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  Beautiful Clematis

An article by our feature writer Christine Walkden

I am always surprised not to see more clematis in gardens as they are such good plants, have a long flowering season and can be grown in many different situations.


Just think about it, they can be grown in the open garden up obelisksClematis Jackmanni

Clematis Duchess Edinburgh, tripods and fences

Clematis Hagley Hybrid, used to cover walls

Clematis Niobe or as ground cover or used to stabilize banks and can look fantastic cascading down through trees

Clematis Yukikomachi  looks great growing in this manner.  I even have them growing through shrubs in the garden 

Clematis Warszawska Nike   and have several growing in containers on my patio

Clematis Dr Ruppel,  they can be pinched back and look fantastic growing in a hanging basket or even a window box.


When grown in containers make sure you use a large enough one. 

The plants supplied are in 7cm pots, so pot them on gradually, moving a couple of pot sizes up, each time you pot them on.

Wait until you see roots growing out of the drainage holes in the pots they are growing in, before re-potting.


I prefer to grow mine in 50/50 John Innes No 2 and multipurpose compost, filling up to a third of the container size with crocks or other drainage material as Clematis do not like sitting in wet soil over the winter, and this quantity of drainage material will help draw the moisture through the pot.


Clematis Warszawska Nike with its rich velvet reddish purple flowers only growing up to 3m is a great plant for growing in containers flowering from May through to September. Train it up a tripod or obelisk to add height on a patio or why not try a row of them to mark the edge of a wide path. Repetition is one of the principals of design and can be used to draw people along a path or to direct them around a garden.  If the pots are placed close together they can even be used as a screen.


To ensure they flower well both in the open ground when growing in containers either use a slow release fertilizer at planting, or do as I do and feed them weekly from late April though to July with tomato fertilizer.  Clematis have a high requirement for potash and tomato fertilizer will supply this.

You may have had the experience of clematis flowers opening green instead of the colour you are supposed to have.  This is often due to potash shortage.  Keep your plant well fed and in a sunny spot with their roots in the shade and mulch well and they will provide you with years of interest.


To view our Clematis range including the ones mentioned above please click here

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