How to Pair Clematis and Lilacs

by Jasey Kelly
Common lilacs have a pale purple flower and sweet scent.

Common lilacs have a pale purple flower and sweet scent.

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Both clematis and lilacs decorate landscapes throughout North America and can add bits of color throughout different times of the growing season. Although lilacs are commonly a pale purple, they also come in shades of pink and white. Many varieties also come in different sizes and shapes. Clematis plants are just as diverse; they come in a variety of colors and different varieties bloom at different times. Pairing the two can be simple and elegant when done correctly.

Step 1

Shop at your nursery and talk to the staff about the available varieties of each plant. Look at the different colors and pay attention to the tags. You'll want to make sure the mature size of the plants will fit in the location you want to put them in. Purchase your plants along with a trellis or other item for your clematis to climb. Young clematises are trained on a trellis; after time, you can train them around a fence or other tall item the tendrils can attach to. Choose colors that will complement each other if they will be in bloom at the same time. Lilacs typically bloom in midspring, although a variety known as Bloomerang is a repeat bloomer throughout the season.

Step 2

Prepare the area for planting. Make sure you leave enough area in between the plants to accommodate the mature sizes of each and that they won't grow into each other. Since both plants need at least six hours of sunlight, make sure the lilac will not block sun to the clematis. To accomplish this, consider planting the clematis to the side and slightly in front of the lilac.

Step 3

Take care of each plant as they grow. For the clematis, this may include training the vines as they grow onto the surface you want it to climb and wrap around. The first few years are the most vital in any transplants life. Fertilize properly and allow the plants to grow naturally.

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