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Clematis

Clematis WaldrebeThe Clematis is one of the most popular climbing plants today because of its beautiful flowers, making it is rightly referred to as the "queen of climbing plants". Clematis has a very long flowering time and an unsurpassed abundance of flowers in a variety of colours; some even have a fabulous fragrance. With Clematis, desolate fences, house walls and garages can be covered quickly. Many Clematis species can also be planted in a container on the balcony or terrace.  Clematis is an excellent companion for climbing roses.

Clematis Varieties in the Lubera Garden Shop

There are about 300 Clematis species with a spectrum of varieties that have different sized, white, pink, red, dark blue speckled or violet-coloured flowers.  There are Clematis varieties with slightly bell-shaped flowers, with single and double flowers, velvety, star-shaped or cup-shaped, Clematis with conspicuously large, fluffy fruit stalks...there are scented Clematis varieties, wild or near-natural Clematis and a large number of Clematis hybrids: in fact, Lubera’s Clematis assortment has an array of 100 Clematis species and varieties.

   
 
Clematis 'Rubromarginata'

Clematis triternata Rubromarginata

£11.40 *

Clematis 'Vyvyan Pennell'

Clematis 'Vyvyan Pennell'

£11.40 *

   
 

We have Clematis integrifolia 'Arabella' with pretty, large, fluffy infructescences. 'Arabella' flowers twice, in August and September. We also have double-flowering clematis such as 'Vyvyan Pennell', Multi Blue or 'Dr. Ruppel'. Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana' has very original, bell-shaped flowers. Clematis integrifolia 'Hendersonii' also has cute blue bells. Clematis viticella 'Aotearoa' is well suited for an arch with its beautiful, large, deep purple flowers and dense growth. 'Aotearoa' means “New Zealand” in the Maori language; it was bred in New Zealand and is very hardy.

Do you not yet have a Clematis? Are you a Clematis beginner? Catch the Clematis bug with rich flowering Clematis viticella, e.g. the light blue 'Prince Charles' or 'Royal Velours' with deep red velvet flowers or ‘Romantika’ in velvety violet. Or maybe Clematis viticella 'Entel' that grows up to 4 m tall, blooms from June to August, comes from Estonia and is frost hardy down to -25°C. That is what you would expect from an Estonian variety.

Clematis viticella is very easy to care for and robust and it also traded as "the clematis for beginners". Viticellas can cope with both sunny locations and partial shade.

The Right Location For Clematis

The original location of these plants was the forest. There they have usually been found growing in semi-shaded spots between trees and climbing towards the sun. Looking at this original location can tell us a lot about where to plant these beautiful plants in your own garden.  Clematis plants love the sun, but they can also be easily planted in semi-shade. There is one important thing to remember: the root zone of Clematis must be shaded, like it would be in the forest. Outdoors, an underplanting with groundcovers is sufficient for shading.  With potted plants, one should take care that the pot is not placed in direct sunlight. Pots are quite happy in a shady spot on the patio or balcony; then the Clematis just needs to grow towards the sun.

Choosing your location with care is also important when it comes to the annoying Clematis wilt. The wilt is triggered by a fungus, which penetrates through injuries to the shoots or leaves on the plant. On dry leaves, however, fungus cannot last long nor will it establish itself. Therefore, it is important that the leaves of Clematis can dry off quickly. Therefore a sunny, airy location is ideal; the best would be if the plant is covered, then the leaves cannot get wet at all. Once you've chosen the ideal location for your Clematis, there's a simple trick. Plant the Clematis deeply, 5-10 cm deep. If the wilt strikes once and you are forced to cut all of the shoots back to 30 cm, the Clematis still has enough reserves to grow again next year.

Clematis In A Container

Clematis plants are usually well suited for growing in containers. They are one of the most popular balcony plants. When planting please note the following:

• Clematis likes a sunny or partially shaded spot. However, it does not like it when the root area is sunny and warm. Therefore, the pot should be in a shady spot so that it does not heat up. A perennial planting is not only beautiful with Clematis – this plant also appreciates the shade, which is provided by the perennials in the root area. Particularly low growing perennials are suitable.

