Where to plant clematis?

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by lily, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    I just bought a new house and this spring I would like to plant a clematis but I have no idea what side of the house to plant it on? East? West? North? South? Also, I haven't the faintest idea what kind of clematis to buy. I'm not an avid gardener but I love clematis. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    These all need good drainage, a cool root run and something to climb on. Wild species often start out beneath taller shrubs and trees and grow up onto them, the bottom of the vine being shaded and the top getting into the sun. In gardens in this region protection from slugs may also be required, these being apt to attack both old and new stems, killing entire existing branches near the ground or preventing new shoots from developing.

    Popular large-flowered garden hybrids also prone to clematis wilt. Wild species from various lands and their primary hybrids much easier to keep going and also easier to integrate into informal plantings, but few produce the dramatic display of the large-flowered hybrids. Both general categories include different kinds with a range of potential heights, be sure to select one that will be likely to fit the space you have available.
     
  3. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There is such a bewildering variety of clematis out there that in your position I would start at the local nursery and see what they have available (right now, that won't be much, but wait a couple of months for new stock to come in). Read the tags, come home and type the names into an internet search and read up on them (or get a clematis book from the library; more comfy to read).

    Also, if I understand your question correctly, whether it's a good idea to plant vines up your house is a question you should consider carefully. If the house needs periodic maintenance (eg painting) you will need to cut the clematis down and remove the trellis to do so. Clematis look bad in winter, so you may want to be able to access the area to trim once a year. Also, where will it go once it has reached the top of the trellis? Hopefully not into the house under the eaves (Perle d'Azur went into my garage that way) or other opening. Clematis can grow quite nicely on vigorous shrubs or trees, and you might consider that as an alternative, or a trellis placed away from the house. A few rocks at the base will keep the base adequately cool in most cases.

    As for aspect, I've had several clematis bloom in considerable shade, although they obviously bloom more generously in more sun. The only thing I would avoid is full shade, which is most obviously to be found on the north exposure of the house. The shadow of the house does recede in summer as the sun climbs, and the morning or evening sun may still find that part of the yard to some extent. I think the west side of the north face likely gets too little sun for clematis, with the sun on other faces being adequate, depending on shade from other structures and trees.
     
  4. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron and Karin..Happy New Year to you both and thank you for taking the time to help me out with the Clematis. Your ideas and suggestions have given me some ideas. I think I'll investigate it a little more now since there are so many varieties and learned there are different kinds of pruning methods for clematis. There is soooo much to learn about them. I just think they are beautiful in people's gardens and have always wanted to grow one. If it gets too tall, can't you simply cut it back a bit? I'm curious... How are clematis for getting aphids?
     
  5. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Aphids haven't been a problem in my experience, just the odd bout of Clematis wilt as Ron mentioned, though the plants have always recovered in a subsequent year. You can certainly trim to keep them in control as necessary, all the different types can be cut down quite far and will recover. Do keep in mind that they are not precisely gorgeous in winter...

    Happy new year to you too, and happy reading!
     
  6. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Karin,
    Thanks very much for answering my questions. Yes, I like your idea of browsing around at the nurseries in a couple of months, finding ones I like and researching them before I purchase any. All my best,
    Lily
     
  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    different varieties have different needs. some do better in different spots (north, west, south or east), some don't do well in the higher and lower planting zones and there are different pruning requirements for different ones.

    ALL need to have their roots well-protected as none of them like too much heat on the roots - you can plant something in front of the clem to provide shade so that requirement is easy enough to deal with :)

    to really answer your question properly, we'd need to know which particular variety you are interested in. also, what zone are you in?
     

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