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Below you will find a few features we've collected about Clematis. Just click on the title to expand/collapse the details.

Testimonial by Bev McConnell

Growing Clematis in Auckland
(Bev McConnell)
It's puzzling why Clematis are not grown more widely in the Auckland province. They should be, especially the December flowering viticella and texensis varieties. In Auckland herbaceous plants rarely stay herbaceous but tend to grow with uncontrollable abandon, or need constant lifting and division to retain their vigour. Clematis, once well-planted and nurtured, will grow and flower with increasing vigour each year - like most trees, the older a Clematis gets, the better it looks.

We have over a hundred Clematis in our garden at Ayrlies, many grown over shrubs or through old-fashioned type roses which tend to have only one long-flowering season e.g. 'Rosa Fritz Nobis' which flowers prolifically through November and just as it is on the wane, Cl. 'Victoria' smothers the rose in a succession of wine-purple blooms for weeks - and both can be successfully pruned at the same time in late winter.

It is a good idea to plant two of the same variety fairly close for maximum effect and I tend to plant them in May rather than in spring, in our frost-free area. This way they have a month or two longer to establish before the summer drying-out, which can be fatal especially in their first season.

Cl. texensis 'Gravetye Beauty' is a cherry-red treasure that I use as a ground-cover and let clamour over shrubby perennials. . . . Cl. viticella 'Abundance', Cl. 'Kermesina', Cl. 'Royal Velours', Cl. 'Mme Julia Correvon', Cl. 'Betty Corning', and Cl. 'Huldine' weave through old roses, up walls and over shrubs. Cl. 'Prince Charles', Cl. 'Perle d'Azure' and Cl. 'Comtesse de Bouchard' all with medium-sized flowers do much the same, always giving great value after good feeding and mulching.

Clay based planting by Clematis Guru

How to grow in a garden with a clay base
(Clematis Guru -- Ohio, Eastern USA)
The native soil in my garden is clay based. For a well rooted nursery gallon we dig a hole 18 inches deep and 12 to 15 inches in circumference. The back fill soil is only a max of 20% of the native soil.....we dispose of the other 80% of the soil on another part of the property (berm, low area etc). The ammended planting mixture we make is 15 to 20% sharp grit and the remainder 50% alpine based composted material with gypsum added, and 10% composted manure material.

This is what i have evolved to after 10 years of planting clems and my success ratio has increased as the use of clay has decreased. The roots can not move in the clay, stunting growth.

For plants larger than a gallon, such as 3 gallon or large plants that are being relocated the holes are larger..... Can't wait to read any other posts regarding clay and what others do to maximize the benefits and create the best results with clems.

There are so many great clematis, and if one takes the time to understand the clematis they have bought and wait to plant it out when it is large enough to do so in a aspect that is worthy of the plant, there are more winners than losers. but indeed the awards at a show, especially in another country or climate, have nothing to do with the plant being garden worthy in north america.

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