• The pot should not be too big in the beginning; otherwise the Clematis will produce a lot of roots instead of forming shoots and flowers.

• If the pot is well rooted, you can transplant the plant to a pot with a bigger size.

• Fill 5-10 cm of grit, coarse gravel or a 10 cm high hydroculture layer. This layer serves as drainage, so that the Clematis doesn’t get "wet feet". Protect this with fleece.

• Suitable substrate for this plant is Fertile Soil No. 1, Lubera's special potting soil. And a tip from us: mix crushed egg shells under the soil because the Clematis loves lime.

• Clematis definitely needs a tall container because they are deep rooters.

• The best planting time for container Clematis is in the spring.

• And of course a climbing aid should not be forgotten.

• And please – as with all potted plants – always think about watering and fertilising.

Since it does not climb, but rather forms strong bushes, the entire-leaved Clematis is particularly well suited for planters. All the twice-blooming hybrids do not grow as well as the summer-flowering clematis and are therefore also the ideal container growing candidates.

If you want to accommodate several Clematis plants in one pot, the container must be really big because if the Clematis plants are too dense they will easily get mildew.

Climbing Aids For Clematis

If you want to admire your Clematis plants on an arch or on an obelisk, we would recommend that you pay attention to the flower shape. The Clematis such as Viticella venosa violacea , for example, looks forward and Clematis like Viticella Walenburg nods downwards. Nodding Clematis present themselves on an arch especially beautifully.  Perennial Clematis plants do not climb themselves, they definitely need help or another plant such as a climbing rose to hold them up. Look for roses that are more than 1.5 metres tall, so you can tie the shoots to the rose. The shoot tips will then grow through the crown, laying their flowering shoot ends over the crown and then they will trickle down.

Clematis By Raymond Evison

Evison Clematis can be described as "simple clematis plants". First, they are compact (80-150 cm) and therefore ideally suited for growing in containers on balconies or terraces. They are evergreen, from summer to autumn. They form their flowers on this year's wood. Pruning – down to 15-20 cm in February – is easy even for absolute beginners. Raymond Evison Clematis plants are the result of 50 years of dedicated research. 50 years of tireless and passionate breeding led to the birth of truly modern, flowering Clematis varieties, such as Clematis 'Josephine' with double flowers, Clematis 'Zara' in a delicate blue or the Evison Clematis 'Avant-Garde' with its particularly unique colour and shape. All Evison varieties have superb health and winter hardiness.

Perennial Clematis

Perennial clematis plants are daintier in growth and are not very high. Perennial Clematis plants such as Clematis integrifolia 'Aljonushka' or Clematis durandii form very long shoots, but rather in the width, not in the height. The plants do not grow immediately on the ground, but first form shoots, which, as soon as they can no longer stand on their "legs", spread further on the ground. Perennial Clematis plants cannot climb, as they have no climbing organs. You can guide your perennial Clematis very well in the desired direction and thus easily cover a few square metres in the garden. If you want the plants to be high, then you need to tie up each individual shoot. In autumn, they die back above the ground. The perennial Clematis plants and wild forms, in contrast to the large-flowered hybrids, mostly produce decorative, fluffy infructescences. They are formed after flowering and last until the winter.

Perennial Clematis plants form many more shoots from the base, they have much more leaf mass and are therefore better suited for a screen than other types of Clematis. For a screen, we always recommend using a combination of, for example, an evergreen climbing ivy together with a Clematis.

Scented Clematis

The biodiversity of the Clematis is truly incredible. There are even Clematis plants for the fragrance lovers amongst you. In our Lubera garden shop, we have put together a wide range of scented Clematis varieties: Clematis 'Grandiflora' and Clematis 'Tetrarose' with a delicate and delicious vanilla fragrance, Clematis triternata Rubromarginata with a strong but pleasant almond scent, Clematis tangutica 'Golden Tiara' with a light coconut scent and Clematis montana Wilsonii with a scent of hot chocolate...just order and smell!

