Not grown Clematis successfully before?

Then follow these simple guidelines in this series.

Growing clematis in your garden

Early Autumn is the very best time to plant clematis in your garden. The soil is still warm which will promote good root growth and although the leaves of the plant will begin to turn brown and fall off, there will still be root growth until the weather, and soil, turns much colder. This will give the clematis a head-start in the spring.

Many people worry about growing clematis because of their reputation for sometimes being difficult. If you follow some basic rules, however, your clematis should provide you with years of trouble free flowering.

Whether you buy from a garden centre or by mail order please make sure that your clematis is at least three years old and that the roots fill a two-litre pot. Smaller supermarket plants are fine but for reliable results they should be grown on before planting in the garden. Most clematis are climbers but their height and spread varies. Make sure that you read the label carefully so that you choose one that will fill the space that you have and will not take over.

Clematis produce new shoots from the joints where the leaves grow from the stems so dig a hole twice the size of the pot you buy it in and put some compost with blood, fish, and bone fertilizer in the bottom. Plant the clematis at about 10cms (4 inches) deep so that at least the bottom pair of leaves are below soil level. Fill in the rest of the hole and scatter about a baked bean can full of blood, fish, and bone around the plant.

Water in well and keep it well watered for the first few weeks or until the winter rains make the soil permanently damp.

Clematis can be grown up walls, trellises, obelisks, shrubs and even trees, it’s your choice.  In the next article I will tell you how to prune your clematis.