Clematis are colorful and hardy free-flowering plants from the buttercup family. Their flowers can brighten up just about any garden space, which makes them incredibly desirable to have. These plants exhibit versatile growth patterns and are incredible climbers. It’s possible to train them to grow upwards on fences, walls, and other vertical structures with relative ease.
If you’re interested in growing Clematis at home, you might be wondering where to start. This guide will cover the steps to grow Clematis at home. So pull out that green thumb and see what it can do!
1.Pick an Ideal Location
Before setting out to purchase Clematis stem cuttings, you should ensure you can offer this plant ideal growing conditions. Clematis grow best in places that receive ample sunlight but are also shielded from hot and dry winds. These plants need fertile soil that consists primarily of organic matter. This soil should also be well-drained.
Clematis are also climbers, so you should provide them a vertical surface such as a wall or fence to climb. You should ensure this space is easy to access as you will need to fertilize the soil and prune the plant regularly as it grows.
2.Choose the Right Time
You should aim to plant your Clematis in late Spring or in early Autumn. These seasonal stages are when the soil is still warm and moist, but not hot enough to inhibit Clematis growth. It is possible to grow Clematis in the Summer, but you should be prepared to water the plant more frequently.
3.Purchase Healthy Cuttings
While it is possible to grow Clematis from seeds at home, it is generally much easier to purchase stem cuttings from a store and plant those instead. When selecting Clematis stem cuttings, you should ensure the cuttings are healthy and are at least 4 inches in length. You should never buy cuttings that appear wilted or contain pests.
You can also squeeze the stems to confirm that they are firm. Flimsy stems have a lower chance of rooting, so it’s best to avoid these. Each cutting should also have at least two nodes visible. The plant’s roots will emerge from these nodes so it is vital to ensure each cutting has enough.
4.Obtain a Suitable Fertilizer
The next step is to obtain the right type of fertilizer. Clematis require a balanced fertilizer with a relatively high phosphorus concentration. This phosphorus content is necessary because it promotes good flowering and root growth.
You should start off with a fertilizer with a Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium ratio of 5-10-10, and then switch to a 10-10-10 ratio once the plant’s buds reach 2 inches in length. It is important to avoid using fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, as they will promote thick foliage growth, which is undesirable if you’re planting Clematis for their flowers.
5.Prepare Your Soil
Preparing your soil is the first actual step in the planting process. However, it is vital to check your soil’s pH before doing this. Clematis grow best in mildly acidic soils with a pH between 6 and 7. If your soil has a pH higher than 7, you may need to reduce it by adding some elemental sulphur.
Once you have the soil pH under control, you should start amending it with the addition of aged manure and compost. These additions will improve both the soil’s fertility and structure. Be sure to work these organic additives down to a depth of 12 inches before adding your fertilizer.
6.Insert the Cuttings
You can now add your Clematis cuttings to the soil. Poke small holes in the soil using a pencil or similar-sized elongated object. Lower the cuttings into each hole, ensuring that one or more nodes from each cutting are in the subsurface. Pat the soil around each stem until they are securely in place.
7.Water the Cuttings
Next, you should water your cuttings thoroughly. The soil should be moist, but shouldn’t be waterlogged. This can be tricky to figure out, so it’s better if the soil is slightly under-watered than overwatered.
8.Cover the Cuttings and Monitor Them
Once the watering is complete, you should cover your cuttings with a plastic bag to create a small greenhouse-like setting. You should then monitor your cuttings’ growth over the next few days and water them every two weeks.
Be sure that none of the emerging leaves come in contact with the plastic bag. Any leaves that appear yellow or wilted should be trimmed off immediately.
9.Transplant Your Cuttings
After five to eight weeks, your Clematis plants should start rooting. You can verify this by attempting to tug on the stems. If they feel thoroughly anchored to the soil, you can transplant them in your garden.
10. Monitor and Care For Your Clematis
Now that you have successfully planted your Clematis, you should water them once a week in normal conditions and more frequently during dry weather conditions. You should also aim to prune the plant once a year to help it maintain a neat and orderly appearance.
Sprucing Up Your Garden With Clematis
As you can see, growing Clematis is a relatively straightforward process. However, you should still keep the aforementioned growing conditions and techniques in mind when you set out to grow your own. Clematis flowers can transform just about any garden, so be sure to do your best to help these gorgeous plants thrive.