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All About Clematis

Clematis are loved both for their ability to climb and for the lovely flowers they produce.

All you need to enjoy the beauty of clematis is to provide them with a minimum of 6 hours of sun, well-drained soil, and proper support, such as a wall, fence, trellis, rocks, tall shrub or another vine. Once these requirements are met, they are happy planted in gardens or in containers. If planted in full sun, keep a heavy layer of mulch around the roots.

Jackmanii purple clematis plant growing on a bamboo trellisIf you are a first-time clematis grower, here are a couple of short videos that will take the guesswork out of planting.

Clematis grow best if these watering, feeding, and pest control instructions are followed:

  • Watering: For newly planted plants, keep the soil moist for the first few weeks. After that, watering only needs to be done during hot dry periods. Its better to do a deep soak rather than a few light waterings.
  • Fertilizing: Feed the plant with a fertilizer that’s rich in potassium. Look for a fertilizer that has an N-P-K ratio with the third number being the highest value. Feeding can be done each spring and fall.
  • Pest Control: Slugs are the main pest, and they can be kept away by putting down a slug barrier each spring. Sluggo® works very well.

Clematis plants require pruning, but how you prune depends on the variety and the planting location.  The amount of cutting and the correct time to prune is determined by when your clematis blooms and other factors, such as your preferred growth habit.  Some clematis bloom only in the spring, others later in the summer, and a third variety can bloom both early spring and late summer.  Once you’ve chosen which clematis is right for your growing conditions and bloom-time preferences, you’ll want to do some research to find the pruning method that fits your circumstances to ensure you get the maximum amount of blooms the next season.

With the proper care, your clematis will provide you joy for many years!

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