…Oh yes you can!
Given my perfectly well founded frustration with houseplants, I find it just delightful to discover that clematis can be grown indoors. Thanks to clematis breeder Ray Envision, there are now clematis plants that are as equally happy indoors as out. Ray and his team have a new-ish series called “Garland Clematis” that will happily sit on your south facing sunny windowsill and twist and twine and then bloom profusely for about 8 weeks IN THE WINTER! How awesome is that.
There is another series, designed for compact growth and ideal for indoor growing as well, called the “Boulevard Series”, that will bloom indoors in the winter, but then it is suggested that you cut them back and plant them outdoors in the spring for the best results.
The only bump in the road, as these plants are very easy to care for as long as they are getting enough sun, is availability.
If you lived in the UK, Ray would happily ship you lovely pots of clematis in bud/bloom for your indoor growing pleasure. If you live stateside, it is a crapshoot as to where and if you may find them.
Often Dan over at Brushwood Vines will usually have one or more in his catalogue listings. The downside of ordering them from here is they are not shipped as in bud/bloom house plants so you must pot them up with a small obelisk or other structure and grow them on yourself.
Many years around Mother’s Day I have seen them in local florists to be sold as gift plants, although they are usually only clematis florida. Clematis florida is a pretty small climber, usually topping out at 6 ft and staying pretty slender as clematis vines go. The lovely pearly tepals seem to be at odds with the very prominent and “in your face” dark purple stamens and anthers, which also curve inwardly resembling a spider that has recently gone on to meet it’s maker ( as seen in the Monroe basement on a regular basis).
Currently, clematis florida is making a winter statement in the Monroe picture window where it has been left to it’s own devices to twine around whatever it can grab on to. It has a friend, a bare root start that was not ready for planting in the ground this year ( and whose identity I have forgotten) that has joined in the twining fun but has yet to form buds. In the spring the “friend” will get planted in the garden, but clematis florida is best as an indoor or conservatory plant so it will summer out on the porch and return , as it did this September, to the family room.
I have found that the early bloomers, like clematis macropletala and clematis alpina will generally bloom indoors around the same time they would bloom outdoors which would be in very very early spring, providing a great boost to your winter weary spirits .You can see Queen of the Houseplant-Tovah Martin’s clematis here.
No matter which variety you try,you can be sure any clematis blooming indoors will remind you wistfully of warm summer days , even if you currently have your face pressed against a cold window pane staring out at new fallen snow