Clematis is the perfect plant to beautify chain link or other fences thereby providing a soft, natural backdrop for your other plants in the flowering border.
Use clematis to frame porches or have it cascade over stones in a rock garden. It is frequently used to adorn light poles, frame entrances, hide unsightly views or to cover old stumps and rock piles.
The best time to plant is spring or fall in a location of 5-6 hours of sunlight.
The clematis roots are long and deep and like it cool and damp. Plant annuals around the roots or select the shady side of a wall or fence where the vines can climb into the sunlight. Mulch during the summer with peat moss to retain moisture.
Loosen the soil to depth and width of 2 feet. Set the plant in the hole so that the crown is one inch below soil level.
Stake the plant on 3 sides and wrap with a piece of screen for protection to the new growth.
Water freely and often the first year. In the subsequent years, always soak well once a week in dry weather.
Feed twice a season with a good garden fertilizer such as 15-30-15.
Pruning is a matter of choice. Early flowering varieties should not be pruned as they produce flowers on last year’s wood.
Prune summer flowering varieties as they only produce flowers on the current year’s young growth.
Double varieties only produce double flowers on old wood, so never prune them unless necessary.
If your non-pruning varieties need pruning, the best time is a month after they have flowered.
Hard pruning varieties should be pruned in the early spring, after buds swell, since they produce flowers on new wood.
Species such as paniculata need little or no pruning, but if the early flowering varieties get out of hand they can be cut back directly after flowering.