Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Clem-AHH-tis.....KLEM-a-tis

This weekend I ordered Clematis..... LOTS OF CLEMATIS
These are just 8 of the 35! varieties we have coming in next week. Some are very tall growers, some are short and suitable for pots, all are cold hardy and will grow beautifully in your garden.  

Clematis in fact grow very well in our area if you follow a few simple steps. Plant in a spot with good drainage, where the vine will get 4-6 hours of sunlight, and mulch the soil heavily so the roots stay cool. THIS IS VITAL. What you use for mulch does not matter, match your landscape. It can be another shrub or river rocks or bark mulch. For good growth and health, the roots of Clematis must stay cool. To protect the crown, plant the root ball 1-2 " deeper than soil level. If your soil is poor, mix a bit of compost to the soil you dug out of the hole and back fill with this mixture. I like to top dress annually with compost as a fertilizer.

Here is a gardener's tip: Clematis wilt is a disease that can attack the plant right at ground level, not bothering the roots of the plants but causing the whole top to wilt,usually when it's in full flower! The best organic way to deal with wilt is to keep all that nice thick layer of mulch away from the stems. You can accomplish this by placing stones up next to the stems or making a collar from an old plastic pot and placing that around the stems and mulching up to it.



Photos courtesty of T&L Nursery, Inc.”



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