How to Care for Clematis Vines
image by Mrs. Gemstone: Flickr.com
Clematis vines are perennial plants which are also members of the buttercup family. There are approximately 300 varieties of clematis, varying in flower form, foliage and height. The vines are native to most temperate regions of the world, and subsequently are very easy to grow. Some varieties of clematis produce large, colorful flowers that can be pink, lavender or purple in color, while others produce small white flowers in panicles or spreading clusters. Clematis vines can bloom in spring, summer or fall, depending on the species.
Plant clematis vines in a location that receives 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. Choose a location that is near a tree, fence, cliff or a similar structure that the vines can climb for support. Install a large trellis or wire structure near the planting site if necessary.
Dig a hole three times as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. Arrange the plant so that the section where the vines meet the roots is level with the top soil. Refill the hole with dirt, and water deeply to compact the soil.
Spread organic mulch around the vines, but leave a 3-inch gap between the roots and the mulch, so growth is not stifled. Maintain the mulch, refreshing when it begins to deteriorate or is washed away. This will conserve moisture and add extra nutrients to the soil.
Water the clematis vines by pouring a bucket of water over the roots once every 2 weeks. Increase the frequency of watering to once per week during summer, except on weeks that receive heavy rains.
Feed the vines using a slow release fertilizer every spring and fall. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper application and dosage. Water thoroughly after applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn.