Clematis - Queen of Vines
Zone 4 - 9 (General hardiness. Some varieties are hardier. Please see individual varieties.)
Well-known vine with very showy blooms. Grow Clematis over archways and arbours, up a trellis or tree, or have it run over shrubs and hedges. A very versatile ornamental.
The secret to growing Clematis is fertile, well-drained soil. Add compost or well-rotted manure to the soil. This vine expends a lot of energy producing big blooms and is a heavy feeder. Poor soil equals poor performance. Water deeply when required at the soil level. No overhead sprinklers. When planting your Clematis for the first time prune it back to about 30-40 cm from the ground to encourage new bushy growth. DO NOT 'shade' the roots -- ie put rocks over the roots or overplant your clematis with another plant. The roots do not need to be shaded. This is a long perpetuated garden myth. The practise of 'shading' the roots can actually be detrimental to your plant.
It sometimes seems a bit of mystery when to prune your Clematis. Traditional pruning information is provided for all the varieties which we sell. Generally, early flowering Clematis just need a bit of pruning after they bloom. Late flowering Clematis are best pruned hard -- 45-60 cm from the ground -- in early spring. If your vine is not blooming change your method of pruning -- and try some Clematis food. I grow many different varieties of Clematis and abandoned the precise pruning rules years ago. Now we just cut all the Clematis back to about 45 cm from the ground in the spring and they all bloom wonderfully.
Colour of blooms -- soil ph and the amount of sunlight can effect the colour of blooms, particularly the 'blues'.