Garden

Clematis - Clematis


Generalitа


belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, the Clematis or clematis is a genus of about 250 species of herbaceous or woody plants, deciduous or evergreen, rustic or not. The stems are very thin, often semi-woody, and produce thin tendrils with which they stick to walls, pergolas or trellises. The foliage is dark green, covered by a thin light hair. During the cold months most species lose their foliage. Some species have an abundant spring bloom, with large flowers in shades of pink and white, others, and above all many garden hybrids, begin flowering in late spring and continue until the arrival of autumn. The flowers are very large, generally simple, but sometimes double; the colors are shades of pink, blue and purple; there are species with yellow and white flowers. The clematis they are plants widespread in nature also in Europe and in Italy.

















































Family and gender
Buttercup
Type of plant and growth habit Perennial, climbing or creeping, deciduous (but there are evergreens)
Exposure Half shade, sun (not on the roots)
Rusticitа Rich, possibly alkaline and moist
Ground Rich, possibly alkaline and moist
colors White, pink, red, mauve, variegated
Flowering Spring, from spring to autumn for the rebirths
Height From 50 cm to 10 meters
Culture Moderately easy
Propagation Talea, offshoot, seed, layering
Culture Moderately easy
uses Climber, cover the ground.


Exposure



the plants of clematis they prefer very sunny locations, where they can receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day; if placed in an excessively shady place they generally do not produce flowers. For a luxuriant development it is advisable to keep the foot and the roots in a place protected from excessive sun and wind, so that the root system remains cool enough. The specimens of clematis they do not fear the cold, also because during the winter vegetative rest period they tend to completely lose the aerial part.

Watering



from spring to autumn water the clematis with regularity, so as to avoid periods of drought; clematis love a fairly humid climate. Mix the flowering water with flowering plants every 10-12 days.

Ground



They are grown in a good soft and cool soil, avoiding excesses of clay or peat, but preferring a soft substrate, rich in organic substance and with good drainage; they can also be grown in pots, remembering to repot them every two years.

Multiplication


The multiplication of clematis can occur by taking cuttings from the mother plant or by sowing. In the case of reproduction by cuttings, cuttings about 10/15 cm long will be taken, during the summer period, from semi-mature woody branches supplied with at least two buds at the base. The cuttings must be planted in multiplication boxes specially filled with a mixture of peat and sand. After rooting, care should be taken to place the plants in pots with a diameter of about 8 cm; it will be necessary to collect the pots in covered places and repair them in the winter period. In the following spring the plants will have to be repotted in slightly larger containers (about 11/13 cm in diameter), which can also be buried outdoors. The final planting will take place in autumn (October).
In the case of multiplication through sowing, the seeds of Clematis will be placed in small pots of 2/3 cm in March; once the sprouts have sprung up, the plants must be repotted in containers of 8 cm of diameter; the subsequent phases follow exactly what was previously said for cuttings multiplication.
Finally, another mode of multiplication, even if secondary, can occur by offshoot. In this case, in the period of March, the stems will be buried; rooting usually takes place in one year, after which the stems can be separated from the mother plant and planted separately.
As far as pruning is concerned, it should be pointed out that this is a very important operation for the Clematis so much that, if done incorrectly, it can lead to the cutting of the stems destined for the next flowering. Not to be forgotten is the fact that pruning must be limited to the case in which it is necessary to contain the development of the plant; otherwise, in general, Clematis does not require any pruning.

Pruning



clematis can be divided into two main groups, for each of which the intervention criteria are different. The first group regards the species with early flowering, which are characterized by a flowering that occurs on the stems matured in the previous season. In this case the pruning must take place strictly after flowering and care must be taken to eliminate the stems and dry branches. Pruning is to be practiced, in spring, before the flowering takes place, for the late species and for the varieties that develop the flowers exclusively on the branches matured in the current season. Also in this case the plant must be "cleaned" of the residual branches and dry stems of the previous season.

Parasites and Diseases


among the parasites that most commonly undermine the development of the Clematis, we remember the snails, the aphids, dangerous above all for the buds, and the small scissors, which damage the tepals and the leaves.
As for the diseases that often affect the Clematis, we mention the dryness, which involves the withering and death of the buds, and the white mal, which manifests itself as whitish mold on the flowers and leaves.

Description and origins



Clematis are plants originating from the entire northern hemisphere. They love temperate climates and are spontaneous throughout continental Europe, Asia and North America. These are mostly climbing or creeping plants characterized by very thin stems. The leaves are supported by twisting stems that cling to the supports. The leaves usually have an ovate or heart-shaped shape. The flowers have a very varied shape. Usually they are composed of very evident stamens in the center surrounded by 6-8 oval sepals. These can be very large (in horticultural hybrids) or smaller in species (viticella, vitalba, montana). Some species also have pendulous flowers (for example alpina, patens and texensis). They will be described more specifically in the paragraphs that will be dedicated to you individually.

Cultivation


Clematis are plants originating from the entire northern hemisphere. They love temperate climates and are spontaneous throughout continental Europe, Asia and North America. These are mostly climbing or creeping plants characterized by very thin stems. The leaves are supported by twisting stems that cling to the supports. The leaves usually have an ovate or heart-shaped shape. The flowers have a very varied shape. Usually they are composed of very evident stamens in the center surrounded by 6-8 oval sepals. These can be very large (in horticultural hybrids) or smaller in species (viticella, vitalba, montana). Some species also have pendulous flowers (for example alpina, patens and texensis). They will be described more specifically in the paragraphs that will be dedicated to you individually.