The Varieties Of Italian Clematis Viticella

Clematis viticella is a variety which starts to grow on one-year-old shoots. The Viticellas should be cut back to 30-40 cm, then they grow stronger and bloom more lushly. If you do not cut back the shoots radically at the top of the plant, they will go bare and the flowering will not be as abundant, since there will be plenty of new, long shoots to feed. The best time to prune is in late winter. The the dreaded Clematis wilt is hardly ever present with these varieties.

Clematis From The Texensis Group

Clematis texensis 'Duchess of Albany', 'Princess Diana', 'Princess Kate' and 'Prince Charles' from our garden shop are true rarities; they are unproblematic and not susceptible to mildew in general. In contrast to perennial Clematis, they climb alone.

They bloom on new shoots quite late, when the Clematis viticella is slowly starting to flower.

The shoots should be cut to 20 cm in late autumn/winter. And very early in the year, they sprout out of the ground, often in February, even in frosty weather, which is why the new plant often needs to be protected for a while, otherwise these shoots rot. A tip from us: place a transparent (orchid) pot with air holes, fixed with a thin bamboo stake, on top.

Spectacular Fruits

Most Clematis bloom throughout the summer until autumn, some species of clematis begin in the spring. When the Clematis flowers have faded, the fleshy petals fall off and clumps remain of the fruit stalks, which then unfold. These hairy infructescences are exceptionally attractive in the winter with ice and snow.

The Hairy Fruit Decoration

Particularly noticeable are the seeds with lint on the Common Clematis. In England this is known as "old man's beard". This hairy decoration can also be found on other Clematis species. Clematis alpina or Clematis orientalis also show beautiful infructescences. Clematis infructescences are ideal for floristry and are an eye-catcher in every floral decoration. They are especially popular and sought-after in the run-up to Christmas. Woven into a Christmas wreath they look delicate and provide a pure Christmas mood due to their similarity to soft, fluffy snow.

A Combination Of Perennials And Clematis

Clematis plants are sunbathers, but they like to shade their feet and feel cool. The root area of ​​the Clematis plants must be kept absolutely shady. Various groundcovers are sufficient for shading the roots.

Lots Of Foliage & Only A Few Florets

A Clematis needs a couple of years to get to its full form, but from year to year the shoots get longer and blooms more bountiful. Most important to remember is this: no fertiliser means no flowers. For Clematis in a pot: dissolve 1 scoop (20 g) of Frutilizer® Instant Bloom in 10 L of water every four weeks for each Clematis and apply. Alternatively, a long-term fertiliser such as the Frutilizer® Seasonal Fertiliser Plus can also be applied in the spring. With Clematis planted straight into the ground, you can also apply composted poultry manure to stimulate flowering. This contains phosphorus and stimulates the plant to grow flowers. However, this should only be used in the first few years, in the spring of each year. If you do not fertilise, especially with many Clematis from pruning group 2, the second flowering will fail.

How Can I Tell If A Clematis Has To Be Tied Up?

All Clematis montana, hybrids, viticella, texensis and tangutica climb themselves. They use the leaves as a climbing aid.

But many perennial Clematis, e.g integrifolia and heracleifolia, do not have this growing habit. Perennial Clematis plants grow in a similar way like roses or blackberries . With the help of long shoots they stretch into the air; when the shoots become too heavy, the Clematis can tilt over trees, bushes and hedges.

Clematis Wilt

Clematis wilt is triggered by Phoma fungi. Phoma can penetrate the plant by splashing water from the soil's surface or by kinking, chafing, snail-eating. The Phoma fungus penetrates through the soil and also the roots. The disease can be recognised by brown spots on the leaves or the roots.

