6 Tips for Success with Clematis

The clematis has been described as the Queen of Climbers and with good reason. The huge number of varieties have flowers that range from miniature singles to dinner plate monsters and in every shade from pure white to deep purple. Clematis is ideal for growing on an arbor or trellis which it will quickly cover with its mass of blooms. These six tips come from an article by Kathleen LaLiberte which I found on the Longfield Gardens website.

Clematis have an important role to play in any flower garden. As they scramble up trellises, climb over arbors and thread themselves through other plants, these perennial vines weave a rich tapestry of color and texture. Read on for six tips that will help you be successful growing the “queen of climbers.”

Clematis Niobe

Do Your Research

There are many wonderful clematis varieties to choose from, with lots of variations in height, bloom time, flower form and color. Compact cultivars grow just 3-feet tall, while others can reach 20-feet or more. Flowering times can be late spring, summer or fall, with re-blooming types flowering both early and late in the season.

Clematis Collection

Flower styles also vary. There are big, star-like singles, frilly doubles, delicate miniatures and even lovely bell-shaped blossoms. And then there’s color! Flower colors include white, pink, red, burgundy, lavender, deep purple and even yellow.

With so many options, you can probably find  several different clematis for various places around your yard and garden. If you have the room, consider planting two different varieties side by side. Combining an early-blooming and late-blooming clematis will give you months of flowers.

Clematis Carnaby

Understand How They Climb

Vines climb in several different ways. Some have twining stems (like morning glories) or tendrils (like sweet peas). Others have adhesive pads (ivy) or clinging stem roots (climbing hydrangeas). Clematis use the stems of their leaves, which they can coil like the tendrils of a pea vine.

It’s important to know how clematis climb, because their twining leaf stems are relatively short. When choosing a trellis, keep in mind that these plants can’t grab onto anything that’s more than about 1/4″ thick.

See more at Longfield Gardens

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