A true gardener must have a clematis flower in the garden; they are beautiful, easy to maintain and it is easy to acquire a successful, blooming clematis. The clematis plants are impressive and can grow up to 10 – 20 feet. They are hanging plants, known as the “queen of climbers.” In this article, you can find out more about:
Origin and Family of the Clematis Plant
Clematis is native to Asia, North America, Australia and also Europe. Due to the fact that it is a hanging plant, the origin of its name “clematis” comes from the ancient Greek language, where “klema” means something similar to “climbing vine.” Clematis plants belong to the buttercup family and genus Ranunculaceae.
There are also species of clematis that grow in the form of shrubs or there are species that are dwarf, growing on the ground covering it. The dwarf types have opposite leaves and stem that are divided into two types: stems as basic structures and folding stems that twist around the supporting structures.
Many varieties, and especially those from warm regions, are perennial, with prominent, spectacular seeds, which withstand winter, offering two seasons of magnificent blooming. Those from temperate areas are deciduous plants.
Where the Clematis Plant Should Be Planted?
The clematis plant prefers moist, well-drained, neutral, or slightly alkaline soil. If the soil tends to become acidic, it should be treated periodically with limestone or with a little wood census. When planting the clematis plant, you should be careful to dig a deep pit where you pour a lot of compost and granular organic fertilizers and you should take great care with the roots, crown and emerging vines of the clematis plant which can be easily broken.
Mulching around the base of the clematis plant helps conserve moisture, but this mulch must be several inches away from the crown where the vines emerge from the soil. The clematis plant likes to have its roots in cool, moist soil and also enjoys its leaves to be in full sunlight.
How to Care for the Clematis Plant
After you have decided to plant clematis, you need to provide support so that the clematis stems wrap around it, because otherwise, it stops growing. The support should not be thicker than 1/2-inc, therefore it is recommended to use a fishing rod, wire, steel rods, wooden dowels, or thin branches.
Clematis Plants Groups
Depending on the cutting method, clematis plants are classified into three groups.
Group 1 or A are early flowering plants, flowers that appear in late winter or early to mid-spring, such as “Montana,” plants that do not require flower cutting.
Group 2 or B are plants that bloom at the end of spring and early summer, the first flowers are large. Some also have a second flower but something smaller, and lighter, a flower that appears towards the beginning of autumn, such as the “Nelly Moser” plant. This group is the most difficult of the three groups and requires selective cutting.
For best flower production, this group should be cut at the beginning of spring as soon as the buds begin to develop. At this point, the damaged, weak and especially the dead stems must be removed and then the remaining stems must be cut back to a pair of sturdy buds.
Group 3 or C, such as “Ville de Lyon,” are late flowering plants, from summer to autumn and grow on the vine this year. These plants require the most extensive cutting, which is done in late winter or early spring, anywhere from 8 to 16 inches above the ground.
There are also scented varieties of clematis plants, such as Summer Love or Franziska Maria, which bloom in very early summer and if you take care of them, you should have a show of blooming flowers throughout the whole summer.
Be Creative with Clematis
Clematis flowers are beautiful and they can be used in a myriad of ways to decorate your garden. They can be “trained” to climb over a trellis or a pergola, wrap a tree, and many more. Here are some tips on how you can decorate your place using the clematis flower:
*Choosing the right type of clematis is the first step towards achieving a spectacular result. If you want to decorate the wall of the house, a vigorous variety would the trick;
*Dig a hole 18 inches away from the fence, trellis, wall or the host tree or plant. It should be deep enough so that the roots are placed approximately 2 inches beneath.
*Using a garden fork, loosen the soil and soak the clematis plant; then, place it in the hole and fill it up with soil.
*Tap the soil well to make it firm and water the plant.
As choosing the right clematis variety is extremely important, here is a quick guideline to get you started:
*If you want to wrap an arch, clematis “Prince Charles” can be a great choice, without overwhelming it.
*For walls, clematis tangutica “Lambton Park” is suitable because it can develop in the drier soil that is found at the base of walls, exposed to bright sunlight; the flowers are deep yellow and very large;
*If you want to plant a clematis to wrap a tree or another host plant, clematis “Elvan” is suitable because it does not completely overwhelm it; another creative idea would be to use this clematis to wrap a rose bush;
*Alternatively, you can grow clematis “Arctic Queen” in a large pot placed against support, such as a wall, so it does not tip over.