Clematis Allanah

Clematis ‘Allanah’

Categories: Large-flowered, 2 pruning group,3 pruning group, red clematis varieties

The clematis variety ‘Allanah’ was obtained in New Zealand in 1968 – or rather not even obtained, but discovered. A certain A. Edwards found an unusual clematis among seedlings. Further it somehow got to the famous clematis breeder Jim Fisk, who introduced it in Great Britain. Strangely enough, the plants turned out to be relatively winter-hardy.

Table of Contents


Group Late-flowering large-flowered clematis
Pruning Group 2 (light pruning) or 3 (hard pruning)
Height 6.5…108 ft (2…3 m)
Flowers Large, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, with 8 petals
Flower Color Dark purple
Bloom Time From July to October
Hardiness Zones 4-9


Clematis ‘Allanah’ forms shoots up to 3 meters high. It blooms mainly at the ends of the shoots: therefore flowering is not very abundant. With weak pruning, flowering starts in June and lasts until September; with strong pruning, flowering starts in July and ends in October. Flowers are flat, medium-sized and large, 10…20 cm in diameter. Sepals are dark purple or wine-red in color. The length of sepals is 6…8 cm, width in the widest part is 3.5…4 cm. Stamen anthers are dark green along the edge and very dark, almost black in the middle.


Clematis ‘Allanah’ planting and care

Clematis ‘Allanah’ is quite winter hardy and easy to grow. It will grow well in most US states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, as long as you keep it well covered. In Europe, there are great reviews about it from gardeners in the UK, Poland, Germany and France. There are also reports of it growing more or less successfully in Finland.

The place for planting clematis ‘Allanah’ should be chosen keeping in mind that it is prone to burnout. If you are growing it in southern states with hot summers, it is better to choose a location where the clematis will be in shade at midday. If you are in a region with cold winters, it will be enough to provide it with light shade during the hottest midday hours. When growing in a cold region, a south, east or west wall of a building will do. In southern states, the north wall is a better choice.

Soil for planting clematis should be fertile, loose, with slightly acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline reaction, preferably neutral.

Clematis grow very poorly on heavy clay soils and on waterlogged areas.

It is best to plant clematis in the spring, when vegetation begins, or in the fall, when the soil cools to about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Under these conditions, clematis will actively form a root system. You can plant it in the summer as well, but this is not recommended because the actively growing stems and roots can be damaged. If you bought a potted clematis in the summer, it is better to wait until the beginning of cooler days or transplant it into the ground together with a lump of earth.

Preparing the clematis planting hole

The planting pit for clematis ‘Allanah’ should be large enough. It should be about one and a half feet across and also about one and a half feet deep. All the soil from the pit should be mixed with compost or humus in a one-to-one ratio, and about one ounce of potassium sulfate and one ounce of superphosphate should be added to this mixture. This mixture will provide the clematis with adequate mineral nutrition for the first time.

How to plant?

When planting in spring and fall, be sure to remove the clod of earth and inspect the roots for damage and rot. Damaged and rotten roots should be cut and the cuttings should be covered with ash or crushed charcoal. In addition, prepare a mixture of sand and ash, and sprinkle this mixture on the roots, as well as the lower part of the stems. This is to protect the plant from clematis wilt.

When planting, spread the roots in different directions. Make sure that they do not bend. If the roots are too long and bend, you can widen the planting hole. Then carefully fill the plant with soil, water and tamp the soil so that the roots are firmly adhered to it.

Should ‘Allanah’ clematis be buried when planting?

If you have bought a clematis with a woody underside, you can burrow it down by one or two pairs of buds. If you have a young clematis with a green underside, it should not be buried. Plant it at the same depth as it was in the pot.

Care of clematis ‘Allanah’

Clematis ‘Allanah’ does not differ in its physiology from most large-flowered clematis, so the rules of cultivation and care are the same.


Clematis are generally quite drought tolerant and should only be watered when there is a prolonged drought. Watering should be infrequent, but sufficiently abundant. Pour about 2-3 gallons of water under an adult plant, and half as much under a young plant. After watering, it is advisable to loosen the top layer of soil to avoid excessive evaporation of moisture.


