Clematis Advice from Russell Studebaker

Horticulturist and garden writer Russell Studebaker wrote some tips for success with Clematis and with is permission, I'm passing along his expert tips.

Russell attended a talk by a Clematis nurseryman and fell in love ... hard. Most of us get excited about a certain plant and go crazy for it. 

Studebaker said in his email, "This is going to be my Clematis year.  I was so inspired by Dan Long's program to the club in Springdale I ordered more from him, too.  I have planted several and already have a late winter planted one in flower.  It's C. texensis 'Graveyete Beauty'."

Here are a few cultural suggestions:

 Plant the plants 1 to 1 & 1/2 times deeper than they were growing in the original pot. This ensures that some of the stem's latent buds will be able to grow should some disaster happens to the top stems.

 Plant in an organic,rich, well-drained soil, with compost or peat moss in a well drained .

Dig your holes 1 foot deep and a foot wide. Be careful not to damage the stems that are near ground level when planting.

 Select a site that has sun. An Eastern exposure is good. Use a 2 - 3 inch organic mulch around the plant's base and planting area.

Clematis that are being sold locally  are all vining types, so they will need wire, or wire mesh to attach their leaf stalks to twine & hold and to climb.

Their stems can not cling to large wide boards or bricks. Some will want to plant them with their climbing roses or near their shrubs like Forsythia or other deciduous shrubs. These vines will grow into those shrubs and make flowers on the tops of those shrubs. So things like Forsythia shrubs can have a second and later season of color with the Clematis flowers.

During the growing season, Fertilize them every 4 - 6 weeks with an organic fertilizer like Rose Tone, or Miracle Gro's Organic Rose Food. 

Water when dry.

Thanks, Russell for more of your expertise.


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