The clematis has been a gardening staple for years. Thanks to its varieties in color, shape, and size, this showstopper of a plant fits into any garden with ease. If you’re looking for a climbing vine that returns each year stronger than the last, the clematis is the flower for you!
Where to Plant Clematis
Before purchasing any plant, choose a location. The clematis grows best with warm sun on its foliage but shade on its roots. To achieve this, mulch the area underneath the clematis up to two inches from the root crown. Then, plant a few perennials around the base so that when the clematis climbs the foliage will be exposed to the sun, but the perennials will be able to provide shade for the root zone.
How to Support Clematis
The clematis vine latches onto its support structure by delicately wrapping its leaves around the supports. The support needs to provide thin, densely-spaced spindles to accommodate the growth habits of a clematis. In the picture, the clematis didn’t branch out to the left side. This is most likely due to the inadequate support to grow in that direction.
How to Plant Clematis
Give your clematis a good watering while in the pot. Then, dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the pot itself. The roots of the clematis grow deep and wide and will need a lot of space to move. Subsequently, depending on your soil’s condition, it will probably be necessary to work in some organic granular fertilizer, top soil, and compost into the soil. Before removing the clematis from the pot, back-fill the hole with your new soil mixture. The clematis should be two inches below the soil line. Water the hole with Protilizer before planting. Use care when removing a clematis from its pot because the roots and crown are very delicate and will break. Once in the hole, fill the rest of the hole to the soil line and then water the plant once more.
How to Care For Clematis
The clematis vine, as with most vines, requires pruning to encourage a favorable growth pattern. Pruning can seem like a daunting task. In the spring, prune the vines that aren’t growing. This will help avoid the issues of whether your cultivar is the species which grows on new growth, or last year’s growth.
For more pruning tips, HomeOfClematis.com does a wonderful job of explaining it!
In addition to pruning, train the vine and new growth for a symmetrical show of blooms. We recommend training vines with twist ties or twine. Something which can be easily cut off after the vine wraps around the trellis in the direction you would like.
Feed your clematis in the spring with a top-dressing of compost and some organic fertilizer. Then, feed the plant a couple more times throughout the growing season to keep it growing and blooming throughout the year.
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