Clematis Warszawska Nike

Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ (‘Warszawska Nike’) – planting, care and pruning

Categories: 2 pruning group, winter-hardy, large-flowered, red clematis varieties

The variety of clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ has very different names because the word “Nike” is similar to “night”. The correct name, however, is Warszawska Nike (there is such a monument in Warsaw). It is a famous variety of Polish selection, created by Polish flower breeder Stefan Franczak back in 1982. In 1990 the variety received a silver medal at the Plantarium 1990 exhibition. It is a very hardy variety, forgiving many mistakes.

Table of Contents


Pruning  Group 2 (weak pruning)
Priming period October
Height 200…300 cm
Flower diameter 10…12 cm
Flowering May through September
Zones of frost resistance 4-9

Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ description

Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’ forms shoots up to 4 meters long, but more often 2,5…3. Also quite a lot, such clematis requires space. Leaves are ordinary triple leaves with solid leaflets, can cling to natural supports with petioles. They are slightly lighter than most varieties: if you plant ‘Nika’ next to another clematis, this will be noticeable.

Flowering begins around mid-June and lasts until mid-September. Flowering is abundant. Flowers are simple, large, 10…15, sometimes up to 20 cm across. Sepals are 6-8, ovate or broadly oval in shape. Sepals are 5.5…7 cm long and about 4 cm wide. Coloration is deep purple or purple-purple, with a red or dark red middle stripe on the sepals. Stamen filaments are greenish-white, anthers are red.


Planting and care

I grew clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ for many years, but now I don’t have any because I left the house and garden where they grew. The clematis were very large and it was impossible to get them into a new garden. However, I know a lot about growing clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ and here is what I can tell you about it.

Firstly, it is a stunning clematis, its blooms are sure to delight any gardener. Secondly, it is quite unpretentious and easy to grow. Yes, I have lost individual vines to wilt a few times, but it has never completely died out, and it has hardly ever died out at all, even in the coldest winters. Its leaves very rarely suffered from fungal diseases, and it bloomed profusely almost every year.

When is it best to plant?

Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ is best planted in early fall or late summer when temperatures drop to about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can also plant it in the spring when the soil warms up to that temperature. If you are in a region with warm winters where heat rather than cold is a problem, it is best to plant clematis at a time when the growing season is just beginning. Transplanting an actively growing clematis is very difficult and you can easily damage its roots and stems at this time.

Place to plant clematis

If you are in a region with cold enough winters, you can plant clematis near a north, south, west or east wall – the main thing is that it should be well-lit and protected from strong winter winds. If you are in a region where summers are hot, such as the southern US, you should plant it near a north wall so that the plant and especially its roots in the ground do not overheat. It is also important to keep the plant slightly shaded during the bright midday hours, because in the bright southern sun the luxurious flowers of ‘Warszawska Nike’ will burn out.

The soil for planting clematis should be light, fertile, well cultivated. It should preferably be neutral or slightly alkaline. Slightly acidic soil in general is also suitable, but in it pathogenic fungi that cause clematis wilt develop well. They develop to a lesser extent in alkaline soil.

Preparing the planting hole for planting clematis

Planting clematis warsaw nike
I always try to dig large holes for planting clematis, even if a layer of non-fertile soil will be taken from below

I always make large planting holes at least 1.5 and also about 1.5 feet deep. The hole should never be filled with soil that you bring from somewhere else, especially soil that is less dense than the soil around it. The hole should be filled with the same soil you removed from it. Mix this soil with compost or humus in a one-to-one ratio. You should also add about one ounce of superphosphate and one ounce of potassium sulfate to this soil to provide good mineral nutrition.

How do I plant ‘Warsaw Nike’ clematis?

Just like any other large-flowered clematis. If the plant is old enough and the lower part of its stem is woody, it will be better to plant the clematis by burying it 2 or 3 buds deep. This is necessary for the plant to start from the very bottom. If you bought a young plant with a green underside, you can not bury it in the first year. Plant it as deep as it is in the pot.

Before planting clematis, be sure to clean the roots from the soil and inspect them. Do it carefully: if there are damaged or rotten roots, it is better to cut them off and cover the cuts with ash or crushed coal. It is also a good idea to cover all roots and tillering nodes with a mixture of sand and ash to create a barrier to soil fungi that cause wilt. This measure does not always work, but it still provides additional protection. After planting the clematis, water it thoroughly and tamp down the soil so that the soil adheres to the roots. At this point, planting can be considered successfully completed. The plant is likely to adapt well and will soon start to grow.

