Growing Clematis Vines

Learn about the art of growing clematis vines. The clematis vine is a hardy, perennial plant that is available in many varieties. With the right care, clematis vines are easy plants to grow.

Clematis vines are hardy, flowering perennial plants that are available in a wide range of colors and varieties. The website article entitled "Growing Clematis", published by Ohio State University and written by Jane C. Martin, provides the following history on the clematis vine. It says in the 1850's the clematis vine began gaining popularity. Hybrid clematis vines were bred with varieties from China and Japan. In Europe, in the late nineteenth century, many new varieties were developed. These are many of the varieties available today.

"Growing Clematis" describes the characteristics of the clematis vine. It says this member of the buttercup family has over 250 different species within its genus. The leaf stems of the clematis wind around objects for support, and flowers have four to eight sepals each. The same article says the clematis vine has three basic flower shapes. They can have flowers shaped like a bell, flat, broad flowers, or random clusters of small white flowers. These beautiful vines, when properly cared for, can live a quarter of a century or more.

"Growing Clematis" provides information and descriptions of many varieties of clematis vines. Several varieties described are as follows. First is "Barbara Jackman", which reaches a height of 8 feet. This outstanding variety blooms from May to June. It boasts beautiful dark bluish-purple flowers that fade to a lovely shade of bluish-mauve. They are also defined by a purplish-red bar, and they are topped with cream colored stamens. These showy flowers measure about 4 inches across.

"Hagley Hybrid" blooms abundantly from June to December, reaching a height of about 8 feet. The blooms are about 4 inches across and are a beautiful shade of mauve that fades to a light pink. Stamens of this flower are white, and the anthers are a reddish shade of purple.

"Perle d'Azur" reaches a remarkable height of around 16 feet. It blooms from the beginning of summer to the middle of fall. This clematis has flowers that range from four to six inches across. They are a brilliant shade of baby blue, and the stamens are green.

"Nelly Moser" boasts large flowers that are 8 to 10 inches across, and it reaches a height between 8 and 10 feet. This attractive plant has blooms that are a rosy shade of mauve. It has a purplish-red rib down the center of each sepal and deep maroon anthers. This particular clematis vine is best suited for shade because the flowers tend to fade in sunny locations.

"Mrs. Cholmondeley" is one of the tallest growing varieties described by "Growing Clematis". It can grow as high as 20 feet. This easy-to-grow variety blooms from May to October. Its flowers are a light bluish-lavender which fade to a lighter shade down the middle of each sepal. The stamens of this clematis are white with brown anthers.

The website "Gardening With the Garden Helper", in the article entitled "Clematis", recommends the following information on location and soil preparation for clematis vines. It says to choose a planting location that receives at least 6 hours of full sun each day. Keep in mind, some varieties do require shade to prevent flowers from fading, but most need full sun. The soil should be well-worked, rich, and well-draining. Clematis vines thrive in soil having a neutral pH level. Bone meal and compost should be worked into the soil to improve the quality. If your soil is primarily clay, course sand should be mixed in.

"Clematis" gives the following suggestions for planting clematis vines. It says to dig a planting area with a depth of about 15 inches and width of about one foot. A mound of loose soil should fill the bottom so the roots will be about 2 inches below the surface of the soil when planted. Spread the roots over this mound and carefully tamp the soil into place. A trellis or plant stake should be positioned next to the clematis to provide necessary support. Thoroughly water the plant, and cover the surrounding soil with a ground cover such as mulch, bark, or straw. This will help protect the growing plant and help hold in valuable moisture.

"Growing Clematis" gives the following suggestions for maintaining clematis vines. It says they should be fed annually with a 15-5-5 fertilizer. Fully grown clematis vines may not require an annual feeding. However, they should be watered thoroughly once each week during periods of drought. Mulch should be replaced each spring to keep the roots cool.

The most commonly occurring problem of the clematis vine is described by "Growing Clematis". It says a devastating disease known as "wilt" can affect the stems and leaves. Symptoms of this problem are weakened, limp stems and black foliage. Diseased stems and foliage should be removed along with the stems and foliage beneath the affected area. Clematis vines with this disease usually survive when affected sections are promptly removed. Wilt can affect the entire plant or just a few leaves. Sometimes the roots of the plant become diseased as well.

With proper care and maintenance, clematis vines will provide years of lovely blooms. Their uniquely colored flowers,, some of which are fragrant, will add charm and beauty to your property. The clematis vine is truly a brilliant addition to a yard or garden.

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