Virtues:Clematis ‘Stand by Me’ has a unique shrubby habit that suits it to a spot in the middle or front of a garden bed. This compact selection does not vine like many other familiar clematis, but it still offers the profuse and beautiful flowers and seed heads for which these perennials are cherished.
Common name: ‘Stand by Me’ bush clematis
Botanical name:Clematis ‘Stand by Me’
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Season: Summer for flowers, autumn for seed heads
Flowers: Rich purple-blue flowers appear in profusion from late spring through early summer, with some rebloom possible in midsummer. These bell-like blossoms hang downward. Thready seed heads resembling shuttlecocks follow in late summer and autumn.
Foliage: ‘Stand by Me’ clematis has rounded deep green leaves that have a coppery tinge to them before they mature.
Habit: This is a shrubby, non-vining clematis that grows to about three feet tall and two to three feet wide. Although it is not a climber, it benefits from the support of a neighboring shrub or a low cage to help it maintain an upright stance. It dies to the ground in the fall and emerges again in spring.
How to grow ‘Stand by Me’ clematis: Site in full sun or part shade, in any soil with good drainage. Clematis prefer neutral to alkaline soil pH; an application of lime can help in acidic soils. Like other clematis, this selection appreciates shade over its root zone and a generous layer of mulch. Plant any clematis a few inches deeper than it was in its nursery pot; it is all right to bury the lower sets of leaves. Water regularly as it becomes established, and provide supplemental water in times of drought. ‘Stand by Me’ clematis should die to the ground in fall. If any old stems or portions of stems remain standing in early spring, cut them back to just above a pair of healthy buds. USDA Zones 3–7.
Image credit: Walters Gardens