Clematis are climbing vines which are ideal for a trellis or arbor. There are many varieties with flowers that range from small single types to saucer sized doubles. There are as many, if not more, flower colors as varieties ranging from pure white through bright red to deep purple. While some are delicate specimens others such as the montanas are vigorous growers which can swamp their neighbors. This quick introduction to clematis is by Kath LaLiberte and comes from the Longfield Gardens website.
Clematis and other flowering vines, play?a special?role in flower gardens. Since these plants grow up rather than?out, they?fill spaces that other plants can?t, and introduce a whole new?dimension of color and texture.
In Britain, most flower gardens include?one or more clematis vines. Here in the U.S, they?are far less common.?I think that?s?because many people aren?t sure where to plant them. So here?s a quick primer about clematis: how they climb, what they like to climb on and the growing conditions they prefer.
How a Clematis Vine Climbs
Vines climb in a few different ways. Some have twining stems (like morning glory and pole beans), some have stem tendrils (grapes and peas). Others have aerial stem roots (climbing hydrangeas and English ivy) or specialized gripping pads (Boston ivy and Virginia creeper). There are also ?scramblers?, which can?t really climb on their own, but can lie?around and look pretty?or be tied up onto a structure (climbing roses and bougainvillea) .
Clematis?use?their leaves as tendrils.?When the plant?s leaves are young, the leaf stems are supple and can wrap around things. Unlike stem tendrils, these leaf tendrils are relatively short, so they can only twine around something that?s less than about ???-inch in diameter. This is important when it comes to providing?the right kind of support.
How to Support a Clematis Vine
Though there are some types of clematis that have a bushy growth habit, most of them are born to climb. As with?other climbing plants, the growing end of the vine is on a mission, searching for something to grab onto. If the vine can?t find anything to attach itself to, it will stop growing and die back. So providing the right type of support helps the plant look good and grow well.
See more at Longfield Gardens