Climbing roses and clematis are perfect companions. They happily share the same arch, trellis, pergola, doorway or garden wall, both reaching for the sun and providing a lush vertical floral display. They also have the same natural needs, require the same growing conditions (rich soil, moist, well-drained soils) and benefit from the same fertilizers. They often are of similar sizes with the result that neither swamps the other.
You also benefit from this companionship in terms of floral display. If both roses and clematis bloom during the same period, you get twice the flower power and enrich the color palette of one single garden spot. If you select roses and clematis with different flowering periods, you will be extending their spectacular color show over a longer period of time. In both cases, you win!
Roses and Clematis include varieties that bloom early, midseason, and late, therefore leading to 3 possibilities in terms of flowering:
1. The clematis can be grown to flower before the roses.
2. The clematis can be grown to coincide with the flowering of the roses.
3. The clematis can be grown to flower after the roses.
Combining early flowering Clematis with your roses would have the benefit of advancing the season of interest of your roses. Blooming before the roses, the Clematis would use the roses as a support and their elegant blooms would stand out against the foliage of the roses.
Early Flowering Clematis
Clematis from the below groups are great candidates for growing with roses before the roses bloom. Not subject to hard pruning, these clematis will always stay on the rose bush, without interfering with the beauty of the rose blooms when they appear later.