Clematis has been long hailed as the Queen of the vines, and for good reason. There is no other perennial vine that offers as much versatility in both form and color and there has never been such abundant access to this wonderful plant then there is today. Buy Clematis Direct is your resource for purchasing the best clematis plants available in the country. Beyond our commitment to provide hearty clematis for gardeners and hobbyists, we want to be a resource for your clematis questions. Here we try to help you with problem solving in your clematis cultivation endeavors. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will do our best to help you!
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.
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.
In mid to late summer, browning lower leaves can be a sign of dehydration, so it is important to keep up watering through the entire growing season. When a plant does not need a leaf any more, the leaf does tend to be shed by the plant and the first part of that is a browning or yellowing off. Simply remove the discolored leaves with a pinch or a small pair of garden nippers.
Earlier in the season, yellowing or browning leaves that the plant is discarding can be from a variety of natural causes. These include temperature extremes that may have damaged the leaves in question, and water extremes such as heavy rainfall or periods of dryness.
Other leaf discolorations may indicate a problem with the plant’s uptake of nutrients from the soil, or very rarely , a bacterial or fungal condition.
Usually the plant works through minor issues naturally and all we can do as gardeners is make sure that water and nutrition are good, and remove unsightly leaves. In more serious issues, the entire stem or stems is affected. If the plant is growing well above the disfiguration, remove the leaves and watch it to monitor the over all health of the plant.
Do you have clematis that are bare on the bottom of the plant?
Bare bottoms are more likely on clematis that have not been hard pruned. In some cases this is because the gardener does chooses not to hard prune in the spring, or it can be a result of retaining the stems from the prior year on type 2 clematis.
There are two approaches to this.
- You can work with the bare bottom of your clematis plant by planting a taller shrub in front of the clematis, or a shorter perennial flowering plant that will provide some coverage of the base.
- In a mature plant with many stems, try hard pruning some stems to the ground vs. the first growth node. This encourages fresh new stems to emerge which will often have more lower foliage.