UCCE / El Dorado County Master Gardener
If ever there was a queen of climbers, clematis would be that queen. This fabulous vining plant can be trained to climb trellises, fences or arches over doorways. It has incredible flowers ranging in size from huge to more profuse and smaller ones in various colors. The vines of clematis twist and curl to hold the plant onto whatever support it is trained on.
When planting clematis all that is necessary is well-draining soil with its roots shaded; mulch will take care of this. Its flowers should be in the sun, ideally for at least five to six hours daily, to produce abundant blooms.
Clematis plants do not like competition from roots of other plants, so pick an appropriate spot in the garden and do not let the soil dry out during the growing season. Monthly fertilization with a low nitrogen fertilizer should also be done during active growth.
At some point, pruning will be necessary to avoid a tangled mess of vines. However, there are specific requirements when pruning a clematis and timing will depend on its blooming season:
Clematis really is a beautiful bloomer and will reward a gardener with lots of flowers if these guidelines are followed. Happy growing.
Master Gardeners of El Dorado County are available to answer home gardening questions Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon or by calling (530) 621-5512. Walk-ins are welcome at the office located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville.
For more information about our public education classes and activities go to our UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County website at mgeldorado.ucanr.edu. Sign up to receive our online notices and e-newsletter at ucanr.edu/master gardener e-news. You can also find us on Facebook.