Clematis are one of the classic flowering vines. They come in a surprising array of colors, sizes, shapes and bloom times. They provide an important vertical element in the garden and can be a great way to screen or fill in a gap. With the proper site, you can enjoy them for years and years.
Clematis in general prefer full sun, but some varieties will tolerate part shade. They prefer a cool, moist, well-drained soil for best performance. We suggest planting them so that the crown is three to four inches below the soil surface. Amend the soil with compost and add Bio-Tone Bio-Starter to promote root growth. Water regularly during the first growing season, then water established plants deeply once a week (you or Mother Nature).
We strongly recommend hard pruning young clematis the first and second spring after planting. This initial pruning will promote strong growth and multiple stems at the base. After the plant is established, pruning is optional. There are three pruning groups of clematis and our signs and catalog will indicate which variety of clematis does best with which pruning group.
Group 1: Pruning Is Optional. These varieties bloom primarily in spring on last season’s stems. Only a light pruning is done in late spring or early summer to remove dead stems. Another pruning, if necessary, should be done right after the plant has finished blooming, no later than July. The resulting new growth will provide flowers the following year.
Group 2: Light Pruning: These clematis bloom on both old and new wood, making pruning a bit more challenging. In the late spring when the buds begin to swell, prune lightly to remove dead and weak stems. Then, starting at the top and moving down about one third the height, prune just above a strong pair of buds on each stem. The largest flowers will be produced on the old wood, while the new growth will provide flowers for the late season.
Group 3: Hard Pruning: These varieties bloom on the current year’s growth and generally flower from early summer to fall. Cut these plans down to only 10 to 12 inches above the ground. By doing this drastic pruning, you will ensure a lot of vigorous new shoots.
Posted on 4/13/2013 at 12:15:00 AM