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Caring for Clematis

Posted on June 10, 2020 in Garden, Garden Tips

Written by West Coast Gardens

The queen of the vine-world, Clematis are exotic beauties with gorgeous colours and elegant foliage. With more and more varieties of these perennial bloomers coming out every year, it’s time to find the perfect one to add to your garden! Take a look at our tips and plant care instructions below to keep your Clematis happy all year long. 

Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC

Where’s The Right Spot for My Clematis?

Sun, sun, sun! Most Clematis love full sun on their blooms and foliage, so they are perfect for a spot in the garden with 6+ hours of full sun. However, there are varieties of this vine that can grow in part or full shade, so we always recommend reading the info-card that comes with your plant. Clematis also require well drained soil, so don’t plant this perennial in a spot with poor drainage or one that gets soggy during the fall and winter. 

Even though your Clematis loves full sun, the roots like to stay cool! This is one of the secrets to keeping your Clematis happy and healthy. How do you keep the roots cool in the summer? A favourite trick is to plant a low growing perennial around the base of the plant, to shade the ground from the full sun. Another idea is to place large stones surrounding the roots, which will draw off the heat and also provide shade. We also recommend mulching the soil around the Clematis’s base with hay, leaves, wood chips or bark. 

Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC

How Do I Plant My Clematis? 

Whether planting your Clematis in to a pot or straight into the garden, we like to give those roots lots of room. This means digging a hole that is double the size of the pot your plant came in. To give it a good start, add a shovel-full or two of compost before planting the Clematis and filling in around the roots. Always plant your Clematis so that the first set of leaves on the stems are underground. This gives it a sturdy start! Then water your plant well and allow it to get used to its new home. 

Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC

What Kind of Trellis Should I Use?

You can grow your Clematis vine on any kind of trellis, fence or arbour, as long as the bars or spokes are 1/2″ diameter at most. Clematis have delicate tendrils that hook on and allow it to climb. You can also string fishing line, wire or twine along the trellis or fence to give these tendrils a helping hand! 

How Do I Feed My Clematis?

Give your plant an organic granular fertilizer at the beginning of Spring, and then again once or twice during the growing season. A 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 will work nicely. Make sure to hydrate your Clematis well during the hot summer months.

Caring for Vines - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC

When Will My Plant Flower?

Clematis vary in their blooming seasons, so always read the info card on your plant before bringing it home. Some varieties bloom in the Spring and Summer, while others bloom in Fall or even late Winter. There are varieties that put out flowers twice a year! However, it can take up to two years for your plant to start flowering vigourously. We recommend purchasing a plant that is at least two years old (look for them in larger gallon sized pots) to get started quicker.

Since Clematis come in such a variety of colours, we love to grow two plants together that have contrasting colours, such as a dark burgundy mixed with a pale pink bloomer. Get creative in mixing and matching!

Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Vines - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Clematis - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC
Caring for Vines - gardening blog at West Coast Gardens in Surrey BC

Not only will you enjoy your Clematis blooms, but the bees will as well! Even hummingbirds are attracted to these beautiful flowers, so you’ll enliven your garden and yard with this amazing perennial. A beautiful addition to the garden or patio. 

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