How do you care for a clematis?


Quick Answer

As one of the most popular perennial vines, clematis requires proper support, regular watering, fertilization and pruning to look its best. It grows well in full sun or shade.

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How do you care for a clematis?
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Full Answer

  1. Mulch and water the clematis

    Mulch clematis in the spring to protect the roots and hold in moisture. Water on a regular basis to keep the soil damp. Because clematis is shallow rooted, both mulch and water affect the overall health and growth of the plant.

  2. Fertilize clematis for good growth

    Fertilize the vines in the spring with cow manure or compost, which gives the plant needed nutrients and ensures growth and flowering. Use commercial fertilizers with low nitrogen because a high nitrogen content causes vine growth at the expense of flowering.

  3. Prune clematis to promote flowering

    The proper pruning method depends on the type of clematis. The first type of clematis flowers on growth from the previous year and pruning involves removal of dead or weak growth. The second type blooms on previous growth and again on new growth later in the year. Prune to shape in addition to removing weak and dead growth. The third type flowers on the newest growth. In late winter or early spring, prune back to around 3 feet, leaving pairs of strong buds on the stems.

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