Dr. Ruppel Clematis Plant Profile

Just What the Doctor Ordered for Pink Clematis Flowers

Doctor Ruppel clematis vine flower.
David Beaulieu

Clematis is a popular vine in the buttercup family and comes in a variety of colors. One type that sports pink flowers bears the cultivar name of "Dr. Ruppel." Clematis is not the easiest of vines to grow, so you definitely need to learn a few key care tips before trying to grow it for the first time.

Botanical Name Clematis Dr. Ruppel
Common Name Dr. Ruppel clematis, Doctor Ruppel clematis, Dr. Ruppel virgin's bower
Plant Type Deciduous perennial flowering vine
Mature Size 12 feet tall
Sun Exposure Full sun to partial sun
Soil Type Fertile, well-drained, and kept evenly moist
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time June
Flower Color Pink
Hardiness Zones 4 to 8
Native Area Several regions across both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere

How to Grow Dr. Ruppel Clematis

One thing that makes clematis such a challenge to grow is that the upper part of the plant should receive full sunlight (in the North), while the tender roots need to be shaded so that they stay cool. Preventing clematis wilt and fighting slugs will be two of your other big challenges when growing clematis.

The vine also needs proper support to be displayed to full effect. It can grow up to 12 feet high if given such support upon which to climb. This makes for an impressive display, so be sure to locate Dr. Ruppel clematis where you can fully appreciate it, such as near a patio area that you use often. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your vine happy:

  • Plant Dr. Ruppel deep enough to help keep its roots cool.
  • Apply mulch to block heat from entering the root zone. Or you could use a "living mulch", which means you allow a ground cover to spread around the base of the vine. Another way to keep the roots cool is by arranging flat stones around the base of the clematis.
  • Handle the vine gently when you do train it because its branches break easily. The least damage is done when the breakage occurs at a node. In such a case, the effect of the break is similar to when you pinch a plant to make it bushier and increase blooming. A couple of weeks after a break, you are likely to see that new flower buds have formed where the breakage took place. But the look of the plant will be marred if the damage is not done at a node.
  • Train the vine up a garden arbor, trellis, or lattice fence. The plant is a true climber, but it is helpful to tie the vines to a support until they gain a firm hold.
  • Trim Dr. Ruppel every other year or every few years. You will have reduced flowering if you prune it in this manner, but you will also keep the plant tidier. Since Dr. Ruppel is a repeat bloomer (known as "pruning-type 2"), in the long run, the vine will grow plenty of flowers.

Light

Locate Dr. Ruppel clematis in full sun in the North but in partial sun in the South.

Soil

The ground should be cool, damp, and amended with compost.

Water

Keep the soil consistently moist, but it should drain well enough to avoid waterlogging.

Fertilizer

If you use chemical fertilizers, apply a 5-10-10 in spring, and then, at intervals of about five weeks, apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Features, Uses for Dr. Ruppel Clematis in Landscaping

Due to the beauty of the vine's flowers and its ability to rebloom, Dr. Ruppel clematis can be treated as a specimen plant. It can also be grown in containers.

This vine's lovely petals are really called "sepals." They are at their pinkest when they are young. Depending on the lighting in which you see them, you may describe the more mature flowers as pink with a fuchsia stripe down the middle or as bicolored (lavender with a bright pink stripe down the middle). The effect is a bright color, made up of some pink with hints of lavender. As the flowers fade over time, the lavender color becomes the stronger color. The edges are wavy. 

These pink flowers measure about 6 inches across. In fact, Dr. Ruppel is one of the larger-flowered cultivars. There are usually six or seven sepals, each surrounding a light-colored center. Dr. Ruppel clematis comes into bloom in June but will rebloom off-and-on into September.

Choices for Clematis Vines With Pink Flowers

Other types of pink clematis flowers include the popular cultivars:

  • Pink Fantasy
  • Nelly Moser
  • Bees Jubilee,
  • Kakio (also called "Pink Champagne")
  • Sugar Daddy
  • Lincoln Star
  • Andromeda

There are also some choices in pink from the mountain clematis (C. montana Broughton Star and C. montana var. rubens), Texas clematis (C. texensis Princess Diana), and alpine clematis (C. alpina Pink Flamingo) groups.