Growing Tips

James Van Laeken


Location: Clematis will require an area that will have at least a half day or more direct sunlight. The plant depending on the variety will grow upright six to twelve feet. Although it can only grow as tall as the trellis, arbor or support that you have given it. For example, if your trellis is eight feet tall and the clematis you choose grows to twelve feet, it would simply hang over and grow down the other side.

Also, many have heard that old wives' tale that you need to keep the roots shaded. The reasoning behind this is to keep the roots from drying out. You can do this simply with mulch, this will help keep the weeds down but most important will keep the moisture in, especially in a hot dry summer.

Soil Preparation: Clematis need a moist, well-drained soil. Prepare your hole at least one foot deep and mix 50% peat moss or well-rotted manure. Backfill hole with the amended soil and plant your clematis so the top of the root ball is just below the ground level burying the first set of eyes. The plant should be mulched and kept moist, not wet, especially during the first growing season. Fertilize every four weeks during the growing season with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer.

Support: The main stem of the clematis must have a firm support, otherwise damage may occur through wind. As the newly planted clematis produces new growth this should be carefully trained and tied into position.