How to care for Clematis
Tips on planting, growing and general care.
Clematis, sometimes thought of as The Queen of the Vines, has a reputation for being difficult to grow. This however, is not the case, they are just particular about a few certain requirements-
1. Need the right location
2. Regular watering
3. Correct pruning
If these conditions are met you will have beautiful vines and flowers for years to come.
Clematis need well-drained and slightly rich soil with a pH of 7(alkaline ). Clematis need their feet cool in summer & warm in winter and the top or head must get at least 4 hours of sun a day, To keep clematis feet cool in summer, plant a ground cover or low growing perennial, with the same requirements, over it. Some people prefer to plant it where small shrubs shade it's roots. Come winter mulch well over the top will do the same thing.
Clematis can be planted in spring as soon as soil can be worked. Dig a hole twice the width of the rot ball. Cover the bottom of the hole with well rotted manure and a handful on bonemeal and be sure to cover the bonemeal with good top soil so the roots do not come in contact with the bonemeal. Gently remove the vine from the pot making sure the roots are moist & place in the hole & include the stake that came with it. The stem of the clematis should be at least 12 cm below ground, them fill with topsoil. Attach vine to support initially & after several feet of growth it should climb & attach by itself.
Water Clematis during it's growing time & especially during dry weather. This must be done deeply & regularly.
Drying leaves at the base indicate lack of water. Clematis do not like wet feet so they must be sited on well-drained soil. Fertilize in spring with bonemeal.
Clematis take at least three(3) years to get established & reach maturity.
Pruning is not as difficult as most people think, just follow the following guide. There are three pruning groups-
1. No pruning required, removed deadwood, if necessary
2. These Clematis bloom on old & new wood. Prune out deadwood in early spring & a bit to tidy old wood immediately after flowering to get ready for second blooming in late summer.
3. Cut to the ground. These only bloom on new wood. Cut in winter or before new growth starts.
The pruning group should be on tag when you buy clematis or check out our catalogue under Vines & the grouping is there for many of the varieties.
Clematis Wilt- a fungal disease, must be controlled quickly. At first signs of wilt, any wilted leaves that does not respond to watering, must be cut away and burned. Spray plant with a fungicide and usually it will grow out from the root.