01 Mar Clematis

Tips For Growing Clematis

Growing clematis can be a little tricky at first because they have delicate, somewhat brittle stems. Once established they provide spectacular flowers and continue to grow and grow and grow.  There are many varieties that bloom at different times of the year. Some bloom on old wood, some on new and some on both old and new. Some bloom in only in spring, some in early summer and some in late summer. Know your variety and it’s requirements to achieve the most success. With the right collection, it is possible to have a succession of clematis blooms from spring until fall.

Plant placement is particularly important for clematis. They prefer soil that is slightly on the sweet side. For naturally acidic soil that might mean adding a few handfuls of ground limestone when planting. They like moist, well drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Mulch in well to help hold in moisture.

Choose a location that insures that their roots will remain shaded while they climb for the sun. The north side of a hedge or low evergreen works fine. Be sure to provide support – thin supports work best. Clematis can grow up trellises and obelisks, chain link fences, mailboxes and more.

Plant in early spring. Late March or early April is best. New plants will benefit from staking. Use a soft twine to tie stems to supports.

While many varieties offer sensational ranges of color, deep reds and purples are often more effective in a spot offering filtered light. Keep clematis well watered especially in hot, dry weather. If stem rot becomes a problem, it can be controlled by removing infected shoots below the soil line and treating with fungicide.

Pruning can be tricky. Proper pruning techniques depend on variety.

If you’re unsure when to prune a particular variety and the information is not on the care tag, give us a call – 609-641-0648 and we’ll be happy to guide you.