Clematis & Roses

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Here at Roseville Farm’s, we give you the information you need to be a successful Clematis grower. Simply follow our straight forward advice and enjoy the absolute, unmatched beauty that is Clematis, “The Queen of the Vines”!

Why do my Flowers Look Unusual?

Bloom development starts in the bud phase of the plant. Buds are forming weeks before they enlarge and open into flower. In the period that the buds are forming, extreme weather can impact the outcome of the first few blooms. This can include extremes in heat, water or the shock of a heavy fertilizer application.


Should I Let my Plant Go to Seed?

All plants have one mission to their existence, to grow, bloom and set seed to perpetuate themselves if you will. We have all appreciated the late fall and winter ‘seed heads’ on clematis, which add a unique beauty to the landscape in the colder months. Your clematis seed heads are actually the fruit of the plant.
In the early season it is best to deadhead spent flowers from your clematis plants. Here’s why. If you do not, the plant slows down bloom production as it is feeling like it’s mission is close to being accomplished. By deadheading early to mid summer blooms, you encourage the plant to keep blooming.
At mid summer, encourage your clematis plant further by trimming or pruning the plant. Fertilize and continue to enjoy more blooms. Late summer  is good  time to allow the plant to ‘set seed’ from the late flowers. This way you have the abundant bloom span, and still get to enjoy some of the unique fruit that will last for months on the plants as you enter the winter season.

My Clematis Plants Are Going Dormant Early

Plant dormancy is stress as well as seasonally induced. Clematis plants have the capability to perform and look beautiful for a long season.
Hydration is important as the summer draws on and you may think leaving your garden to the rainfall takes care of all of the water the plant needs. Regular, deep watering will help your clematis plants achieve the full season the plant is capable of achieving.
After the main bloom period, pruning or at least deadheading and trimming back the plant, along with fertilizer and water will help the plant pause, then resume growing and support healthy, attractive foliage as well as subsequent blooms.
In hottest weather avoid applying fertilizer to the plant, and consider mixing the fertilizer at a weaker ratio in the summer. Watering before you apply fertilizer of any sort is a good practice also.
Be vigilant throughout the season about slugs also. Many insects do not bother clematis, another great reason to plant more clematis and take care of them throughout the growing season, but slugs can damage clematis throughout the season if not controlled.

Why Does my Clematis Have Only One Stem?

Some varieties of clematis have a tendency to fewer stems than others, but in many cases this is created by our pruning habits. Every type 1 and 2 clematis benefits from being pruned hard  at least 1, or even 2 times in the first year in your garden, semi permanent or permanent container. The time to do this is when growth seems to be stalled, or immediately after those long awaited first blooms. It is better to do this in the spring and early to mid summer. In the fall it is better to let the plant go into dormancy with the stem(s) left unpruned.

For clematis that continue to have one stem, even if they have been pruned as directed, it is important that as the first flush of blooms wane in the first few seasons to continue to re prune the plant. Remember to fertilize the plant after you prune.

For clematis that do not respond to your efforts, we suggest landscaping around the plant’s tendency.

Check our planting how tos and make sure that you are planting your new plants at the correct depth and angle to create health and more stems from the get go on new clematis additions.

Why Did a Whole Stem of my Clematis Plant Go Dark and Wither?

One of the main causes of stem collapse is damage from wind or slugs. If you inspect the withering stem you can often see the damaged point, which sometimes is traceable to the point where you secured the stem to a trellis or structure without enough flexibility to allow it to handle the wind.
If you look at the stem on the lowest part of the plant you may see the outer ‘bark’ stripped away. This indicates that slugs may have damaged the stem to the extent it could no longer function to support growth and it will wither away.
For either of the above issues (on a larger clematis), starting at the top, remove the stem in pieces, working your way down and cutting and removing sections. When you get to the bottom, cut the stem at or just slightly below the soil level and discard the stem vs. compost it. Usually the plant will replace the stem immediately with a fresh shoot; sometimes it does take a few weeks for the growth to initiate. If the clematis is containered and there no other stems, or few stems, monitor and do not over water in this stage while there is little to no vegetative growth.
Fungal issues are rare, and as plants build resistance to your garden ecology, there should be few issues. Consulting an expert at your garden store is always an option. Often rose formulas for a variety of issues work well, but always test them on one clematis before using them on all of your plants.

Harmonious and Contrasting Clematis and Rose Combinations

Clematis are a beautiful flower on their own, but can be absolutely stunning when paired with other flowers. Here is a list of clematis/rose combinations, paired in both harmonious and contrasting examples, that work very well.

Harmonious Rose and Clematis Combinations

  • Pink roses  and clematis ‘Ilka’
  • Red roses   and  clematis  ‘Minister’
  • Light yellow roses  and clematis ‘Pink Climador’
  • Cream roses  and  clematis ‘Hakuba’
  • White roses   and  clematis ‘Eyres Gift’
  • Pink roses  and  clematis ‘Piilu’
  • Deep pink roses  and clematis ‘Pink fantasy’
  • Deep pink roses  and clematis ‘snow queen’
  • Red roses  and  clematis ‘Phyllis’

Contrasting Rose and Clematis Combinations

  • White roses  and  clematis ‘Huvi’
  • Yellow roses  and  clematis ‘Silmakivi”
  • Orange roses  and  clematis ‘Reiman’
  • Red roses  and  clematis ‘Candida’
  • Pink roses  and  clematis ‘Fireworks’

Growing Clematis for Cut Flowers

Clematis make an ideal cut flower. The delicate look of the flowers is a contradiction to their suitability for cuts. Clematis stems are fibrous and not easily damaged. In addition, this allows them to rehydrate easily. Most cut clematis will open bloom from buds indoors, and flowers will stay fresh for up to 10 days or longer.

When growing clematis with an eye to being able to cut the flowers, it is good to keep this in mind as you train your stems in early spring. While naturalized, scrambling stems can be used for cuts in lower arrangements, a straighter stem is sometimes easier to work with.

Train the stems you are planning to use for cuts on thin, 5 or 6 ft.  bamboo canes. These are available at garden centers. Clip the stems to the canes,  tie the stem with something soft and secure like a strip of fabric, or horticultural velcro that can be cut to size works well. By keeping the stems separate and not tangled, it will be easier to harvest longer stems for cut flowers.

Both flowers and flower buds can be cut. Place them in water, and use a product to extend the life of cut flowers in the water of your arrangement.


Seasonal Care for Growing Clematis in Containers

Growing Clematis in Winter

Excessive moisture on a dormant clematis is something to avoid, so consider this when you decide what to do in the winter with your container grown clematis.

In winter, clematis containers can be moved to a more sheltered position against the house, behind a hedge or moved indoors to a garage in order to protect the flower from the elements. For heavy containers that are not suitable to move easily, bubble wrap can  be used around the container, and a burlap or horticultural fleece over the plant itself.

In many climates there is no need to move or protect the containers. Excessive moisture on a dormant clematis is something to avoid, so consider this when you decide what to do in the winter with your container grown clematis. In many climates, there is no need to move or protect the containers. For containers that you cover, in late winter, inspect the plant and if the soil is dry, you can water the plant lightly or layer some snow on the soil in the container.

Growing Clematis in Spring

In the spring, replenish the soil by removing the top 4 inches of soil and replacing it with the planting mixture that you prefer. Periodically (every year or two ) for clematis growing long term in containers, unpotting the plant and changing the soil is recommended. This is an opportunity to move the plant to a larger container if necessary.