How to grow Clematis

Clematis are one of the most popular garden plants because of their vibrant and appealing flowers. Clematis are climbing up plants with a wide range of flower shapes, sizes, colours and blooming times.

Although popular, Clematis are not the easiest climbing plant to grow and the majority of require routine pruning, apart from Group 1 which include the popular, late spring flowering Clematis montana, showed above right. To keep clematis flowering well each year, pruning is required that makes Clematis an “amber wheel barrow plant” showing medium attention and trouble to grow. In addition, for freshly planted young plants and at the beginning of the growing season, the spring development is extremely appealing to slugs and Clematis need protection.

Clematis are among the few plants which are correctly planted below the soil level, so much deeper than typical. Many Clematis are planting in spring and early summertime but they can likewise be planted in autumn when the soil is still warm. Clematis need to be well watered when first planted which implies if there is a dry spring additional watering will be needed.

The main worry for most garden enthusiasts contemplating growing Clematis is how and when to prune them.

The most convenient Clematis to grow since they need little or no pruning are Clematis montana, C. alpina and C. macropetala. One of the loveliest varieties, Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’ has a lovely vanilla fragrance. Of all the Clematis, when planting a Clematis montana you need a big area as it is energetic growing up to 12m (nearly 40ft) if left untreated, and growing in perfect conditions. Clematis are quick growing and need to climb a support, such as an obelisk, where they can supply height and be a function in the border.

The various varieties of Clematis have a long blooming season, looking early in the year with the C. alpina right through to September the late flowering C. Tangutica, and over winter C. Cirrhosa. Clematis like well drained soil with sun or light shade.

For the function of pruning all Clematis are categorized into three groups:

  • Group 1 the early flowering types which include the Montana and C. alpina, C. macropetala; all require no pruning. Clematis Montana are one of the most popular Clematis mainly because of all of the group of Clematis they are simpler to grow and really gratifying. C. montana are robust and quick growing blooming reliably each year.
  • Group 2 early to mid season blooming Clematis which require moderate pruning to a structure.
  • Group 3 are the late flowering cultivars, and little blooming cultivars and this group all need a tough prune.

It can be difficult deciding which group a Clematis comes from and so work out how to prune a Clematis.

The group to which group the Clematis belongs only matters to determine pruning requirements. When you purchase a Clematis it will have a plant label which will mention to the Clematis group either 1, 2 or 3 Clematis, which then tells you how and when to prune it. If at all possible it is best to keep the label. This is not constantly possible, labels get lost and when you move home you may obtain a garden which already has actually a Clematis planted in it. The very best way then to decide how and when to prune it is to take a note of when the Clematis flowers. In which month a Clematis flowers can help to decide which group it is, this method is not foolproof but if there is no label it is the very best alternative as a rough and all set rule.

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