Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans

Clematis viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

Categories: Viticella group, pink clematis, red clematis varieties, 3 pruning group, winter-hardy
The clematis variety ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ was obtained by the French breeder Francisco Morel around 1900. It is a classic clematis of the Viticella group and one of the most popular varieties of this group. It is also sold under the names Elegans Plena, Purpurea Plena, Purpurea Elegans, and for some reason Royal Velvet. Perhaps this is due to the very interesting texture of its flowers, they are really slightly velvety

Table of Contents


Group Viticella
Pruning Group 3 (hard pruning)
Height up to 13 feet (4 m)
Flowers medium-sized, double
Flower Color pinkish-purple
Blooming from July until the frosts
Frost Resistance Zones 4-9


Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ is a typical liana that grows up to 4 m tall. The ability to form shoots is high. The leaves are usually green or light green with pronounced veining, the petioles can cling to supports.

Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans blooms on current year shoots from July until cold. The flowers are medium-sized, about 5-6 cm in diameter, double, with 4 broadly shaped sepals and numerous staminodia. The color of sepals and staminodes is purplish-raspberry-pink, and the shade depends on growing conditions, soil and lighting. Over time, the flowers burn out and become almost pink.

In general, the clematis is extremely decorative, and this is the reason for the popularity of “Purpurea Plena Elegance”. An important feature of this clematis: it blooms practically from the ground, and the flowers live for a very long time, some for up to 2 months. Over time, of course, they burn out, but when you look at the clematis with its abundant blooms, the burnout of an individual flower is not conspicuous. What is striking is the vine as a whole – powerful, with many flowers, each opening very slowly and gradually over many weeks.


Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ planting and care

In general, clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ is very unpretentious, hardy and easy to grow. It is an ideal clematis for beginners.

Choice of planting location

Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ winters well in most US states, including states with cold winters such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even South Dakota. This is due firstly to the general winter hardiness of clematis and secondly to its short pruning. Short pruned clematis stems are fairly easy to cover for winter.

If you are growing clematis in a region with cold winters and fairly cool short summers, it is best to choose a south, west or east facing wall and pick a location where the clematis will be protected from cold winter winds. If you are in a state or region with warm winters and very hot summers, such as Florida, Texas, California and other southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal), it is more important to protect the clematis from the scorching midday sun in summer than from the cold. In such cases it is better to choose the northern wall of the building, because there the clematis will be protected from the scorching rays. In general, ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ is not very prone to burnout, but it can grow in shade.

This variety is undemanding to growing conditions. It grows well in fairly poor soils, although it still prefers well-cultivated loam. It can even grow against a northern wall. Despite the fact that the flowers gradually burn out, clematis grows well in full sun as well as in slightly shaded areas. Choose a place where it has room to grow, because from the age of 3, it grows very intensively. An adult clematis reaches a height of about 4 meters and spreads about a meter and a half in diameter, if it has the opportunity for this.

It is better to prepare in advance for planting clematis “Purpurea Plena Elegance” a large enough planting pit: its depth and width should be about 50 cm. Fill the hole should be a mixture of extracted earth with humus or compost in a ratio of about 1:1 In addition, it is worth adding 20-30 g of superphosphate and 20-30 g of potassium sulfate and mix it all up.

‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ is best planted in the fall so that its root system has time to prepare for winter. It is also good to plant it in spring before the intensive growth of the above-ground part begins. The most unfortunate option – this is a summer planting, because in summer you can easily damage the roots or succulent young shoots. Therefore, in the summer, clematis is simply transferred with a lump of earth from the pot.

When planting clematis can be buried to the depth of the unripe part. If you bury the green part, it may suffer from soil fungi, although in general, clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ is affected by wilt much less often than large-flowered varieties.

Care of clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

This is a very unpretentious clematis, it will grow well even if you do not care for it at all, however, to provide conditions for faster growth and lush flowering, it is worth a little work.

