Monday, April 14, 2008

Clematis are Blooming

Clematis are in bloom in the gardens this month. They are such lovely vines and soooo finicky to grow. I belonged to the Clematis Society for many years and they do a good job of educating the gardeners in Southern California on the correct way to plant and care for these beauties.

Here are a few critical elements that are necessary to grow them successfully that I have found work for me in my garden:
- Plant them deep. Dig a hole deep enough so that the top of the dirt in the pot is about two or three inches below the surface once they are in the ground.
-Handle them carefully when planting. Their stems are very brittle and fragile and I have lost more than one plant by accidently snapping the main stem while planting.
-The roots are very sensitive to disturbance. I sometimes just plant the pot and all to avoid disturbing the roots or breaking the stems. You also might try to cut the plastic pot away instead of pulling the plant out of the pot.
-They like cool roots, but they need sunlight to bloom. Planting them where they are protected from the heat of the day is wise. Another plant that spreads out planted in the ground nearby will protect the stems and provide shade for the roots.

For more information on Clematis see my squidoo lens at:

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