Clematis Care

How to Grow Clematis Vines

clematis care

Clematis - Warsaw Nike The best Clematis care, is knowing how to grow your Clematis vines, and how to prune Clematis for beautiful flowers. "The Queen of Vines" is a perfect companion for roses. What better plant to be paired with than "The Queen of Flowers"?

When you plant a contrasting color Clematis with your climbing roses, the look is breathtaking. Because they are available in such a wide variety of colors, you will easily find one to suit your taste.

With the right Clematis care, your vine will grow bigger, and more beautiful each year.

clematis and roses

These vines come in both deciduous and evergreen species. The flowers vary in shape from large open saucers to dainty bells. The colors range from shades of pink, red, purple, mauve, blue, white, lavender, and bi-color. Some flowers are single, double, and fully double, with numerous rows of petals.

The Clematis vines seem too have it all, extravagant displays of huge beautiful flowers, hardiness, and adaptability.

As vines go, it is somewhat on the smaller side, so it doesn't overwhelm support structures like some other vines.

Proper Clematis Care

To be able to properly care for your clematis vine, be sure to choose a variety that is suited to your Climate Zone  with the form of flower that you prefer. Most of the newer varieties bloom continually from June- Sept., but others have specific bloom time.

How to Plant Clematis Vine

~~To plant your clematis vine properly, you should prepare a deep planting hole that has been amended with plenty of organic matter. Neutral to slightly alkaline soil is best. Add bone meal to alkaline soil, or lime to acid soil, to meet this requirement. A half cup of either should do the trick.

~~The location should be sunny, for at least half of the day. For the proper Clematis care, your soil should be rich, loose, well-drained, soil that will permit the roots to run freely. With that said, You should realize that digging a little bitty hole, and stuffing the roots of the Clematis into it, isn't going to allow it to do that, so... Dig the hole much bigger than needed, and put in that organic stuff! This gives the roots maximum aeration.

~~When planting, spread the roots out and cover with soil. Press down lightly, and water well. The roots must become established before the top growth occurs. They like their tops to be in full sun, but their roots shaded. Applying a thick layer of garden mulch will keep the roots shaded.

The roots must become established before the top growth occurs. They like their tops to be in full sun, but their roots shaded.

~~Be sure to keep watered during dry spells.

The best Clematis care for your vine is to give them what they need:

The more you know about how to grow Clematis vines, the better you can care for them. They thrive in moist, well-drained soil, and need watering regularly.

The foliage is a bit slow to leaf out in the spring, so be patient. It will take two to three seasons for the Clematis to reach its full magnificence.

As the vine starts to grow young stems should be tied to supports. The stems of Clematis are fragile and easily broken, so tie them carefully.

If the plants can't climb, their growth is poor, so provide them with something to climb on.

Fertilizing for Clematis Care

To help your flowering vine achieve its maximum potential and blanket itself with gorgeous blooms: fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once a year during the growing season. Put the fertilizer right on top of the mulch, no closer than 2-3 inches from the stems, to avoid burning. Be sure to water it in well. I fertilize mine in the spring when they are starting to leaf out, at the same time as I fertilize my roses.

How to Prune Clematis

To achieve maximum flowers you need to learn How to prune clematis. That begins with knowing which variety you have. You prune according to the timing of blooms. Some bloom on old wood, others on new wood.

Learn how to prune Clematis for maximum blooms. When pruning the vines, you should know the variety of clematis you have. When purchasing your Clematis, be sure to take note, or ask about pruning, for good Clematis care.

Clematis are divided into Three groups, according to their bloom time.The density of the flowers on a mature plant will astound you. It does however take a few years for this beautiful vine to reach it's full potential.

Vines get better with age, and can live indefinitely.

Group 1 These varieties flower in spring on growth from the previous season. These generally do not need to be pruned, but if you feel you need to prune them, to keep them at the size you want, prune them within one month, or sooner after they have finished flowering. You could thin branches, and remove seed heads.

Group 2 These bloom in early summer on previous years growth, followed by a re-bloom in summer or fall on new growth.

How to Prune Clematis: They should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Cut the stems back to a strong pair of well developed buds and fasten the stems to the support.

Group 3 This variety, flowers later on new growth in the summer and fall.

To prune: Cut back to 12-18 inches from the ground in late winter or early spring. This will force the plant to grow bushy and produce maximum new wood.

Where to Grow your Clematis


It is best to protect your Clematis from strong winds.

Arbors and Trellis's are good supports for them. They look stunning growing up your mail box pole, or lamp post. (They do need help to do this, by means of tying with string as they grow. If you tie some heavy string around a stick, push it into the ground close to the emerging vine, and have the other end loosely twirled around the lamp post, then tied at the top, you can keep twining the young vine around it as it grows, encouraging it to grow where you want. (be careful, vines break easy)

A piece of nylon netting makes a nice support frame to get them growing. It also ensures that they grow where you want them to.

They will also very happily grow on a fence, or porch railing.

One of my favorite places to plant them is twining up a tree trunk.

To find the perfect Clematis for your garden, go Back to Clematis Vines from Clematis Care

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