Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Not Really an Avalanche

Clematis are not a plant you see in every garden here in Southern California. It may be because they are a bit temperamental to grow and there are so many other colorful vines that do well and are very easy to grow that opt for their place. They are not drought tolerant, which may also be an issue for some gardens. I am always up for a challenge and have grown them for many years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I doubt I have spent more money on any other type of plant that I have so little to show for the expense than clematis. I still love them. One that does well for us here is an evergreen type with white flowers called 'Avalanche'. It is covered with an "avalanche" of blooms in the spring - usually. I have grown it successfully in Laguna and was quick to put it in my all white garden in SJC. This is the first year it is really blooming and is a bit disappointing so far. I'm afraid it may not be getting enough light. Or maybe not enough water. Or fertilizer. As I said, they can be a bit temperamental, but lovely all the same. I do have a Madagascar jasmine on the same trellis, so maybe that will take up the slack.

5 comments:

starlight said...

Oh, I love clematis! It grows fairly easily here though... Beautiful!

Kimberly said...

Sheila, I had clematis when I lived in Chicago...lovely!! But it doesn't do that well here in Florida. It truly IS an avalanche of color, though, isn't it?

Barry Parker said...

Hi Sheila,

By coincidence, I posted today on Clematis x cartmanii 'Joe' which is one of the parents of the hybrid 'Avalanche'. Here in Toronto I grow it in a cool greenhouse and have been rewarded with profuse blooms for the last two years.

Town Mouse said...

I've hear Clematis want their feet cool and their tendrils sunny. Wish I had spots like that in my garden...

Denise said...

Sheila, my experience with clems matches your exactly. The last remaining clems in my garden now are 'Joe,' a cartmanii, 'Betty Corning,' 'Juuli,' and possibly 'Petit Faucon' -- not a one doing all that great. Amazes me that the American Clem Society is based out of SoCal! I think adequate moisture is a big issue, at least in my garden.