Clematis Planting Guide:

Select a sunny location with well-drained soil. Clematis prefers full sun for at least five hours a day. Here’s what Hummingbird Farm in Turner (ME) (http://hummingbirdfarm.net/) suggests you do when planting a clematis:

1. Dig a hole the size of a bushel basket

2. Into the soil you’ve removed, mix in 10 pounds of compost and a couple handfuls of Bulbtone.

3. Return most of the amended soil to the planting hole, and make a hole in this to accommodate the root ball of the clematis. Fill the hole with water and let it drain. Place plant in the hole so that the soil line will be about two to three inches above that of the soil line of the pot. Fill in with the amended soil.

4. Water plant in well, the clematis will need at least an inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation.

From Roseville Farms (http://rosevillefarms.comClematis Pruning Guide:

Pruning Clematis The most commonly asked question regarding the culture of clematis in the garden or in a container is how to go about pruning them. Their vining nature and varied blooming periods add to the mystery. The pruning methods and timing are essentially the same whether they are in the garden or in a container. You should always use a sharp, clean tool when pruning any clematis. Pinching or breaking the vine will only serves to damage the tissue and possibly cause disease problems. A clean cut is always preferable. (To readily identify which plant is which, as it can get confusing when there are several varieties in one area, bury the identification tag along with the plant where it can be seen, or label the plant for easy recognition.)

It is not absolutely necessary to prune your clematis. It all depends on what you want out of your vine. Montana Rubens left unchecked will soon become a huge vine with leads 20 feet high or more producing massive amounts of small pink flowers very early in the spring. That same vine can be kept in check with pruning to keep it under control on a smaller trellis or mail box post. Jackmanii left unpruned will still thrive. The tips of the leads will find spots far removed from the base of the vine and flowers will be scattered along these leads. Pruning Jackmanii in the early spring will keep the vine under control and produce a more full plant with a dense mass of flowers in early to mid summer. The main reasons for pruning clematis are to establish a tidy presentation on some sort of support, encourage healthy vigorous growth and maximize the flowering potential.

New clematis should be pruned back to about 12 inches in the spring following their planting. This pruning will encourage new shoots to grow and will produce a fuller, bushier vine with more leads. New growth on an established plant will begin very close to where the previous year’s growth stopped. Over time this will cause the vine to become bare at the bottom. Old established vines that have bare bases can be rejuvenated by an early, hard pruning. Cut the plant back to 12 to 18 inches in the early spring, just as the plant begins to grow. This may reduce or delay the blooming that year depending on the variety, but will restore the lower growth and make for a fuller vine in the long run.

The individual varieties fall into three categories of pruning timing. These categories depend on the blooming period of the individual variety.

CATEGORY No. 1

These varieties produce flowers from the mature growth of the pervious season. These plants should be allowed to finish blooming in the very early spring before they are pruned, therefore pruning should take place in late spring or early summer. The vine should then be fertilized and trained back on to its support in anticipation of the next years show. Some of the category one clematis varieties will produce a modest show of bloom in the fall as well. The Montana group and the evergreen clematis are examples of category 1 clematis.

Montana Grandiflora – Montana Rubens

CATEGORY No. 2

Many of the category two varieties will produce flower bud from both old and new growth. Early blooming will come from last years mature growth while later in the summer and early fall more blooms will be produced from the current years growth. Clematis in category two should not require major pruning. Pruning can be used to keep the vines growth in check and to remove any dead or weak growth. This should be done after the early blooming period. The old seed heads from the early blooms should be removed. This will help to maximize blooming later on in the year. Niobe and Proteus are examples of category two clematis.

Asao – Barbra Jackman – Belle of Woking – Blue Light – Canaby – Climador –  Dr Ruppel – Duthcess of Edinburg – Elsa Spath – Eyers Gift – Fireworks – General Sikorski – Henryii – HF Young – John Paul – Kullus – Little Duckling – Maria Louise Jensen – Marmori – Minister – Miss Bateman – Mrs Cholmondeley – Nelly Moser – Niobe – Pink Climador – Proteus – Reiman – Ruutel – Silmakivi – Snow Queen – The President – Viola – Violet Charm – Warsaw Nike – Will Goodwin

CATEGORY No. 3

The Category three varieties produce flowers from the current year’s growth. These clematis tend to flower mid to late summer. They should be pruned in early spring, just as the dormant vine begins to grow. This should be a hard pruning leaving only one or two nodes of growth above the ground. This type of pruning will encourage vigorous growth. The Viticella varieties are examples of category three clematis.

Arabella – Comtesse de Bouchard – Ernest Markham – Etoile Violet – Golden Tiara – Hagely Hybrid – Huvi – Jackmanii – Jackmanii Superba – Kermesina –  Lady Betty Balfour – Madame Julia Correvon – Polish Spirit – Purpurea Plenas Elegans – Rouge Cardinal – Venosa Violacea – Ville de Lyon

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