UT Gardens June plant of the month: Clematis Rooguchi

UT Gardens June plant of the month: Clematis Rooguchi

Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 11:16 am
By: Carol Reese

Submitted by Carol Reese
UT Extension Horticulture Specialist, Western Region
Occasionally someone asks me how to prune their clematis.
“Which one do you have?” is my question, and usually they do not know.
They need to know, since clematis is a complicated group of plants that must be pruned differently according to the particular type.
It would be easier on all of us if they would just plant a clematis called ‘Rooguchi’.
Rooguchi is also sometimes spelled “Roguchi”, but that is as complicated as it gets. This vine dies to the ground each winter, and springs forth each spring, eager to flower on new growth. Oh, how I love a plant that has no special pruning needs, in fact, needs no pruning at all. You aren’t even likely to prune to control its size, since it’s a mannerly garden citizen, which can even be permitted to sprawl atop a shrub or climb through a Japanese maple without taking over.
In fact, one of my favorite garden vignettes was a Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ scrambling through a golden false cypress Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Fern Spray Gold’.
My friend Jason grows his Rooguchi intertwined with the golden foliaged jasmine, Jasminum officinales ‘Frojas’ also known as Fiona Sunrise.
You see, the flowers of Rooguchi are the perfect foil for a gold foliaged plant. While some sources list the flowers as purple, to my eye they are an ink blue, and this bright background showcases the rich color. Each individual flower deserves admiration as a work of art, shaped like a hanging bell, with four, gently recurving petals. The recurved edges are a lighter violet blue. The petals themselves look to be made of pleated, shimmering silk, though they feel surprisingly rigid and leathery.
Now here is the best part! This plant blooms all season long. I repeat, this plant blooms without rest until frost. Usually it begins in May, though this year’s early spring started the show in late April.
Don’t think I’m repeating something I read somewhere, or relying on just my experience. I have several good gardening friends who have Rooguchi, love Rooguchi, and will back me up. It’s also resistant to clematis wilt, which is often the bane of this genus.
Rooguchi is a cross between a shrubby clematis C. integrifolia and a vining form, C. reticulata. As a result, its habit falls somewhere in between. This sprawling character is good for effects as described previously, and also for tumbling over a retaining wall or even out of a large container.
In fact, you might need to encourage it if you want it to climb since it lacks the twining petioles of most vining clematis.
Plant Rooguchi in good, well drained soil, where it gets several hours of sun and good air circulation. A site too shady and damp might encourage powdery mildew. I’ve never seen a hint of it on mine, which flourishes in a large container where it receives morning sun.Submitted by Carol Reese
UT Extension Horticulture Specialist, Western Region
Occasionally someone asks me how to prune their clematis.
“Which one do you have?” is my question, and usually they do not know.
They need to know, since clematis is a complicated group of plants that must be pruned differently according to the particular type.
It would be easier on all of us if they would just plant a clematis called ‘Rooguchi’.
Rooguchi is also sometimes spelled “Roguchi”, but that is as complicated as it gets. This vine dies to the ground each winter, and springs forth each spring, eager to flower on new growth. Oh, how I love a plant that has no special pruning needs, in fact, needs no pruning at all. You aren’t even likely to prune to control its size, since it’s a mannerly garden citizen, which can even be permitted to sprawl atop a shrub or climb through a Japanese maple without taking over.
In fact, one of my favorite garden vignettes was a Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ scrambling through a golden false cypress Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Fern Spray Gold’.
My friend Jason grows his Rooguchi intertwined with the golden foliaged jasmine, Jasminum officinales ‘Frojas’ also known as Fiona Sunrise.
You see, the flowers of Rooguchi are the perfect foil for a gold foliaged plant. While some sources list the flowers as purple, to my eye they are an ink blue, and this bright background showcases the rich color. Each individual flower deserves admiration as a work of art, shaped like a hanging bell, with four, gently recurving petals. The recurved edges are a lighter violet blue. The petals themselves look to be made of pleated, shimmering silk, though they feel surprisingly rigid and leathery.
Now here is the best part! This plant blooms all season long. I repeat, this plant blooms without rest until frost. Usually it begins in May, though this year’s early spring started the show in late April.
Don’t think I’m repeating something I read somewhere, or relying on just my experience. I have several good gardening friends who have Rooguchi, love Rooguchi, and will back me up. It’s also resistant to clematis wilt, which is often the bane of this genus.
Rooguchi is a cross between a shrubby clematis C. integrifolia and a vining form, C. reticulata. As a result, its habit falls somewhere in between. This sprawling character is good for effects as described previously, and also for tumbling over a retaining wall or even out of a large container.
In fact, you might need to encourage it if you want it to climb since it lacks the twining petioles of most vining clematis.
Plant Rooguchi in good, well drained soil, where it gets several hours of sun and good air circulation. A site too shady and damp might encourage powdery mildew. I’ve never seen a hint of it on mine, which flourishes in a large container where it receives morning sun.

Published in The WCP 5.31.11

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