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What is the best way to care for clematis?

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Quick Answer

Care for a clematis by providing adequate sun, supporting the plant and pruning correctly. Clematis takes several years to reach maturity. Some varieties can reach 10 to 20 feet in height, and smaller varieties reach 4 to 6 feet. Two-year-old plants are a good choice for gardeners who want their clematis to reach maturity quickly.

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Full Answer

Clematis requires a minimum of six hours of sun for healthy growth. If unable to provide this much exposure, consider varieties such as Nellie Moser and Henry II that are more shade loving. Plant the vine in well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. In areas where soil tends to be acidic, add wood ash around the base of the plant periodically to sweeten it.

Clematis are climbing plants that stop growing if they have nothing to grasp. While other climbing plants wrap their vines around a trellis, clematis grows by wrapping its relatively short leaf stem around the support. This makes twine or fishing line an ideal support.

Before trimming a clematis, understand its variety. Some varieties only bloom on growth from the previous season; you should not trim these before they flower. Others only flower on new growth and can be trimmed to the ground each season during the dormant period.

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