Clematis (pronounced klem’uh-tis, accent on the first syllable) is the most popular and most often planted perennial vine. Clematis vines are long-lived, easy to grow and have a long season of showy blooms. Clematis provide color, vertical height, and an architectural framework to the garden. Clematis vines can be trained to climb a wall, trellis, fence, arbor or lamppost. They can also be planted to sprawl over and through shrubs and small trees. Some of the more compact varieties are also beautiful in containers and pots.
* Clematis prefer a full sun to part shade location. 4-6 hours of sun a day is ideal.
* Plant in well-drained soil and work in an ample amount of compost and some granular organic fertilizer. Water weekly for the first season.
* Position the plant slightly deeper than it is growing in the container, so the first set of leaf nodes are just under the soil surface. This will result in a fuller vine.
* Clematis are happiest with cool shade at their roots and warm sun on their foliage.
* Mulching around the base of the vine will help conserve moisture but keep the mulch several inches away from the crown.
* Plant low growing perennials or annuals around the vine to help keep the soil cool.
* Clematis vary in their need for pruning and are divided into 3 groups based on bloom time. Most plant labels will tell you which group your vine belongs to. Group 1 flower on old wood from the previous year. Group 2 flower on old and new wood. Group 3 flower on new wood.
* If you are not sure when to prune, don’t worry! Use this common-sense approach: leave the prior year’s growth in place until mid-spring. Begin pruning only when you can see which stems are brown and which ones are starting to leaf out.
We always carry a wide variety of clematis at Garden Heights and this year will be no exception! We will have a large selection of Raymond Evison Clematis, known for their easy care and free flowering habit, as well as classic favorites and new introductions.
Visit us this spring and discover how easy it is to be successful with “the queen of climbers.”
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