Another fungus, the Alternaria fungus, makes brown to black spots on the leaves and shoots. However, this fungus is less "aggressive" and usually does not cause much damage. Phoma leaf spot can be recognised by the numerous, small, black fungal fruiting bodies on the dead tissue and the Alternaria mold by the black, velvety surface. Wild clematis such as Clematis montana or Clematis alpinas, unlike Clematis hybrids, are rarely infested with Phoma because they are capable of preventing the deep penetration of the fungus. Only the large-flowered Clematis hybrids are usually attacked.

The best way to avoid Clematis wilt is by choosing the correct location. If the Clematis is in a sunny location, the foliage can dry quickly; the fungus cannot spread on a dry leaf. When planting with low perennials, the foot of the Clematis always remains moist and cool and the Clematis can develop into a vigorous, resistant plant. In addition, outdoor crops should not be fertilised too much because Clematis plants tolerate only little nitrogen.

Should your Clematis fall prey to Clematis wilt, then cut the plant down to 30 cm and do not be sad; most of the time the plant recovers the following year. But do not forget to disinfect the clippers.

And here's a tip: plant the Clematis deep, 5-10 cm deeper than how they were delivered in the pot. This allows Clematis plants to have enough reserve material protected under the soil and in case of an unexpected pruning after the Clematis wilt, there are still enough reserves for the plant to fully sprout again the next year.

Pruning

With Clematis, there are big differences in the pruning time and the type of cut.

Pruning group 1

This pruning group includes all Clematis plants that form their flower buds on the previous year's wood: the alpine Clematis (Clematis alpina) and the anemone Clematis Clematis montana. These wild species and their varieties do not need regular pruning. They can be cut if they have grown too large or if they produce less flowers over time. A strong pruning is best done after flowering, in late May. This group also includes Clematis macropetala 'Markhams Pink', Clematis macropetala Maidwell Hall or Clematis montana tetrarose. The associated Clematis species are also called "Clematis Atragene". They prefer horizontal growth and love to lie comfortably and undisturbed on trees, hedges and bushes.

Pruning group 2

Pruning group 2 includes the Clematis types which flower twice a year. In May/June, the flowers appear on the wood of the previous year and in August/September they bloom on this year's wood. Almost all large-flowered Clematis hybrids bloom twice a year. It is best to cut only half of the shoot length in the winter. Then there is still enough of the previous year’s shoots for a spring bloom. Since the large-flowered hybrids, in comparison to the wild species, grow rather quickly if they are not cut, one should do some strong pruning every 4-5 years. Then once again you can prune in autumn to 30 cm, which will produce lush flowering in June/July.

Pruning group 3

Pruning group 3 includes all varieties that bloom only in the summer, meaning they form flowers exclusively on one-year-old shoots. These are primarily the perennial Clematis and Clematis texensis. They die off above ground, so that only the dead shoots have to be removed. Also Clematis viticella and their varieties, the gold Clematis (Clematis tangutica) and all Evison Clematis are assigned to pruning group 3. For these Clematis plants this means a strong pruning in needed in order to promote the formation of long, new shoots with numerous, large flowers. In early winter, the shoots of these Clematis varieties can be shortened to 30-50 cm. If you do not cut back the Clematis of pruning group 3, they will gradually become bare and lose their splendour.

Is Clematis Poisonous?

The Clematis is poisonous for animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, rabbits, horses, cows, sheep, goats, etc. and the consumption of the clematis (family: Ranunculaceae) can end in death, however only in larger quantities. Most of the time, the animals instinctively spit out the Clematis plants. The toxin in the plant can cause inflammation in humans and animals when the plant sap comes into contact with the skin.

Clematis As A Medicinal Plant

In homeopathy, the wild-growing Clematis species (Clematis vitalba / Clematis recta) are used for lymph node inflammation and skin diseases as well as gonorrhoea. The plants were traditionally also used for skin diseases, such as eczema, rheumatic complaints and gout. The fresh leaves of Clematis vitalba are used for varicose vein ulcerations.

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