Clematis plant. Gardeners should recognize the pleasure of growing Clematis. If there is one in your garden, you might plan to plant another. Read on and find out how simple and easy it is to grow and care for the “Queen of Climbers.”
Clematis plant is well known globally as an international vine. There are numerous species native to Japan, China, North America, Europe, Australia, and India. A dynamic vine, many types are blooming in partial shade and some in full sun.
Some clematis is growing vertically that require a strong trellis or an outdoor garden frame for growing and supporting vines. Other Clematis are good enough to be planted in a container or pot.
With good care and selection, expected Clematis blooming will come from spring until fall.
The genus Clematis is in the family Ranunculaceae. Belongs in the major group Angiosperms or flowering plants. Clematis is recognized as the “Queen of Climbers.”
The plant comes in a much gorgeous display of colors such as whites, pinks, reds, and purples. Clematis flower at diverse times of the year determined by the variety.
The foliage color is usually blue or green. The plant can reach a height from 3 to 8 feet, 8 to 20 feet, 20 feet or more. The plant can climb from 3 to 20 feet or more, depending on the type.
They are a garden favorite, because of its large and double flowers in bright colors. Grow them on decorative wrought iron trellises, arbors, obelisks, and tuteurs.
This setting will add vertical prettiful in many kinds of gardens. They also look attractive twine together with climbing roses.
How to select a plant
There are about more than 300 species of Clematis. Some species are favorable including Jackmanii, General Sikorski, Henryi, and Comtesse de Bouchard. As of today, Clematis become a hugely popular perennial.
When nominating and choosing a Clematis for your garden, consider its color, flower form, and mature height. If you have room for an 8 to 15-foot Clematis vine, there are various cultivars that are affordable.
For a small garden, there are impactful varieties that are happily growing in a pot on the patio. The standard clematis flower form is a large blossom with six or seven petals, measuring 5-6″ across.
Many species have smaller and double blossoms or have flowers shaped like a bell.
The best consideration to purchase a plant is the plant must be at least two years old. Purchase plant that is grown in a container in a quart size or gallon size pot.
Clematis plant should be robust that’s showing vigorous growth. Do not purchase a weak plant with a beautiful picture.
Where and when to plant
Before you purchase the plant, you must prepare an ideal sunny spot. Even though many Clematis cultivars bloom in partial shade, to reach the maximum potential they need at least 7 to 10 hours of sun exposure every day.
Certain Clematis species are drought resistant and can handle dry soils better than others. So they can thrive during hot summer months.
Clematis plant would be happy to be grown in moist, and well-drained soil. The soil must be neutral to small level alkaline in pH.
Check the soil with soil test kits to determine the pH level of the soil.
If the soil is rather acidic, sweeten the soil with wood ash or limestone. Make a good hole on the soil. Mix lots of compost and granular organic fertilizer.
Purchase plant clematis in spring or fall to set the right time to plant. However, you still can plant in the summer, but the plant must be well-watered and weeded.
Once you have the new plant, settle the plant gently to its new home. If not, the roots, crown and emerging vines can be easily damaged. Relocate the plant moderately deeper than the depth in the pot.
To have a good planting, give space between Clematis plants at the very least at 24 to 36 inches apart. If you want to grow many varieties, space must be further apart. For bush-types Clematis, space them closer apart.
The greatest amount of Clematis species are known as strong climbers. Few selections species grow more bush-like, vining only a small number of feet. An aggressive vining Clematis can climb 20 feet tall.
Staking the Clematis plant
Most clematis does not require to be supported by a stake. They do need support. If you do not provide a supporting structure to climb, the plant may stop growing.
The plant begins wrapping its leaf stem to the thin wire, twine or other plants. If they find thick support or about more than ½ inch diameter, the Clematis will not climb up.
The plant can not climb walls, trellis, arbor, lamp post or fence. What they need is thinner supports for the vines to climb upon.
How to care
When the plant reaches its first season, water the plant once every week. The watering helps the plant get established. The chance the Clematis continue to thrive is great if the plant can get through its first season.
Retain the soil moist, and make sure the soil is well-drained. If the soil is not well-drained, wilt disease may come. Don’t allow the soil to dry out during the summer months.
Clematis plants must be mulched every year in the spring to avoid weed growth and to retain the moisture of the soil. The best mulch to use is bark mulch. When mulching, keep away with the stems at least 6 to 12 inches apart. This is to avoid getting wilt disease.
Clematis like to be with cool shade at their roots and receive warm sun on the foliage. Mulching around the roots will help keep the soil cool.
Clematis are heavy eaters. Improve the soil with compost. Add 1 to 2 inches of compost around the base of the vines each spring. The best fertilizer for Clematis is a balanced organic fertilizer with a 3-1-2 NPK formulation. Side dress again in early summer.
For organic planting, mix potting soil or peat moss, fish, blood or bone fertilizer. Add also well-rotted manure at the bottom of the hole.
For clematis plants to put out a bountiful amount of flowers and foliage, it needs to be well fed. In early spring, surround the plant with compost and granular organic fertilizer. Feed twice during the growing season, with a liquid organic fertilizer.
Some types of Clematis, flowers on its last year’s vines. Do not cut them to the ground in the spring. Do not practice pruning during the growing season until mid-spring. Start pruning when vines are dead and starting to leaf out.
Remove the weaker old wood during the spring and winter months. Most Clematis bloom on old stems and the new stems. Do not cut everything.
Do not prune the main stems of the older structure that show sprouts. Prune the thinner and small size stems above the main stems. By practicing this, the sprouts will grow into strong new growth for the coming bloom.
For Clematis species that bloom in summer and fall, prune the plant in spring because they bloom on new wood. The pruning in the spring will help more growth.
When pruning new vines, prune the vine to about 12 inches from the ground. Tweak the growth tips regularly to stimulate forcefully more branching. This practice will remove flowers in the first year. But this will create a plant with many branches for producing more flowers in the future.
How to support the plant
Some Clematis has a bushy habit and has a tendency to climb up. The growing end of a Clematis vine is finding for something to grab onto. If there is nothing to grab on to, it will stop growing. So the first thing to do before planting Clematis is to prepare something to climb on from the first day.
Morning Glory or Pole Bean climb by twining around a structure. A Clematis vine climbs by wrapping its leaf stems around a structure something. The limitation would be to climb on something not more than 1/2 inch in diameter.
The best thin support to climb is twine, fishing line, wire, thin branches of other plants, wooden dowels, or steel rods. Nice trellis could be better if having added twine lines. You can also cover the trellis with trellis netting.
Fishing line and twine will help with the trussing during the season. This will help support the vines and keep them attached to the trellis.
Pests and diseases
Clematis has very few diseases and pests. The only problem would be stem wilt. This problem might be bad but will not kill the plant.
To solve this problem you can practice pruning. Jus cut the wilted stem to the ground. To avoid wilted stem, plant the Clematis in well-drained soil. Plant the Clematis to get at very least 6 hours of sun exposure every day.
Do not hurt or break the roots or the stems. Avoid mulching close to the crown and piling too many composts.
Fungal wilt mostly affects larger flower Clematis. The smaller flower has fewer problems with fungal wilt.
Other Clematis attacker is powdery mildew disease. The symptoms are the leaves turn white to yellow and then drop.
You can prebent prevent powdery mildew disease by applying a mixture of 1 tablespoon of horticultural oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent, and a gallon of water.
Mix well. Pour the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray when you see the leaves turn to white as the first signs of the disease.