Growing Clematis Vines
Growing clematis vines, plants and flowers. Planting clematis vine. How to grow clematis. Purchase clematis plants. Clematis pictures.
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Clematis vines are one of the most popular climbing plants in the U.S. There are many varieties which differ not only in vigor and size but in time of flowering and color. As a consequence of this diversity, a clematis vine can be selected for every situation.
Clematis plants may be roughly divided into 2 groups according to flower type. The small flowered clematis--usually wild types--and the large flowered hybrid clematis.
The clematis flower may be single or double.
Clematis plants can be divided into 2 groups another way: clematis climbers and bush clematis.
This vine is growing over a mailbox in my Aunt Charlotte's yard in Connecticut.
There are actually 3 clematis vines intertwined here: the one blooming now, a lavender variety and a pure white clematis which will bloom after this one finishes.
My aunt keeps her gardening tools inside the mailbox to keep them handy.
Planting Clematis Plants
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These plants appreciate a rich, friable soil. The root system of clematis vines needs to be kept cool while the stems need sunlight. You can achieve this by planting clematis behind a small shrub or low-growing, leafy perennial.
Top dress the root zone with organic compost each spring.
You can also use a terracotta tile clematis root protector to keep the root zone cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Clematis climbers cling to thin supports by wrapping their leaf petioles around them. Trellises made of thick wooden slats will not work well.
You can suspend a clematis from wires or fishing line and this will work better as they are thin enough for the clematis leaves to grasp them.
If you have a wooden trellis you wish to use, staple trellis netting to it. The climbing vine will hide the netting as it matures.
Another plant can be used as a climbing clematis support. A climbing rose and clematis vine can be paired if the flower colors and bloom times are carefully coordinated.
Transplanting Clematis Plants
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In caring for your clematis you may need to move it. Do this in late winter or very early in the spring before new growth begins.
Prepare the new planting hole. Dig it deep--clematis roots can extend 4 feet into the soil. Place a shovelful of manure or compost and a handful of bone meal into the hole.
Prune your clematis back to about 18 inches. Dig it up. Get as much of the clematis root system out in one piece as you can but don't worry about trying to get it all. You can't.
Set the plant into the new hole 3 inches deeper than it was before. You want to bury 1 or 2 pairs of latent buds (leave the clematis leaves on). The portion of stem you bury will form new roots and give the transplant a better chance of surviving the move.
Water the plant now. Mud it in. Keep it moist for the next 2 years until it is well established before allowing it to withstand drought conditions.
Growing Clematis in a Pot
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Growing clematis in a pot can allow you to grow the more tender evergreen clematis varieties. Simply move the pots inside for the winter.
While indoors, keep the plants cool and well ventilated. Keep the soil nearly dry.
When you set them back out into the garden for the summer, remember to set the container where it will be shaded and the top of the plant will be in the sun. Keep the pot watered and add a water soluble fertilizer monthly. Top dress the plant with organic compost each spring just after setting it out.
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