Clematis 'Alba Luxurians'

Clematis viticella ‘Alba Luxurians’

Categories: Viticella group, white clematis, 3 pruning group, winter-hardy

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ was bred in England in 1900. It was created by John Veitch, a famous Scottish horticulturist and breeder, founder of the nursery that today became Veitch Nurseries. All in all, it is a classic British variety. By the way, at one time it received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society – a long time ago, but a fact.

Table of Contents


Group Viticella
Pruning Group 3 (hard pruning)
Height 8.2-9.8 ft (2.5-3 m)
Blooms about 3.15 in (8 cm) in diameter, with 4 sepals
Bloom Color white with green speckles
Blooming Period from July to September
Hardiness Zones 4-9


Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ forms stalked shoots up to 3 meters long. The stems are able to climb on natural supports, as well as on wooden lattices, pergola walls, etc. The leaves are unpaired and compound with 7 leaflets. The plant blooms very abundantly from July to September, and in warm autumn – and in October. Buds are formed on nodes along the entire length of the shoots of the current year. The inflorescence is monotierce, represented by a dichasium or double dichasium.

Flowers of ‘Alba Luxurians’ are semi-pinnate, cross-shaped, about 5…7 cm across, sometimes a little larger. Sepals are 4, rhomboidal or inversely ovate, with a blunt apex. The sepals are very light, almost white. At the very tip of the sepal in the middle there is an irregularly shaped green spot, which may extend to the base of the sepal. Sometimes the green spot occupies a significant part of the sepal. The center of the flower looks dark purple, but the anthers of the stamens are yellow.

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ pictures’

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ planting and care

Alba Luxurians is a very unpretentious and winter-hardy clematis, it is extremely easy to care for. If you just plant this clematis and forget about it, it will still somehow grow and bloom. However, it will be better if you put a little effort into it. Then the clematis will develop better and will bloom more abundantly every year.

Clematis planting location

Clematis wilt stems

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ are not at all demanding in terms of planting location. If you live in a region with a hot climate, you should choose the most protected places from bright sunlight and overheating. In other regions it can grow near the south, west, east and sometimes near the north wall.

The soil for clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ should be light, fertile, with a high humus content. It is not very important whether it is slightly acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline. Clematis grows well in any soil, but in a slightly alkaline soil it will be less likely to suffer from clematis wilt because such soil is not really suitable for pathogenic fungi.

Clematis in general can be planted in spring or fall. I find that it is better to plant it in early fall, when the soil is already cooler, so that it has time to form a root system before the first overwintering. However, it can also be planted in early spring before the intensive growth period begins. It is not recommended to plant clematis in late spring and summer, because at this time it is actively growing and you can easily damage the stems or roots. In summer, you can only transplant clematis with a clump of earth.

Preparing the planting hole

Clematis alba Luxurians plantong hole

For planting clematis, I always try to prepare large planting holes no smaller than 1.5×1.5 feet. This is because for the first few years the clematis will receive mineral nutrition only within this hole, so there should be sufficiently fertile prepared soil. To prepare a good mixture, I take the soil extracted from the pit and mix it with humus, peat or compost. The ratio: one part of the extracted from the pit soil and one part of compost or humus. You should also add about one ounce of potassium sulfate and about one ounce of superphosphate.

If you bought a clematis that is old enough that the lower part of the stems are woody, you can plant it deep so that it begins to branch from the ground. If you have a young and green plant, it should not be buried; it should be planted at the same level as it was in the pot.

Before planting, I recommend taking the clump apart and inspecting the roots of the clematis. It is necessary to straighten them, remove all rotted and damaged ones, and cover the cuts with crushed coal or ash. I also recommend to cover all clematis roots with a mixture of sand and ash and cover the bush node with this mixture to create a barrier for soil fungi for some time.

When planting, the roots should be spread in different directions. Carefully cover them with soil, then water the clematis and tamp the soil so that the roots are firmly in the ground. The planting is now successfully completed.

How to care?

Сlematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ care includes watering, soil mulching, weed control, fertilizing, and fall pruning.


