Ornamental vines, those that bear flowers, make a statement in the landscape as they climb up a trellis or wind their way across an arbor. Ramona (Ranunculaceae) is a variety of clematis vine known for its blooms in varying shades of blue that are up to 6 inches across. Ramona is cold hardy in USDA map hardiness zones 4 through 9.
Ramona clematis vines can reach 10 feet in length and a width of 2 to 4 feet as stems branch outward from the main trunk. Ramona clematis vines bloom twice each season. The first blooming occurs in the summer on prior year's growth. The second blooming occurs in early autumn on new growth. The green leaves of this deciduous vine turn brown when the vine is dormant. The vine is woody.
Clematis are often referred to as the queen of the flowering vines, according to Iowa State University Extension. The vine has two easy needs to fill: water every seven to 10 days during the growing season if there is no rainfall, and mulch. The distinctive blue blooms display nicely against the green leaves and are long lasting.
Plant Ramona clematis in full sun and well-drained soil. Though Ramona will grow in almost any soil, the optimal soil is sandy loam with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. A location with late afternoon shade can help prevent wilting from heat. Mulch, like pine bark or leaf mold, applied 2 to 3 inches deep helps retain moisture and helps keep the roots cool by blocking direct sunlight.
Dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball to loosen surrounding soil. Dig the hole 2 to 4 inches deeper than the root ball is tall so the vine will set deeper into the ground. Remove the vine and its support from the container and place them together in the hole, slightly leaned toward the trellis. Backfill the hole with the soil removed from the hole. Water to settle the soil. Cover the root ball with 2 to 3 inches of mulch, such as pine bark chips or leaf mold.
Ramona falls into group 2 of clematis pruning categories. Prune group 2 clematis immediately after blooms fade to promote new blooms. In the spring, when buds appear, prune out stems that are dead (lack buds or are broken) or stems that are reaching to undesirable locations, like toward the house.
Ramona may be impacted by clematis wilt, which is a fungal disease that causes the vine and leaves to blacken before blooms open. The fungal infection starts at the base of the plant, entering through damaged stems. Prune out infected stems and ensure the vine's new growth is secured to the trellis to avoid repeat damage. Handle the vine gently and use soft ties, like strips of a rag or hosiery, to secure the vine about every 12 inches.