Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ (Tangutica Group)

Plant: Table of Contents

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ (Tangutica Group): A Comprehensive Guide

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is a stunning climber, known for its vibrant yellow flowers and vigorous growth. This plant, a member of the Tangutica Group, is a favorite among gardeners and landscaping enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this beautiful clematis variety, including its culture, uses, care tips, common diseases, and more.

What is Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ (Tangutica Group)?

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ belongs to the Tangutica Group of clematis varieties, which are characterized by their robust growth habits and profuse flowering. This particular cultivar is prized for its striking yellow flowers and its ability to thrive in various growing conditions. As a climbing plant, ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is often used to adorn trellises, fences, and arbors, adding a pop of color to any garden landscape.

Key Takeaways – Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ (Tangutica Group)

Before delving into the specifics of cultivating and caring for Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’, let’s summarize some key takeaways about this beautiful plant:

  • Clematis Variety: ‘Bill MacKenzie’
  • Group: Tangutica
  • Flower Color: Yellow
  • Growth Habit: Climbing Vine
  • Uses: Trellises, Fences, Arbors
  • Key Features: Vigorous Growth, Profuse Yellow Flowers
  • Maintenance Level: Moderate
  • Hardiness: Hardy Perennial
  • Versatility: Suitable for Containers and Garden Beds

Now, let’s dive into the detailed aspects of growing and nurturing this captivating clematis variety.



Proper watering is crucial for the healthy growth and blooming of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’. Here are some essential guidelines for watering this plant:

  • Established Plants: Once established, ‘Bill MacKenzie’ generally does well with moderate watering. Avoid overwatering, as excessively wet soil can lead to root rot.
  • Young Plants: Newly planted or young clematis may require more frequent watering to help them establish a strong root system.


Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ thrives in full to partial sunlight. When selecting a planting location for this clematis, consider the following sunlight requirements:

  • Full Sun: Ideally, provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal flowering and growth.
  • Partial Shade: ‘Bill MacKenzie’ can also tolerate partial shade, especially in regions with intense afternoon sun.


Proper fertilization is essential to support the lush foliage and abundant flowering of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’. Here are some recommendations for fertilizing this clematis variety:

  • Fertilizer Type: Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.
  • Application Timing: Apply fertilizer in early spring as new growth emerges, and consider a second application in mid-summer to support continuous blooming.
  • Avoid Overfeeding: While fertilization is important, refrain from overfeeding, as excessive nutrients can lead to excessive foliage at the expense of flowers.


Well-draining, nutrient-rich soil is paramount for the success of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’. Consider the following soil preferences for this clematis variety:

  • pH Level: Aim for slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0.
  • Composition: A loamy, well-aerated soil with good water retention is ideal for ‘Bill MacKenzie’.
  • Organic Matter: Incorporating organic compost or well-rotted manure into the soil can enhance its fertility and structure, benefiting the clematis plants.


Proper pruning is essential to maintain the health, shape, and prolific flowering of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’. Understanding the pruning requirements for this clematis variety is crucial for successful cultivation. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Pruning Group: ‘Bill MacKenzie’ belongs to Pruning Group 3, which includes clematis varieties that bloom on new wood.
  • Timing: Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This allows for the removal of dead or weak growth while promoting new, vigorous shoots.
  • Pruning Techniques: Cut the stems back to a pair of strong buds, typically to a height of 12-24 inches from the soil level.


Propagation of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ can be achieved through various methods, including:

  • Stem Cuttings: Propagate ‘Bill MacKenzie’ by taking stem cuttings in early summer and rooting them in a suitable growing medium.
  • Layering: Encourage root formation on a healthy stem by gently bending it to the ground, covering a section with soil, and allowing it to develop roots before separating it from the parent plant.
  • Division: Dividing mature clumps of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is another method of propagation, allowing you to create new plants from established ones.

Container Popularity

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is a popular choice for growing in containers, thanks to its manageable size and ornamental value. When cultivating ‘Bill MacKenzie’ in containers, consider the following tips and recommendations:

  • Container Size: Choose a large container with adequate drainage holes to accommodate the clematis’ root system and provide stability for the climbing vine.
  • Support Structure: Place a trellis, obelisk, or other support within the container to allow ‘Bill MacKenzie’ to climb and flourish.
  • Soil and Watering: Select a high-quality potting mix with good drainage and water retention. Monitor soil moisture regularly, as containers may dry out more quickly than garden beds.

Common Diseases and Disease Diagnosis

While Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is a resilient and vigorous plant, it can be susceptible to certain diseases and health issues. Familiarize yourself with common clematis diseases and their symptoms to promptly address any concerns related to ‘Bill MacKenzie’:

  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease characterized by a powdery white coating on leaves and stems. Provide adequate air circulation and consider fungicidal treatments if necessary.
  • Clematis Wilt: This disease causes sudden wilting of the plant and can lead to dieback. Proper watering practices and maintaining soil health can help prevent clematis wilt.
  • Slime Flux: While less common, slime flux can occur in clematis plants, leading to foul-smelling ooze on the stems. Prune affected areas and maintain overall plant health to minimize the risk.

Common Pests

Several pests may pose a threat to the health and vitality of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’. Keep an eye out for the following common clematis pests and take appropriate measures to manage their populations:

  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can congregate on new growth and tender stems, potentially stunting the plant’s growth. Use insecticidal soap or horticultural oils to control aphid infestations.
  • Spider Mites: Spider mites are tiny arachnids that can cause stippling and discoloration of clematis leaves. Regularly rinse the foliage with water to deter mite populations and consider using an appropriate miticide if necessary.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist and enthusiast, here are some additional tips and insights to help you achieve successful cultivation and enjoyment of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’:

  • Support Structure: Provide a sturdy, well-anchored support structure for ‘Bill MacKenzie’, ensuring it has ample room to climb and spread.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of ‘Bill MacKenzie’, providing insulation and moisture retention for the root system.
  • Regular Monitoring: Regularly inspect your clematis for signs of disease, pests, or nutrient deficiencies, addressing any issues promptly to maintain plant health.

Fun Facts

  • Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is named after Bill MacKenzie, a renowned Scottish plantsman and horticulturist known for his contributions to the gardening community.
  • The vibrant yellow flowers of ‘Bill MacKenzie’ make it a standout feature in garden landscapes, particularly when paired with complementary colors or contrasting foliage.
  • ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is cherished for its ability to attract pollinators, including bees and butterflies, adding to the biodiversity of the garden ecosystem.

Links to External Resources

For further information on cultivating and appreciating Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ (Tangutica Group), consider exploring the following valuable resources:

By providing a comprehensive overview of the culture, care, and unique characteristics of Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’, this guide aims to empower gardeners and horticulture enthusiasts to cultivate and appreciate this stunning clematis variety to its fullest potential. Whether adorning trellises, fences, or containers, ‘Bill MacKenzie’ is sure to captivate with its radiant yellow blooms and vigorous growth.

Remember to tailor your approach to the specific growing conditions and needs of your Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’, bearing in mind the unique characteristics of this Tangutica Group cultivar. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty and resilience of ‘Bill MacKenzie’ in your own garden or landscape for years to come.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.