There are nearly 300 varieties of clematis, climbing or herbaceous plants with extremely diverse shapes and colors, deciduous or evergreen, and which bloom at different times of the year. With their large flowers, they turn out to be pure wonders in the garden or on the terrace since they can be planted in the ground or in pots. Let’s see how to successfully grow a clematis every time.
Plant a clematis
Clematis should be planted outside periods of very high heat or frost. Provided that these two conditions are respected, this plant that is purchased in a container can therefore be planted in the ground or in a pot at almost any time of the year as long as its stems are already robust enough. This is also the key point to watch at the time of purchase, much more than the beauty or color of its flowers. Nevertheless, experienced gardeners advise planting preferably a clematis either early fall that is in spring when the first rays of the sun have already begun to warm the earth.
Clematis loves sols riches, furniture et deep but also well drained et that stay fresh in summer. We reserve a sunny to semi-shaded exposure so that it has one foot in the shade and the rest in the sun. It must also be installed in a place where it can take advantage of rainwater, which is not always the case if it is sheltered by a wall. But be careful, however, of heavy rains from which it is essential to protect your foot.
The method of planting clematis in the ground is the following :
- Dig a hole 45 cm deep and in diameter,
- Remove stones, weed roots and plant debris,
- Take the root ball out of the container and soak it in a bucket of water,
- Prepare the substrate by mixing the topsoil extracted from the hole and perfectly loosened to potting soil for flowering plants and compost,
- Let the root ball drain after removing it from the bucket,
- Place the root ball in the hole and position it so that the plant is lying down and the root of the stem is buried: it must be 20 cm below natural ground level. It is essential for:
- Protect the stump from frosts,
- Promote the rooting of the plant.
- Plug the hole,
- Direct the first stems towards their support and fix them with raffia without tightening them. You can choose to make your clematis climb along a totem, a garden arch, a trellis, a fence…
It is necessary to lay a tile or a wooden board in order to create shading on the foot. You can also choose to grow ground covers in close proximity to a clematis.
To plant a potted clematis, it is also necessary to install the clod obliquely, as one does for a setting up in the ground, and to take care that the beginning of the stem is under a good thickness of compost. Be careful to check that the pot has a pierced bottom. It is advisable to lay down a layer of drainage before filling the container with potting soil mixed with compost and good topsoil.
Caring for a clematis
Here is the care to bring to a clematis so that it develops without problem and blooms profusely.
The clematis have need very regular watering during the first two years after planting, mainly in summer or in case of drought, on average about fifteen liters of water every 14 days per plant. It should be noted that for a potted clematis, we are very vigilant because the substrate dries out quickly, especially when it is very hot, and the plants can suffer even more than their cousins grown in the ground.
Once well rooted, clematis supports a few days of drought, but it should not be neglected.
This is in spring that we can make a contribution of fertilizer in order to revive the vigor of this beautiful plant. Homemade compost is ideal at the rate of two shovelfuls per foot.
This is depending on its flowering period pruning a clematis.
The summer flowering clematis are pruned at the very beginning of spring, between the second half of February and the middle of March, that is to say when vegetation restarts. Remove all dead wood and cut above a pair of fairly large buds if you wish to shorten the twigs.
When the plant is too thin, after a few years, do not hesitate to prune 20 or 30 cm from the ground so that it starts up again, even if it does not flower during the year. The old feet tolerate severe pruning well, 25 or 30 cm from the ground.
As to early flowering clematis, they prune immediately after flowering. These are the ones whose flower buds form in the fall on the shoots of the previous summer. It is enough to remove the stems or branches misplaced as well as the dead wood and, if one wishes to contain their development, it is possible to also remove the branches in excess.
Some gardeners who have a lot of space don’t necessarily prune their clematis every year. They then take a beautiful scale. They only do heavy pruning once in a while if their plants are thinning out.
Protection in winter
In regions with harsh climates, it is better to take care to install your clematis in the sun but also sheltered from cold winds. However, to take no risk, do not hesitate to protect a clematis against the harmful effects of frost, it is advisable to spread a thick carpet dead leaves all around his foot. This mulch may also consist of wilted ferns. Whatever one chooses, its component must imperatively be very dry so as not to promote rotting of the foot. It is therefore advisable to cover the mulch with tiles or even wooden planks.
Pests and diseases
Clematis is a resistant plantwhich does not fear much, except the pathogenic fungus Ascochyta clematidina responsible forascochytose. This fungal disease causes the sudden decline of the plant whose stems, dried out in well-defined areas at the beginning, seem to have been burned by cigarettes. But the lesions spread rapidly and the plant becomes necrotic. We then see its defoliation, deterioration of the flowers and the stems breaking.
Pour avoid the risk of ascochytasis, it is necessary to eliminate all plant debris at the end of the season and prefer watering at the foot of the plants rather than by spraying the leaves. In case of suspicion, one can resort to the Bordeaux mixture which is well suited against attacks by pathogenic fungi. At the same time, it is strongly recommended to cut at the base all the stems and branches at ground level and then burn them. We then add fertilizer after scratching the earth around the foot. Some time later, new shoots will appear.
As soon as the clematis flowers fade, they can be completely eliminated, but this can quickly become tedious if the plant has reached a good height. Cut faded flowers gradually limits the formation of fruits which can exhaust the plant. However, some people choose to let them grow because they bring a decorative touch to the garden, on the terrace or the balcony. It is a solution which is especially of interest on the most vigorous clematis which are already a few years old.