Clematis should only be watered in severe drought. Watering should be done infrequently, but in large volumes; I recommend about 3 gallons of water per adult plant and 1-1.5 gallons per young plant. It is best to water with water that is already slightly warm; if you use cold tap water for watering, it can cause some problems in hot weather.

Mulching the soil

Mulching the soil protects it from overheating and also prevents weeds from germinating. Mulch decomposes over time and becomes an additional source of organic matter for the soil. I use freshly cut grass for mulching; you can also use hay or straw if you have it. When mulching, do not press the mulch closely against the clematis stems. Leave a small distance so that the stems are ventilated and your plants will not burn due to the intense bacterial growth in the freshly cut grass.

Weed control

Weeds are not a major threat to adult Clematis Alba Luxurians, but they should be removed while the plant is young.

Fertilization of Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’

Clematis will grow and bloom well even if you don’t feed it at all. However, I still recommend regular feeding because every year you completely remove the above-ground part of this plant and it needs to fully regenerate more than half of its mass. This regeneration requires significant mineral nutrition.

For the first year after planting, ‘Alba Luxurians’ do not need to be fertilized, because you have incorporated everything you need into the soil at planting. You can put about 5 g of nitrogen into the soil in spring to give the plant a little more green mass and that’s it.

Starting from the second year, feed clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ according to the following scheme:

  1. In spring, at the beginning of the growing season, apply 10 g of nitrogen, 5 g of phosphorus and 5 g of potassium by active ingredient to the soil as a solution. That is, if the nitrogen content of your fertilizer is 50%, you need to apply 20 g of fertilizer. You can also apply organic fertilizers such as compost or humus in the spring. These can simply be placed on the soil surface without digging them into the soil, so as not to traumatize nearby roots.
  2. The second fertilization is carried out at the beginning of budding of clematis, in our case it is mid-May. Introduce into the soil 5 g of nitrogen, 5 g of phosphorus and 5 g of potassium, as well as a complex of macro- and microelements. This feeding will provide clematis with all the necessary mineral elements for flowering.
  3. The third feeding is carried out about three weeks after the second. Its composition is the same – 5 g of nitrogen, 5 g of phosphorus, 5 g of potassium, as well as micro- and macroelements.
  4. The fourth feeding is carried out in late summer, usually in August. Apply 5 g of phosphorus and 5 g of potassium. This fertilization is necessary to prepare clematis for wintering.

All the fertilizer dosages listed are for mature clematis plants. If you have a young plant, reduce the dosage by about half.

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ pruning

Alba Luxurians blooms on the shoots of the current year. This means that it belongs to pruning group 3. In the fall, it is cut short, about 20 cm above a pair of buds. It is recommended to cover the rest of the stem in case of a very harsh winter. However, most states in the USA, as well as the UK and other European countries, do not experience such severe winters. In northern European countries you will need to cover, but you can simply pour a bucket of dry peat over the bush node.

In general, this clematis winters well even in countries with a fairly harsh climate, so it can be recommended for northern states in the USA, such as North and South Dakota, Michigan and even Alaska.

Reviews of clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’

  • Australia, near Brisbane: the author has, as the author himself states, probably the only ‘Alba Luxurians’ in Australia. At any rate, he has never seen a second one. Because of the hot climate it is necessary to grow this clematis in the shade of a tree. It grows quite well and blooms steadily for a very long time.
  • UK, near Lancaster: Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ has been growing for more than 20 years without any care and blooms well every year. Quite vigorous growth.
  • Kansas, USA : Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’ was bought 2 years ago and is still growing weakly, but it has already bloomed and the flowers are very beautiful. True, the green spots are not as big as in some images.
  • New Jersey, USA: ‘Alba Luxurians’ is one of the favorites as it grows very vigorously, not at all suitable for growing in a pot, but looks great outside next to a tree.
  • North Dakota: One of the few clematis that has wintered successfully at the author’s place and blooms profusely every year. The author claims it requires regular fertilizing, otherwise the blooms are not as abundant.

If you have also grown clematis Alba Luxurians, please leave your feedback about the variety in the comments to the article. It will help other readers to make the right decision about the purchase.

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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