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Planting Your Clematis

Unlike many other plants, Clematis like to be planted deeper than the pots you have purchased them in.  The plants stem consists of nodes and internodes.  The stems nodes are those critical areas where the leaves, branches and aerial roots will grow out of the stem while the internodes are the stem area between the nodes. Plant your Clematis around 10cm deeper than the pot it comes in making sure you bury the first pair of nodes on the stem.  Your plant will put out additional shoots from these nodes making a more interesting plant than one that only has a single spindly stem.  

If you are planting your Clematis to grow up a wall, trellis or fence it is recommended to dig your hole for the plant around 15 to 20cm from the structure and then to train the shoots back to the trellis or other structure.

Dig the hole larger and deeper than the plant pot and place a generous amount of organic compost in the bottom of the hole for your new plant to feed on as it starts to take root. This will allow it to put on rapid growth and develop strongly and quickly.  

There is an old saying that goes 'a Clematis likes its head in the sun and its roots in the shade'.  Simply put, it tells you that most Clematis enjoy full sun or dappled shade to produce their best display but the roots like to be kept cool. Keep this in mind when planning on where to plant your Clematis to ensure it has the best aspect to produce the best show for your garden.

​Keeping the roots cool can be achieved by placing a layer of pebbles, mulch, flat stones or similar around the root zone. If you have a variety that produces its nodes higher on the stem they can look a little straggly down below. In this case you can underplant it with smaller plants that will provide the shade needed to keep the roots cool while filling in the straggly area of your Clematis. Group 2 Clematis that flower early combine well with early flowering plants such as alliums. Group 3 Clematis that flower in the summer combine well with later flowering plants such as penstemon.

As your Clematis start to grow and are still small, it is a good time to pinch out the early growth just above a pair of leaves to force your plant to put out additional shoots from the nodes. This is how we achieve nice bushy plants and extra flowers.

Happy gardening 

Which Pruning Group is my Clematis?
Group 1 Clematis