Clematis Multi Blue

Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ — care and pruning

Categories blue clematis varieties, double-flowered, large-flowered, 2 pruning group

Clematis variety “Multi Blue” was bred in the Netherlands in 1983 in the nursery “J. Bouter & Zoon”. To be more precise, it is not even bred – it is not the result of directed selection, but a sport of clematis “President” (a shoot with different features from the original form, the result of mutation) By now it has become one of the most popular large-flowered varieties – mainly due to its decorative, long flowering and low susceptibility to diseases.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Group Patens
Trim Group 2 (weak pruning)
Priming period October
Height up to 200 cm
Flower diameter 10…15 cm
Flowering May through August
Exposure any
Zones of frost resistance 4-9


Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ forms shoots up to 2 meters long. It grows rather slowly. The stems are able to climb on natural supports.

Flowering begins in May, and until June the plants bloom very abundantly. In July and August, flowering is less abundant. The flowers are large (up to 15 cm), terry or semi terry with numerous purple or lilac sepals. There is strong variability within a cultivar: the flowers may therefore look slightly different on different plants and even on the same plant.


Planting and care

Clematis Multi Blue from the point of view of agrotechnics has 3 significant disadvantages.

  1. Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ is heat-loving and not winter hardy. Of course, it can winter in Michigan, Wisconsin and the Dakotas under a good shelter, but its last year’s shoots and there are often frozen quite often. It can be difficult to preserve them, although in recent years in the Middle Belt such winters that most gardeners do not have any problems with wintering.
  2. Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ is quite slow growing and its buds wake up quite late in spring.
  3. It tends to snatch wilt, and for what reason it gets sick more often than other varieties is not entirely clear. However, according to numerous reviews from different regions, ‘Multi Blue’ suffers from wilt more often than many other varieties. Perhaps this is due to its relatively low winter hardiness. It simply does not have time to get strong enough in a short summer and is therefore less resistant to pathogenic fungi.
  4. It is prone to be affected by wilt, and for what reason it is more often affected than other varieties is not entirely clear. However, according to numerous reviews from different regions, ‘Multi Blue’ suffers from wilt more often than many other varieties. Perhaps this is due to its relatively low winter hardiness. If it grows in a region with a cold climate, it simply does not have time to get strong enough for a short summer and is therefore less resistant to pathogenic fungi.

Hence the conclusions: when planting Multi Blue clematis, conditions should be ensured in which its weaknesses are compensated for as much as possible. This means that:

  • For planting it is better to choose well-lit areas, protected from the wind – best near the southern, eastern or western wall, although sometimes it is grown near the northern wall and, sort of, successfully.
  • The planting hole for clematis should be large enough and well prepared. The size of the planting pit is approximately 50x50x50 cm. Fill this hole with the soil that was taken out of it, adding compost or humus, a couple of spoons of superphosphate and a couple of spoons of potassium sulfate. Mix it all up, we get the soil for filling the planting pit.
  • When planting clematis “Multi Blue”, it is highly desirable to cover the root and the lower part of the stem with a mixture of sand and ash. Such a mixture will serve as a barrier for some time for pathogenic fungi that cause wilt. Also, if you have a young plant, you should never bury the stem, because the green parts are very likely to be infected by these fungi if they come into contact with soil where soil fungi are present (and they are everywhere).

Care of clematis ‘Multi Blue’

Clematis Multi Blue


Clematis should be watered infrequently but abundantly, only in fairly severe droughts, because in general it is more dangerous to overwater them than underwater them. Continuous frequent watering of clematis is quite dangerous for their succulent roots.

Fertilizing clematis ‘Multi Blue’

In the first year after proper planting “Multi Blue”, like any other large-flowered clematis, does not need to be fed. The planting pit has everything necessary for its growth. Starting from the second year, it is desirable to carry out 3 fertilizations:

  • At the beginning of vegetation in the soil where clematis grows, it is necessary to apply organic fertilizer (but in no case fresh manure or chicken manure), as well as complex mineral fertilizer with a predominance of nitrogen, approximately at the rate of 10 grams of active nitrogen per adult plant, 5 phosphorus and 5 potassium. Which fertilizer to choose is not so fundamental.
  • The second fertilization of clematis ‘Multi Blue’ is carried out at the beginning of budding, usually in May. I believe that an adult plant needs about 5 grams of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – 5 grams of each.
  • The third feeding is carried out at the height of flowering. Apply 5 grams each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, plus macro- and microelements.

In addition, a phosphorus-potassium fertilization can be made in August with 5 grams per adult plant. For young plants, all these doses can be reduced by about half.

How to prune clematis ‘Multi Blue’? Which pruning group does it belong to?

Pruning clematis Multi Blue
Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ stems are cut to about 3 feet (100 cm) high and tied with clamps and stacked on branches to keep them off the ground.

Multi Blue is a clematis from the 2nd pruning group. It blooms on last year’s shoots for the first time and on the current year’s shoots at the end, and it is only on last year’s shoots that it forms such beautiful terry flowers. On the current year’s shoots the flowers are much simpler: so it is important for us to keep the shoots from last year. Consequently, we cut the current year’s shoots in the fall to a height of about 100 cm, then bend and pin them and carefully cover them.

The cover is erected according to how severe your winters are and what covering materials are available.

Covered clematis Multi Blue
My clematis ‘Multi Blue’ covered for winter – season 2023

Should Multi Blue clematis be watered with milk of lime for protection against wilt?

Milk of lime does not protect by itself, but it does alkalize the soil, and soil pathogenic fungi develop much worse in alkaline soil.
If your soil is acidic, this is a good measure. If it is alkaline, there is no point in alkalizing it even more.

What to do if clematis Multi Blue is sick with wilt?

Unfortunately, I have so far found only one more or less effective measure – it is watering under the root with a solution of “Previcur”, and in some monstrous dosage, about 1 ml per 2…3 liters of water. Yes, this is absolutely against all conceivable and unthinkable regulations, but so far, in my experience, only this works.


Reviews about clematis “Multi Blue” are many:

  • Wisconsin, southern Wisconsin: clematis is very slow growing, the third year had only two blooms, but beautiful;
  • Michigan, near Lansing: ‘Multi Blue’ blooms every year around the end of June, does not frost;>
  • Maine: this clematis blooms in mid-June, the flowers burn out in full sun;
  • New-Jersey: this clematis burns out badly in full sun;
  • South Dakota: ‘Multi Blue’ grew crabapple for several years, flowered poorly, but eventually died out;
  • Denver, Colorado: clematis died out in a particularly cold winter a few years ago when there was a hard frost, before that, grew quite well for 4 years.

If you too have grown or are growing this clematis, please leave your feedback in the comments of this 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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