Clematis Culture

The best time to plant clematis is spring, summer, or early fall in a location of 5-6 hours of sunlight. Clematis roots are long and run deep and like it cool and damp, but not soggy. A good idea is to plant annuals around the base of the clematis, plant a low growing shrub to shade the roots, or mulch the ground around the base of the clematis plant to help keep the soil and roots cool. Loosen the soil to a depth of 2 feet; create a plant mix using existing sand or bagged soil to create a well-drained media. Carefully set your clematis plant in the hole so the crown is 1inch below the soil level. Stake the plant and if possible, wrap a piece of screen loosely around this to prevent animals from breaking or eating off the stem for the first year. The stake should be placed towards the trellis, to train the plant to its permanent support. Keep your clematis well watered; do not let it dry out. In years to come, always water well once-a-week in dry weather. Feed twice a year with a balanced granular fertilizer, or a good water-soluble fertilizer, which will get to the plant much quicker. Prune your clematis the first spring after planting, to 10-12”. This is very important to get your plant off to low branching and heavier flowering over the entire clematis vine. Additional pruning may be necessary, contact Berg’s to find out how and when. Apply mulch around the base of your clematis through the winter dormant months. With proper care, your clematis plant will give you much enjoyment for many years