Used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans, western white clematis has a long history of practical use, but this strong, woody perennial is now used ornamentally as well. From May through August, it is covered in white flowers, nearly obscuring the green foliage. These deciduous vines grow vigorously from 12 to 36 feet and are attractive to hummingbirds. The leaves, fruits and stems of western white clematis can, however, cause skin irritation in humans.
Before planting western white clematis, test your soil. A soil test will determine the pH and nutrient levels in your soil. Simple tests to determine pH, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are available at home and garden centers. Western white clematis prefers a pH of range of 5.6--8.4.
Choose a location near a sturdy structure. A fence, wall or trellis will be required to support the vine.
Plant western white clematis where it will get at least six hours of sun per day on its leaves. In USDA Plant Hardiness zones 8 through 10, filtered sunlight during the hottest part of the day is recommended.
Dig a hole for your plant. The hole should be at least twice the size of the root ball. If your soil is heavy clay, mix peat moss into the soil to improve drainage.
Set the plant in the hole, arranging the plant so its crown is 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface. Carefully insert a stake to support the plant until it reaches its support structure.
Keep the root system cool by applying a thick layer of mulch. Alternatively, shrubs or bushy annuals can be planted around the base of the vine.