Vines and Other Climbing Plants


There is an enormous range of Clematis offered for sale at every plant retail outlet with hundreds of different flower colours, sizes and shapes, but only a few varieties are actually scented with most having no trace of scent at all. One golden rule that every body quotes about Clematis is that they “Like their roots in the shade and their heads in the sun.” This may mean covering the ground around Clematis with broken clay pots, tiles, or even bricks etc, if the plant is in a very sunny spot.

Two main types of Clematis include Montanna, which are quick growing and early flowering, but have small flowers and Vitichelli, that generally have big flowers and are a little later flowering. Having said that there is also an evergreen variety starting to appear on sale called Armandii that has long oval shaped leavers as against the normal Clematis leaf shape. Clematis are generally good climbers growing quite happily up any sort of support and the more vigorous will even grow through trees to add a different dimension to a dull tree species. If a Clematis plant such as Montana is grown through a tree however, it may be necessary to thin out the growth periodically to prevent damage to the tree from strong winds with all the extra wind resistance offered by the leafy growth of the clematis. All types of Clematis are happy to be heavily pruned though, almost down to the ground and it also will help to maintain their vigour.

Clematis plants are not as easy to root from cuttings as some plants and most people find them easier to root from layering. This simply means pegging down a long shoot into the ground with a stick, or pushing the stem into the soil and then placing a large stone over it to hold it in place.

The main problem that affects Clematis, and can be totally devastating to them, is called “Clematis Wilt.” This causes the plants leaves to droop, or wilt before killing the plant. If a plant gets infected the best thing to do is destroy the plant by incineration, (Do not put it on a compost heap) and replant the space with another type of plant altogether. The soil will remain infected so you can’t simply replant with another healthy Clematis. With great care it is possible to excavate a large hole removing all of the infected soil and replace it with fresh, so that another Clematis can be planted in the same spot, but it is far simpler to put another type of climber in altogether that won’t be harmed by the contaminated soil.

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