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Clematis Planting & Care Instructions

Clematis H. F. YoungClematis is an amazing climbing vine that produces a profusion of exquisite flowers. To obtain spectacular flowers continuously from late spring through autumn plant a combination of early, midseason, and late bloomers. The ingenuity and vigor of this plant is sure to delight avid gardeners and beginners alike. Stems intertwine with any nearby object to obtain support for the plant's sunward climb. Some varieties can grow up to 20 feet in a single season. Clematis Liberation (tm)Clematis are wonderfully versatile, with some varieties being suited to container culture and others useful as ground covers. The majority will climb up trellises, through shrubs, and wander among evergreens and small trees. Varieties that produce blue flowers are especially sought after.

Planting and Care Instructions

Clematis perform best when their roots are cool and their foliage is in the sun. 4" of mulch will help keep the roots cool. Most Clematis need at least 5 to 6 hours of sun everyday. It is ideal to locate your clematis where the roots are shaded by perennials or small shrubs, but with plenty of sun 3' to 4' off the ground for the clematis foliage to climb towards. In hotter climates, planting pink varieties in bright shade helps to minimize fading.

As with every garden plant, the most critical factor for insuring the survival of your new clematis is the care you take in preparing the planting site. In heavy clay soil, dig a hole at least 24" deep and 24" wide to insure good drainage.Clematis Henryi In lighter or sandy soil, a hole 18" x 18" will be sufficient. Amend your soil with organic material like compost or well-aged cow manure. Gently remove the Clematis rootball from its container and plant it in the hole so that the base of the plant is sunk 3" to 5" below soil level. Leave the original stake on the Clematis for the first year to act as a support as well as a protection against accidental breakage.

Clematis require regular fertilizing to perform their best. In spring, once the Clematis buds are about 2 inches long, start fertilizing. Clematis NiobeFeedings every four weeks are required if you have good garden soil high in organic matter. If you have poor soil, fertilize your clematis every two weeks, except when the flowers are in full bloom. Resume feeding after main flowering period. Avoid fertilizers that are overweighted in Nitrogen.

Clematis need regular watering. Always water thoroughly and deeply during the hot summer months. Remember, if the soil under your Clematis is shaded it will not dry out as quickly as a sunny area. Don't keep them too wet, especially in the winter when they're dormant.

Clematis need support to grow. Growing them on an arbor or up a trellis, onto other shrubs, on a fence, or an obelisk, are all good choices.

Clematis typically require some pruning each year, depending on the Pruning Group they belong to. Those belonging to Pruning Group One require pruning of all dead and weak stems after flowering in early summer. Those belonging to Pruning Group Two (all our early bloomers, midseason bloomers, and double flowered varieties) require very little pruning. Simply prune dead stems as you see them. Those belonging to Pruning Group Three (all of our late bloomers) require major pruning, with all stems being removed down to the ground in late winter or early spring.

You can also plant compact varieties successfully in a container for use on a deck or patio. Select a container that is at least 18"x 18". Clematis Multi-Blue Do not use regular garden soil or top soil from the nursery. Instead, fill your container with potting mix leaving an adequate amount of space for a good watering basin. Gently lift the Clematis rootball from the nursery container and plant it so that it is sunk 3" to 5" below soil level. Feeding and watering are even more important for container culture as the potting mix will normally dry out quickly. Water at least every other day.

Clematis is susceptible to fungi that can cause foliage to 'wilt' or turn black. These fungi actually enter the plant via the stem and are known as stem wrot. This condition is usually not fatal if you planted your clematis correctly. Carefully cut off all of the diseased parts of the vine and then disinfect your clippers with Physan 20. Then dispose of all these diseased parts in a sealed plastic bag.

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If you have any questions about Clematis or would like us to recommend specific Clematis for your situation, don't hesitate to contact the experts at Paradise Garden:

Ask the Clematis Experts at Paradise Garden

For more information about this most exquisite flowering vine, you may visit the American Clematis Society!

Visit the American Clematis Society

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