they are happy.
  4. Darwin Hybrids – Late-flowering Darwins are tall and come in lots of colors. Of the standard hybrid tulips, these are the most perennial. The orange and yellow ‘Daydream‘ is extra pretty.
  5. Fosteriana Tulips – These large-flowered, early tulips return year after year.

Another common problem with tulips is that many pests eat the flowers and bulbs. You would certainly notice if you had deer in your garden chomping on your tulip flowers, but you may not notice a vole eating your underground bulbs in winter. Some repellents will detur them.

I hope this information helps guide your tulip selection this fall. At planting time, it helps to amend the soil with Black Gold Canadian Sphagnum peat moss in addition to fertilizer for bulbs.

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

Five Great Daylilies for Continuous Bloom

Rainbow Rhythm® Tiger Swirl is an extra pretty, large-flowered everbloomer. (Image care of Proven Winners)


Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are one of the most welcome flowers of summer, but most bloom for just four to five weeks, some blooming earlier and others later. This is why daylily hybridizers have worked to breed daylilies with longer bloom times. These days, there are more and more great rebloomers on the market for gardeners to plant and enjoy.

About Daylilies

A garden filled with daylilies flowering in late summer.

Daylilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis–a name derived from the Greek words hemera (day) and kallos (beauty).  The genus was originally named by Swedish botanist Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy and plant classification.  Linnaeus originally classified these plants as part of the lily family but more recently they have been moved into their own plant family, Hemerocallidaceae.

These flowers have a long history and are known to have been cultivated during the time of Confucius, (551-479 BC).  Originally these long-lived perennials were grown for food and medicine. The Asian natives reached Europe in the 1500s and, along with peonies and lilacs, were one of the earliest ornamental plants taken to the New World by colonists. The standard ditch lily (Hemerocallis fulva) was the common species grown. The wild nature of these orange-flowered daylilies made them less garden worthy by the standards of today, but nevertheless, they offered seasonal color in early gardens.  They were also easy to grow, required little care, and could grow in diverse environments.


About Reblooming Daylilies

The pale yellow reblooming daylily ‘Happy Returns’ is low growing, too. (Image by Ateragramm)

Before the 1970s, daylilies were less popular in ornamental gardens.  This was because of their relatively short bloom period, the straggled and unkempt look of their late-season foliage, and the bank of more garden-worthy flowering plants with continuous summer blooms. Then reblooming daylilies began to appear. The most popular of these was the 1975 introduction, ‘Stella de Oro’. It was the introduction of this daylily that inspired a widespread change in perceptions about daylilies.  ‘Stella de Oro’ has compact foliage, golden flowers. and probably the most important feature,  a long blooming season.  It became the new role model for daylilies and is still one of the most popular landscaping daylilies today.

With the attributes of ‘Stella de Oro’, a new interest in daylilies began and home gardeners suddenly began using them in their ornamental gardens. Plant breeders began to make crosses, and soon there were new colors of daylilies that were rebloomers. (I recently spoke with a daylily grower about rebloomers, and he commented that for summer-long bloomers he preferred the term continuous bloomers because they begin blooming in mid-June and continue through the summer and often into September.) Here are some of the best rebloomers beyond ‘Stella de Oro’.

Reblooming daylilies come in all colors from apricot to purple to palest yellow.

Hemerocallis ‘Apricot Sparkles’: Introduced in 2000, this compact, continuous bloomer has apricot-colored flowers that are large and showy.

Hemerocallis ‘Buttered Popcorn’: This award-winner is a reliable rebloomer that was bred in 1971. Despite its fine, fragrant, butter-yellow blooms on 32-inch stems, it did not win the quick popularity of the more compact ‘Stella de Oro’.

Hemerocallis Daring Deception‘: Grow this 1994 rebloomer for its wonderfully fragrant flowers of pale lavender pink with purple edges and a central eye. The plants reach 24-inches tall.

Hemerocallis Happy Ever Appster® Daylily Series: Bred by famed daylily breeder Dr. Darrel Apps, the daylilies in this series include many favorites, many of which are ‘Stella de Oro’ hybrids. The series includes popular varieties, such as the classic ‘Happy Returns’, a compact rebloomer from 1996 with cheerful primrose yellow flowers.

Hemerocallis Rainbow Rhythm® Daylily Series: There are so many beautiful, reliably reblooming daylilies in this group that its cultivars are sold by Proven Winners. Try the spectacular variety Rainbow Rhythm® Tiger Swirl, which has huge 7-inch flowers of gold with a red central eye.

‘Daring Deception’ is a fragrant daylily with flowers of pale lavender-pink and a black purple edge and eye.

This is just a small sampling of the many rebloomers available. After visiting several garden centers and looking at catalogs and online sources for daylilies, the selection of “continuous” bloomers is vast.  There is huge diversity in daylily flowers in lots of colors, many with dark edges and centers. Flowers not only come in single forms but semi-doubles and doubles as well as those with ruffled edges. Most have arching foliage, and plant height is variable with some growing only about 12-inches tall and others reaching 3-feet high or more.

Growing Daylilies

Daylilies are easily divided in spring or fall if their clumps become too large.

Luckily for gardeners, daylilies are exceptionally easy to grow.  They perform best in a soil that has been amended with compost. Black Gold Garden Compost Blend is ideal.  Give daylilies a location where they will receive sun for at least 5 hours a day. Plant the crown of a new plant slightly below the soil surface to protect the overwintering buds. Placing mulch around the base of your daylilies in the fall to further protect them during the winter. Daylilies are easily divided if their clumps become too large for an area.

As with many plants, keeping the old blooms picked off will encourage more flowers. If the foliage starts to look unkempt in late summer, gently pull off the browning leaves to refresh the plant’s overall look.

If you think of daylilies as short-season blooming plants, check out the many new continuous bloomers.  This is an excellent time to plant them, and plants from a local garden center will probably be in bud or bloom providing instant color.