The Many Uses Of Clematis Vines In The Garden

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This article provides suggested uses for Clematis vines in the landscape and garden
by Brett · All Zones · Vine Plants · 0 Comments · February 25, 2014 · 4,844 views

With the exception of a few shrub varieties, which are generally used as border plants or in container gardens, most clematis are climbing vines. Among the many varieties of clematis available in the market today, you'll find a wide range of sizes growing from 3 feet or so to over 20 feet in height (length). These versatile climbers can be used in a variety of interesting ways in the garden, adding a vertical dimension and extending periods of interest.

Trellises

Clematis can be planted to grow on a free-standing trellis or on a trellis against a wall.

Free-Standing Trellises and Partitions
Free-standing trellises are useful as dividers between different spaces in the garden or can be useful as a screen to block an unwanted view. When using a free-standing trellis make sure it's constructed of good quailty. I recommend steel, iron or a sturdy plastic or synthetic material that will hold up better over the long term.

Space clematis vines about every two feet or so along a free-standing trellis. Plant vines a foot or so away from the base of the trellis. After planting, push thin bamboo stakes into the soil near the root ball and angle them towards the trellis. Secure each shoot of the vine to these stakes using garden twine.
Allow these shoots to grow vertically up the trellis and tie in side-shoots to fill in the gaps.

Trellis Against a Wall
You can grow clematis on a trellis placed agaoinst a wall. Alternatively, instead of using a prefabricated trellis, you can create a network of wires that are attached to a wall. The wires should be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart both horizontally and vertically, or you can create a pattern of your choice: round, triangle, etc.

As the soil at the base of a wall can sometimes be very dry, it's a good idea to add plenty of organic matter to the soil removed from the planting hole. Peat moss works well to help retain moisture in soil. If possible, plant your clematis vine so that the roots will be outside the eave or gutter line of your home's roof. This way the roots will get moisture from rainfall.

Space clematis vines every two or so feet along a trellis. Plant vines a foot or so away from the base of the trellis. After planting, push thin bamboo stakes into the soil near the root ball and angle them towards the trellis. Secure each shoot of the vine to these stakes using garden twine.
Allow these shoots to grow vertically up the trellis and tie in side-shoots to fill in the gaps.

Up and Over an Arch or Along the Top of a Fence

Clematis are the perfect choice for growing over small arches, along the top of a fence or on a chain link fence, where no extra support will be required. Just make sure you select a variety that will grow tall enough to cover the structure. Also keep in mind that clematis vines can only cling to supports that are no more than 1/2-inch in diameter. If your arch or fence has large posts or panels you'll need to string up a wire from the top to the bottom using nails or screws and wire.

Plant one clematis vine on each side of an arch or on each fence post. If it is a wide arch you might want to plant one vine on each corner. Plant vines 6 to 12 inches away from the base of the arch or post. After planting, push thin bamboo stakes into the soil near the root ball and angle them towards the arch or post. Secure each shoot of the vine to these stakes using garden twine. Allow these shoots to grow vertically up the arch poles, fence posts or wires.

Up Trees and Through Shrubs

Clematis can be useful to climb up through the branches of small trees and shrubs.

Plant clematis, still attached to their cane, at a 45-degree angle from the host tree or shrub to help direct growth. Remember when planting that it will grow towards the light so plant on the shadier side of the host plant so that the vine will grow through to get to the light. Allowshoots to scramble freely into the supporting shrub and continue to tie new growth from the base of the clematis onto the cane. If the branches of the shrub or tree are less than 1/2-inch in diameter the vine should attach itself. Otherwise, on trunks of trees and larger branches it may be necessary to provide support using wires. Many clematis go very well with shrub or climbing roses and small flowering trees such as crape myrtle.

Up a Mailbox Post, Pole, or Sheperd Hook

Clematis are great for planting on poles and posts. Turn that unsightly utility pole into a live, flowering coloumn! If the pole or post is more than 1/2-inch in diameter, which most are, you'll need to use wires and nails or screws attached from top to bottom for the vines to cling to. Plant vines 6 to 12 inches away from the base of the post or pole. After planting, push a thin bamboo stake into the soil near the root ball and angle it towards the pole. Secure the shoots of the vine to the stake and then the pole or wire using garden twine.

In Containers

There are many compact varieties of clematis ideal for use in medium- to large-size containers. If the variety is vining, use a small trellis panel or cage for support and stand the pot against a wall for extra support. Obelisk or columnar shape iron trellises work well for free-standing containers.

In Home Foundation Plantings

There are several applications for clematis in home foundation plantings. You can use the vines to grow along the porch or deck railiings or to frame in entryways. Grow them on a trellis flat against an open wall or between windows. Use them to grow up and disguise a gutter spout. Grow them up and through small trees or shrubs.




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