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How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Clematis

We ship healthy, 2-year-old, well-rooted, plants in 2.06 quart/1.95 liter pots, with a support to protect their stems, from late March through November.

Hardiness Zones
Recommended to be hardy in USDA Zones 4-9, except where noted in the plant listings.

Ideal Conditions
Clematis grow and flower best in full sun, although light shade, especially in the South, is tolerated. Roots should be cool and shaded. Planting annuals or shallow rooted perennials around the base of the Clematis helps to create these ideal conditions. Good drainage is essential with an even supply of moisture. A fertile, medium-loam soil with a good level of organic matter is ideal, never allowing the plant to become dry or very wet.

Prepare a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball. Prior to planting, incorporate a handful of lime into the loose soil. Gently loosen the root ball and plant 1"-2" deeper than the soil level in the container. Firm the soil and immediately water freely to remove air pockets and ensure root-to-soil contact.

Maintenance
Provide trellis support at an early stage of growth, ensuring that adequate support is provided throughout the growing season. An organic mulch will ensure an even moisture supply, but continue to water if necessary.

Container Planting
When space is limited, Clematis can be enjoyed as container plants, ideal for growing on patios or in a cool conservatory. Combined with colorful annuals, especially those with a trailing habit, they add height and extended ornamental appeal to container combinations. A wide range of Clematis thrive in containers. The large, early flowering, compact growing varieties are among the preferred choices. For ultimate success, use a pot 2' deep x 1½'-2' wide with appropriate drainage. Container should be raised above the ground to prevent water saturation around the base. Plant in early spring with the top of the soil ball about 2" below the soil level in the container, and water thoroughly. Most well-draining potting mixes are suitable. New growth should be trained on a wooden framework or up bamboo canes tied at the tops to create a pyramidal support. Water regularly, never allowing the potting soil to dry out. A liquid fertilizer can be incorporated from late spring through midsummer. Such treatment is important with the reblooming varieties and is necessary for the ongoing success of companion plants in the container. Remember that Clematis ideally require cool conditions for their roots and warm sunny conditions for their top growth. In areas with harsh winter weather, containers should be allowed to dry out as fall advances and stored over winter in a dry, frost-free location, such as a garage.

Pruning Groups
We include the pruning group with the description for each variety of our Clematis. Please use the following pruning recommendations for best results in the bloom and plant habit of your Clematis:

Prune 1: these Clematis bloom in spring on the previous year’s growth. Prune lightly to shape the vine immediately after flowering.

Prune 2: These Clematis are repeat bloomers with the first flowering on the previous year’s growth, then rebloom on the current season's new growth. In early spring, when buds begin to swell, lightly prune if needed to shape the vines. After the first bloom, give another light pruning, just removing the spent blooms (known as "deadheading", to increase later blooms.

Prune 3: These Clematis have summer and later flowers on new growth. Hard prune in early spring as new leaf buds begin to swell low on the plant. Trim the vines back to approximately 8-12” tall, to a pair of strong looking buds.

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Planting Information

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