How to Care for your Clematis
Clematis have long been known as “queen of the climbers” and for good reason. No other perennial vine offers the versatility in form and colour, especially with the hybridizing and access to varieties of today.
The easy growing clematis has become a plant that every gardener can enjoy.
- plant in fertile, well drained alkaline (not acidic) soil; add Dolomitic Lime powder to raise the pH of the soil
- a full sun location will ensure maximum blooming, however, clematis will also perform well in partial shade
- when planting, the top of the rootball should be 3” below garden level to encourage deep roots
- the base of the vine and surrounding soil must be shaded. Plant a low shrub, tall perennial or annuals in front to keep the base of the plant cool
- clematis have a ‘high metabolism’ and need to be fed regularly with a high phosphorous (middle number) plant food
- removing old blooms will encourage it to bloom even more
- clematis need something to climb on/around, like a wooden trellis, arbour, fence or even a tree!
- early-flowering species – bear flowers on the previous year’s shoots in early spring. They prefer a sheltered sunny site with well-drained soil.
- this early flowering group bloom on old wood and do not require any pruning, except as needed after flowering to tidy up established plants.
- after flowering, removed dead or damaged stems and shortening others to their allotted space – this encourages production of new growth to flower in the following season
- Early to midseason, large-flowering cultivars bear flowers in late spring and early summer on side-shoots arising from the previous year’s growth and in mid and late summer at the tips of the current year’s shoots
- in early spring, remove any damaged or broken branches. Many group 2 clematis bloom on old and new wood
- to ensure the first flush of flowers, do not prune until after initial flowering phase
- late large-flowering cultivars bear flowers on the current year’s shoots in summer and early autumn
- these clematis bloom on new wood only
- prune hard in early spring to pair of strong buds, 6-8” above3 soil level