Care of Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’


Clematis should be watered only in case of severe drought, when there is no rain for a long time. It should be watered sparingly but abundantly: about three gallons of water can be poured under an adult plant and about one and a half gallons under a young plant.


Mulching the soil around clematis is very useful. Mulch protects the soil from overheating, from intensive evaporation of moisture and prevents weeds from germinating. and is also an additional source of organic matter for the soil. Use freshly cut grass, hay or straw as mulch. Do not press the mulch close to the stems. It is best to cover the soil around the stems themselves with a mixture of sand and ash to provide additional protection from wilt.


Fertilization of clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ is not required in the first year after planting. You can only apply 5g of nitrogen fertilizer by active ingredient to allow the clematis to quickly build up green mass to increase root mass.

From the second year onwards, feed the clematis according to the following scheme, which I have developed for my garden by experience and with the help of recommendations from various gardeners.

  1. The first feeding is carried out in the spring at the beginning of growth: make 10 g of nitrogen, 5 g of phosphorus and 5 g of potassium by active substance for each adult plant and half as much for the young. It is also possible and desirable to feed clematis with a solution of microelements and macronutrients.
  2. The second feeding is at the beginning of budding; apply 5 g nitrogen, 5 g phosphorus and 5 g potassium. Most often in regions with cold winters budding begins in late May or early June, but suddenly in different states of the USA buds on Warsaw Nike appear at different times.
  3. The third fertilization is carried out at the height of flowering, about 3 weeks after the second one. It is carried out in the same way and in the same dosage.
  4. At the end of summer, feed clematis with 5 grams of phosphorus and 5 grams of potassium. This is necessary in order for his shoots to mature, and he better prepared for winterization.

This scheme allows you to get abundant flowering of clematis, good growth of plants every year and their increased resistance to diseases.

Pruning Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’

‘Warsaw Nike’ is a typical clematis of pruning group 2. It flowers first on the shoots of the previous year and then on the shoots of the current year. Accordingly, it should be pruned in such a way as to preserve flower buds on the shoots of the last year, except for the first year after planting

In the first year after planting, when the growth period of the plant before wintering is over, cut the clematis short, leaving only 2 or 3 buds above the ground. This is to get good branching at the bottom of the plant. Next year, all the buds left should produce new shoots and you will get a more lush plant.

Starting next year, prune the clematis as follows. In summer, when the first flowering is over, cut off the part of the shoot where the flowers were located. In late fall, cut back the current year’s shoots to a height of about 3.5 feet or 120 cm above a pair of strong buds. If the plant is dense, last year’s shoots can be cut out entirely. Step pruning is also possible, but is a bit more complicated.


If you are in a region with cold winters, such as Michigan or Minnesota, Warsaw Nike clematis should be covered for winter after pruning. The shelter should provide it protection from winter winds and frost, but it should also be slightly ventilated so that moisture does not stagnate there.

The best option is the so-called air-dry shelter, when there is air underneath. The shoots are pressed to the ground, but the top of the shelter is protected from rain and snow.

Diseases of clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’

The only serious disease of clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ is wilt. Wilt is caused by soil fungi that penetrate into the vessels and clog them. In this case, the plant stops receiving water, after which the shoot quickly withers and withers. It is impossible to save such a shoot. It must be cut out as soon as possible.

To prevent wilt, try to keep the soil slightly alkaline with lime or other substances that alkalize the soil. You can also occasionally use fungicides such as Fundazol or Previcur, but these fungicides are quite toxic and not very effective because potentially pathogenic soil fungi are always present in the soil. Also, I don’t know if they are available to ordinary gardeners in your area, the rules for selling pesticides are different everywhere.


  • Denver, Colorado: Warszawska Nike is a favorite clematis, blooms perfectly every year, winters under peat, never gets sick.
  • Lancing, Michigan: pruned by group 3, blooms in late June and blooms for about a month.
  • Somewhere near Seattle: clematis winters well, blooms for a long time, does not suffer from wilt, pruning according to the third group.
  • Ottawa, Canada: bloomed in the first year, and the second very well bloomed, excellent clematis, minimum care.
  • South Dacota: for the winter are saved shoots about 60 cm long, so clematis begins to bloom earlier and blooms very long. The shoots always winter well under peat and snow, but can be damaged by mice.

If you have this clematis growing, please share 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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