Growing Clematis

Rumor has it that clematis vine is difficult to grow. Given the right location and a little know-how clematis is a relatively easy vine to grow which will reward you with a beautiful splash of color when in bloom. Clematis is grown in many parts of the world and comes in a rainbow of colors and unusual shapes and sizes.

Since they like cool, moist roots and their heads in the sun, plant them in full sun or filtered shade in a rich organic, well-drained soil with a ph around 7.0. Dig a hole that is 18″ deep and 18″ wide. It should be large enough to set the crown 2-2 1/2 inches deeper than its original container. This will help promote good root development and a stockier plant. Add organic material or compost to enrich the soil. Clematis can be planted with shallow rooted companion plants (annuals & perennials) so that they can shade/mulch the roots during the hot summer months. Water deeply and regularly during the growing season especially in hot weather to maintain moist roots. Clematis are heavy feeders, fertilize in early spring when buds are 2 inches long then every 4-6 weeks with a rose food except when flowering. Be sure to provide some kind of support for the vines to grow and climb on.

It is important to prune Clematis to keep it in bloom. Different types of Clematis have different pruning times. If your clematis flowers before end of June, it blooms on old wood (last year’s growth) don’t prune in the spring, cut out only dead stems to the highest new leaf axils, just above a pair of swollen fuzzy buds. Prune early bloomers after flowering. Remove dead flowers and cut the length of the stems to force new growth. For late bloomers, those that bloom on new wood (current year’s growth) prune in early spring before new growth starts and cut vines 6-12 inches above the ground to encourage vigorous new growth and continuous flowering throughout the season.

sweet autumn clematis clematis

All new plants should be pruned hard to 12-18″ the first spring after planting to establish good base growth.
When you plant a Clematis be sure to note what variety it is so that you’ll know when to prune it.