All large-flowered clematis respond very well to soil mulching. Mulch protects the soil from overheating in summer, prevents excessive water evaporation and prevents weeds from germinating. It also provides an additional source of organic matter for the soil. Use dry straw, hay or freshly cut grass for mulching ‘Allanah’ clematis. When mulching, do not press the mulch close to the clematis stems. Around the stems themselves, it is better to cover the rootstock with a mixture of sand and ash to provide additional protection against wilt.


Since clematis almost completely regenerate the entire above-ground part every year, they take out quite a lot of nutritional elements from the soil and require good feeding. In the first year after planting, they need almost no fertilizing, because everything necessary for the healthy development of clematis has been added in the planting hole. Only in the spring you can apply about 5 grams of nitrogen to enhance the growth of green mass at the beginning of the vegetation.

For the 2nd and subsequent years, use the following fertilization scheme. It is designed for mature plants; if you have a young plant, reduce the fertilizer rate by half:

  1. The first feeding is carried out at the beginning of vegetation: put compost or humus in the boles without embedding, as well as mineral fertilizers in the form of a solution in the soil. The composition of the fertilizer: 10 grams of nitrogen, 5 grams of phosphorus and 5 grams of potassium.
  2. The second feeding is carried out at the beginning of budding, I have it at the end of May. Introduce into the soil 5 g of nitrogen, 5 g of phosphorus and 5 g of potassium, as well as a complex microfertilizer, which has all the necessary macro- and microelements.
  3. The third fertilizer is carried out about 3.5 weeks after the second; its composition is the same as the second fertilizer. It should ensure the preparation of buds for the second flowering.
  4. At the end of August, add 5 grams of phosphorus and 5 grams of potassium to the soil in the form of a solution to increase the winter hardiness of clematis and better prepare them for wintering.

Pruning clematis ‘Allanah’

Most often clematis ‘Allanah’ is pruned according to the rules of the 2nd pruning group. This is done as follows:

  1. After the completion of the 1st wave of flowering, cut off the part of the shoots of the previous year, where the flowers were located. Do not touch the shoots of the current year.
  2. After the 2nd wave of flowering is complete, cut off the part of the current year’s shoot where the flowers were located. Last year’s shoots can be cut out whole or saved.

It is also possible to cut ‘Allanah’ clematis in the same way as group 3 clematis, i.e. make one cut in the fall and leave a part of the shoot about 20 cm long, i.e. cut it above the second pair of buds.

Preparing clematis for winter

When the air temperature drops to almost zero (32 Fahrenheit), clematis should be covered. To do this, make an air-dry shelter from non-woven covering material and moisture-insulating material on top. When creating a shelter, it is necessary to leave a vent on the side in order to provide ventilation.

Under these climatic conditions, ‘Allanah’ can grow well in northern states: Michigan, Wisconsin and even South Dakota. Of course, if you are in a region where there are no hard frosts, there is no need to cover the clematis.

Reviews of the variety ‘Allanah’

  • Wyoming: The author of the review owns clematis ‘Allanah’ for at least 3 years, and on the 3rd year he got quite abundant flowering. He prunes it according to Group 3 rules, and so the blooms come quite late.
  • West of Idaho: The reviewer states that he purchased ‘Allanah’ a long time ago, and it is one of his favorite clematis. For some reason, this clematis has almost red flowers. Meanwhile, his neighbors nearby have much less red blooms of the same variety. He notes the unpretentiousness and lack of problems with this variety for many years.
  • UK, near Dover: ‘Allanah’ is one of the reddest clematis in the reviewer’s collection. It was purchased from a local nursery in 2009. For the first 3 years it developed poorly and was pruned according to Group 3 rules. After that, the clematis began to grow intensively, and now the author cuts it according to the rules of the 2nd pruning group to get 2 waves of flowering. He has not had any problems with shoot blight.
  • Oregon: The author states that his clematis died due to wilt in the 2nd year. First one stem died, then 2. The adjacent clematis ‘President’ and ‘Jackmanii’ were not affected.

If you have also grown clematis ‘Allanah’, please leave your feedback in the comments to the article.

About the author

Fedor Fironov
Graduate of Plant Protection Faculty at GSAU. Main area of interest – clematis, peonies and perennials of Lamiaceae .

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