The Gardener’s Corner

The Gardener’s Corner

How to grow and care for a clematis

Several years ago, I started getting into clematis.

The clematis is a genus of about 300 species and a garden standby since 1862. It is a climbing plant of the buttercup family.

In southern British Columbia, we had many colours to choose from, but most cannot grow here.

Clematis is a bit difficult plant and tricky to grow. When all the necessary steps are taken, you will have a much-appreciated display.

This shrub requires full sun, except the first 18 inches must be in the shade, or it will die. To create those 18 inches of shade, I have often planted peonies or Dahlias.

When planting, make sure the hole is about two by two feet and filled with good soil, but allow for the root to travel three to four feet.

This shrub must never dry out. During the growing season, please give it some liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Grow every two weeks.

The clematis can quickly grow up to 12 feet with the proper support structure.

Privacy was of the primary concern for me, but if you are creative, nearly anything is possible. Clematis can climb mesh wire on a wall, tall fences and also be extremely attractive climbing up a two by two-inch post wrapped with chicken wire. This post should be set in concrete.

I have even stretched a wire from the top of a two-by-two-inch post horizontally, just above eight feet height, to some other object. The clematis, with some help, will follow that wire and grow to the other end.

Since the root system is very shallow, lack of moisture will probably do the clematis the most harm. One way to prevent this can be to use a moisture meter. This tool should be a standard tool for any serious gardener. One should use it before and after watering.

When the clematis gets established, pruning is unavoidable. This shrub likes to spread, so trim the new growth back after each blooming.

After some years, when the shrub doesn’t have many flowers four to five feet from the ground, it has what I call “gone woody.”

After it has bloomed the first time in the spring, cut the clemtais down to one foot from the soil, leaving only one stem. This job requires a lot of patience because every piece of the shrub has to be cut out.

If this isn’t done, the shrub will die. After a couple of weeks, new growth will emerge from the old stem, and a brand new clematis will soon appear.

When the clematis is well-established, the seeds from the flowers get blown around and I will find new plants showing up here and there.

Then I have to find unique places to put them. It might be a dead tree or a fence post. B

By using the above guidelines, your company will admire your creativity.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Dease Lake Airport is receiving $11-million in upgrades funded by the province, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and mining companies. (British Columbia Aviation Council)
Major upgrades coming to Dease Lake Airport

Airport to receive $11-million from the province, regional district and mining companies

Dianna Plouffe, right, with Mayor Gladys Atrill in front of Town Hall following the announcement she will be the new CAO> (Facebook photo)
Director of corporate services named Smithers CAO

Dianna Plouffe replaces Alan Harris who is retiring at the end of April

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Witset. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read