Weed control, loosening the soil

While the clematis is small, it is very important to remove weeds from its root zone, so that they do not compete with it for light and mineral nutrition. Weeds prevent normal air movement, promote moisture stagnation, which can end up with fungal diseases on the leaves. Not that, these spots are dangerous for clematis, but it is not exactly beautiful.

Loosen the soil to a depth of only a couple of centimeters, because the root system of clematis is shallow. In addition, it is highly desirable to mulch the soil, preferably with hay, straw or freshly cut grass. This will reduce moisture loss, improve air exchange and help to enrich the soil with organic matter.


Water clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ only when there is a prolonged drought. Water rarely, but abundantly: under a young plant should be poured at once from 3 to 5 liters of water, under an adult bush – at once about 20 liters. After that, watering is not required for quite a long time.

Fertilizing clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’

Since this clematis fully regenerates its green mass every year, it needs good mineral nutrition. In the first year after planting, you do not need to feed the clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ at all, because everything you need for its development is in your planting hole, if you have prepared it correctly. You can only add about 5 grams of nitrogen by active ingredient at the beginning of spring. This will allow the plant to form a more powerful aboveground part and, as a consequence, to build up a more powerful root system, and this is the most important thing.

Starting from the second year after planting, fertilizing is required several times a year:

  1. The first fertilization takes place at the beginning of the growing season: you add organic matter, such as humus or compost, and a complete mineral fertilizer with a predominance of nitrogen to the soil. Dosage for an adult plant: approximately 11 g of nitrogen, 6 g of phosphorus and 6 g of potassium by active ingredient. For a young plant – 2 times less.
  2. The second feeding is carried out at the beginning of budding. For this feeding, you apply about 5 g each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as macro and microelements. You can spray the clematis with a solution of micronutrients on the leaf, if you have a suitable composition, or apply together with the main fertilizer in the soil. If you use a complex of micro- and macronutrients, for example, some soluble, study the composition on the package – they are sometimes very strange.
  3. The third feeding is carried out in the middle or end of July. In composition, it is the same as the second.
  4. The last feeding is carried out at the end of August, bringing about 5 g of phosphorus and potassium per adult plant, on a young plant – respectively, 2 times less. I prefer to use potassium monophosphate. It is, of course, one of the most expensive phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, but it is perfectly dissolved, concentrated and works perfectly.

Pruning of clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’

Because it is a Viticella clematis and it flowers exclusively on the current year’s shoots, it is pruned according to the rules of pruning group 3. This means that in the fall at the end of the growing season you cut the shoots completely, leaving only 15-20 cm with a couple of buds. In most cases, these prunings do not even need to be covered, but you can still cover them just in case with a couple layers of spunbond or other threatening material. This will be enough to ensure that the clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ will survive the winter and start growing early.

Reviews of ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’

  • Maine: an absolutely trouble free clematis, it was purchased at a local garden center as a small plant and has grown to a large bush in just 4 years. ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ grows in the shade but still blooms superbly. There are dozens of small flowers on a single shoot.
  • Oregon, near Portland: happy that clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ is deere resistant. Many plants in our garden are eaten or damaged by deer coming in from the woods. Overall, these are very beautiful and winter resistant clematis that require almost no maintenance.
  • Northern Michigan: the author greatly appreciates the clematis of the Viticella group for their winter hardiness, and notes that he has never had any problems with any of them in many years. According to him, ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ does not require a complicated and expensive fertilizer. The author uses the same fertilizer to feed this clematis as he uses to feed apple trees and other plants in his garden.
  • New Mexico: ‘Purpurea plena elegans’ is said to suffer greatly from the heat. It was therefore transplanted to the north side of the house and is practically in the shade between the fence and the wall of the house. However, it has enough light there and is blooming beautifully. It is now over 4 yards high and about 3 yards wide.
  • France, near Liège: Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’ blooms luxuriantly every year and lasts practically until November.
  • Romania (region unknown): Clematis was purchased at a local market and has been growing for over 8 years. It has never had any problems with it, and in Romanian winter conditions it winters perfectly without shelter.

If you too grow ‘Purpurea Plena Elegance’, 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 .

Read also:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top