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Taylors Clematis :: Plant Care

Plant Care

Prepare the site by digging a hole 18" square and at least 18" deep ( this is also the minimum diameter of a pot/container).  Break up the soil at the base of the hole and dig in peat or garden compost mixed in with a few handfuls of bonemeal. Soak your plant in a bucket of water for twenty minutes then remove the pot. Remove the lower leaves of the plant so the 1st 5 inches are bare stems then gently loosen a few of the roots (take care not to damage) place your plant in the hole so that the top of the rootball is about 5" below ground level, then backfill with a mixture of peat/compost and garden soil Do not use manure. Leave the lower 'ties' still attached to the cane (these will hold the base of the plant secure whilst the top half gets a grip to your clinbling frame) these lower ties can be released in 4-6 weeks if you wish. If your soil dries out quickly or your plant is in a position where it receives very little water, place an open ended pipe (About 1 1/2-2" dia.) in the planting hole, one end close to the rootball the other just above ground level. By adopting this procedure water can be conveyed to the plants roots where it is most needed in times of drought. Top dress with a slow release fertiliser eg. Osmocote. Always remember that Clematis are planted for the following season ( don't expect too much of it the same year ) cutting single stemmed plants back half way shortly after planting will encourage new fresh growth and will make for a bushier stronger plant the next season.
Planting Positions
You don't necessarily need a wall to grow Clematis against, they are equally at home when planted amongst trees and shrubs. The montanas lend themselves very well to growing through trees - a word of advice here though if you plant montanas through apple trees you might not see the clematis flowers for apple blossom. Clematis that are allowed to scramble through shrubs and small growing conifers provide much interest - Roses and Clematis when grown together make an excellent combination. Planted into containers Clematis will enhance any patio. Herbaceous types deserve more recognition and look excellent in perennial borders. We have even got some varieties that can now be planted in window boxes and hanging baskets! they are so compact!
Good feeding is important. In order to produce good flowers the plants should be fed by a good general, branded fertilizer following the manufacturer's recommendations- twice a week. Start feeding by mid-spring and continue until just before flowering. Do not feed during flowering as this will tend to reduce the flowering period. A high potash fertilizer (tomato feed is fine) should give good blooms. Feed again after flowering until mid autumn to encourage further growth and more flowers.

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