Tuesday, April 16, 2019

HOW DOES YOUR CLEMATIS GROW?

I was watching a recent episode of Gardeners' World where they visited a gardener who holds the National Collection of clematis. Specifically Clematis texensis and Clematis viticella, the smaller flowered varieties. His belief is that it is unnatural to constrain these clematis on a trellis. Rather, that they should be allowed to twine into roses and other garden shrubs. I think I agree.


Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana'


Clematis versicolor Pale leather flower
It is not the easiest of tasks to get these two to climb a trellis. Twice this week I have caught two of mine heading into other plants, the first into a potted citrus and the second into an American beauty berry. Once they are twined it is difficult to get them untwined. I have used a secondary support in the form of bird netting to make it easier for the leaf petioles to twine and hold on but there are often stem wafting around in the air looking for........another plant to climb! It is too late for these two but a recent acquisition, with no trellis available, I decided to plant it beneath a climbing rose. This is not one of the smaller kind, but I am hoping its bloom cycle will fill in when the Zephirine drouihin rose finishes blooming. For now they are blooming together.

Clematis 'Brother Stefan'
Although Brother Stefan has a medium-sized flower, I think that the larger flowered varieties are better suited to a trellis. My Clematis jackmanii, Most certainly demands a good trellis to display her large flowers. I planted this one 3 years ago from a small bare root start. It is finally showing its stuff. Gorgeous blooms, some 6" across and many of them.


It seems I am starting my own little collection of Clematis. Will I be scouring the internet every night looking for new varieties like that clematis gardener in England? If I want more I may have to, as our local nurseries never seem to carry any. Or I may just start taking cuttings. I came across a tutorial on how to do this and I think now is about the right time.

9 comments:

  1. I like the idea of planting so it can climb Zephirine drouihin! I was thinking of cutting mine down this year, but if I can get this or another vine to climb it...

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    1. I was actually going to take the rose out last year after I read some negative things about its growth but in the end I gave it a really good pruning and cut back some of the laterals to a few inches. It is now looking better so I may give another year. I probably haven't fed it enough. Not a massive flowering but certainly neater.

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  2. The timing of your post is interesting as I've been wondering what to do with my Sweet Autumn Clematis this year as the stems take off. I've never succeeded in training it to neatly climb it's trellis and, this year, the stems are already heading off in different directions as it tries to find purchase. Last year, I directed a portion of the stems upward, tying them to supports every few inches, but let some of the stems crawl through nearby plants. I may end up doing the same this year.

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    1. Sweet Autumn clematis always looks lovely and smells so fragrant but I don't really have a big place for it to scramble.These vines do like to roam and if the bloom doesn't take over the whole plant it is climbing into I guess that is OK. I guess that is why the small flowered varieties do so well on other bushes.

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  3. Wow, these are lovely! No clematis growing down here. I'll enjoy yours.

    Have a wonderful Easter week and Easter Sunday ~ FlowerLady

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  4. I've finally had a chance to look at your blog and the wonderful pictures of what's growing in the garden. We had lots of weeds growing in our garden when we got home. So I've been busy pulling them and hope to get a few flowers in before it gets too hot. Keep the pictures coming--it gives me inspiration for my garden. Barbara

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  5. At an old use, we had some clematis that was supposed to grow up through some of our woody plants. Unfortunately we moved before we could see the outcome. We have a clematis waiting to be planted in this garden. Cant' wait to see what it does.

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  6. I discovered the Clems here are better off scrambling through another plant rather than on a trellis on a stucco wall because there is less reflected heat that way. Even in April the reflected heat is nasty. Yours are early, earlier than mine. Beautiful photos.

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