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Clematis Instructions

How to grow your Daring Adventurers

When to Plant

  • Clematis can be planted whenever the ground is workable. If planting in summer, water enough to keep roots moist and cool, but remember it is important to have proper drainage so as not to drown plant in standing water.

Where to Plant

  • Select a location with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day and good rich loam soil.
  • Clematis roots like to be cool and damp. The vines need something to climb on. You could plant annuals around the roots or select the shady side of a fence where vines can climb into the sunlight.
  • You can also plant your Clematis just outside the drip line of a tree and train it towards the trunk for a unique look growing through the limbs adding color to your landscape.

How to Plant

Remove poly wrapping before planting

  • Loosen the soil to a depth and width of 18 inches to provide proper conditions for maximum root growth. If your soil is too heavy, loosen by mixing evenly with peat moss before planting.
  • Support the plants as Clematis prefers to have its tops and leaves up in the air and light. When planting at the base of fence or trellis it is a good idea to carefully attach new growth to a bamboo or similar cane to help train the vine towards its new home.
  • If you are planting in a container, special care should be given to choosing the right pot and support. Avoid metal and other materials that conduct heat. Use a tripod of stakes or an appropriate size trellis. Choose a potting soil that provides the needed drainage and moisture retention.


  • Begin feeding when new shoots begin to grow. A good compost mulch or the recommended amount of general purpose fertilizer is sufficient. Apply fertilizer and lime once or twice a season.
  • Mulch during the summer with peat moss, straw, grass clippings and the like to retain moisture in the soil.
  • When new flower buds are well formed, discontinue feeding until flowering has finished. Discontinue feeding mid-August, the plant needs time to slow growth and prepare for dormancy.
  • In extremely dry weather water from time to time.


  • During the first spring and summer, it’s best to pinch out the growing tips periodically. This will limit flowering the first year but will promote root development and produce a bushier, healthier plant.
  • Allow the plants to become established in the first year or two after planting. During this time trim early spring by cutting out old wood or prune to about 2 feet above the ground.
  • Once your Clematis is established, remove dead and weak stems in early spring then trim the remaining stems 5-8 inches to a strong pair of leaf buds.
  • Incorrect pruning will never kill an established Clematis, only reduce the number of flowers.


  • Winter protect your Clematis by pulling soil up around the stems and covering with leaves, straw, or other loose material.