Planting



The clematis need a good rich, moist and alkaline soil. Planting is the most important phase. If done well, it will give us the opportunity to have healthy, luxuriant and floriferous plants.
You can proceed from autumn to spring by digging a hole that is at least 40 cm wide and deep. It is usually recommended to place a good organic fertilizer (manure or cornunghia) on the bottom. To this it is always good to add ash or a specific product against root rot. This will avoid the onset of wilt, the most serious problem for these plants.
At this point, after covering the fertilizer with a layer of soil, we can extract the plant from the pot and place it in the hole. It must be placed very deep: the ideal is to bury even the first two buds from below. This will give the plant the possibility of throwing new drums underground, becoming more vigorous and enduring even drastic pruning.
An excellent precaution is also to place, next to the plant, a rod or an empty tube (whose bottom, surrounded by a bit of gravel to prevent the earth from covering it, arrives near the roots). Once we have positioned it we can cover everything with earth (letting the top of the pipe come out of the ground). Naturally it will be necessary to compress the soil well and water abundantly. The pipe will be very useful because we will be able to make the irrigation water flow inside and make it arrive directly in the depth, at the roots (which need it very much), without dispersing around on the ground (and maybe being absorbed by other plants ).
It is recommended not to place the plants too close to a wall or a tree. Rather it is better to dig a hole diagonally at about 40 cm distance and bend the plant in the direction of the support. In this way the roots will have less dry soil and more space to grow.
Once planted it is good to shade the base with pebbles, tiles or other plants.

Irrigation


The clematis must live in an always fresh ground. They support the sun well (and this helps them to bloom), but require that their base remain constantly in the shade and very moist.
It is therefore necessary to irrigate frequently with large amounts of water. A good rule is to distribute two-thirds of them inside the tube that reaches the depth and one-third on the ground so as to give refreshment even to the most superficial roots.
Certainly in spring (in the absence of rain) it is good to provide at least two or three times a week with about 5 liters per intervention.
In summer you can also distribute 5 liters every day.

Composting



The clematis need continuous supply of nourishment. Without it we will have ever more sparse and smaller flowers. The ideal is to intervene before winter with the distribution of abundant mature manure around the foot of the plant. During the whole vegetative period it is instead important to intervene at least every fifteen days (even weekly, if desired) with a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants with a high potassium content. The ideal is to distribute it in the same way as the watering, then one part in the pipe that arrives in depth and the other on the surface of the ground.

Pruning


The purpose of pruning is to keep the plants healthy and to stimulate good production of leaves and especially flowers.
This differs depending on the species. There are usually three types:
- GROUP 1
They bloom in early spring, with small and abundant flowers. To this group belong the clematis alpina, montana and the evergreens (armandii).
Usually they do not need pruning. They just want to be cleaned of any dead branches. You can intervene in case you want to contain the exuberance.
After a few years a drastic pruning can be carried out (but not arriving on the wood) which will favor the birth of new stems and make the plant as a whole more ordered.
- GROUP 2
It is formed from modern hybrids with large flowers. These are re-flowering plants and therefore require targeted interventions. They bloom in the spring on the branches of the previous year and in autumn on the branches grown after the first flowering.
We must proceed in the spring (waiting for the plant to begin to vegetate) descending from above and cutting at the first vigorous bud.
We will proceed in the same way after the first flowering.
This encourages the issue of new branches and the production of larger flowers.
- GROUP 3
To this group belong the late-flowering clematis, those that bloom towards summer and autumn: clematis viticella, textensis, x jakmaniii, florida.
They bloom on new branches. It is necessary to prune in the spring starting from the bottom, in a rather drastic way, looking for the first two vigorous buds and cutting above them. The plant will soon begin to develop new branches.

Pests and diseases


They are usually quite healthy plants. The only serious problem from which they can be afflicted is the wilt, that is the dryness of the stem. Unfortunately, the cause is not yet completely clear, although it seems that it only affects the large flower hybrids and the plants grafted on clematis vitalba in a more severe way. If it occurs (we will notice a fast drying out of the plant) we have to intervene by cutting the plant near the ground and getting rid of the prunings as soon as possible. If the plant was deeply buried at the time of planting it will have no problem throwing new stems from the collar. It is however a rather rare disease and if it occurs once it will be difficult for it to happen again in our garden. Clematis can also be affected by phytophagous insects: they create an especially aesthetic damage. It is therefore possible to intervene in the spring by distributing a systemic insecticide or by contact and ingestion. It can also happen, since they love the clayey soil, that a leaf chlorosis appears. It is therefore necessary to intervene promptly with products based on chelated iron. In fact, this could compromise both growth and flowering.

Variety of clematis



Clematis vitalba
It can grow up to 12 meters and is very widespread in a spontaneous state in Italy to the point that it is considered a pest. It carries fragrant panicle inflorescences, composed of small cream flowers with a diameter of 1.5 cm.
Clematis viticella
Very widespread in Italy, it reaches 4 meters in height. It has saucer flowers with 4 or larger petals from blue to red.
Clematis alpina
It is native to Europe and northern Asia. In Italy it can be found spontaneously in the woods of the Alps and the Apennines. It has pendulous and solitary flowers composed of 4 sepals, usually on blue or pink. It flowers on the branches of the previous year.
Clematis montana
It is native to the Himalayas and came to Europe in the mid-1800s. It is a large climber that can reach up to 10 meters in height. It carries small but abundant 5-6 cm large flowers composed of white to pink sepals and evident yellow stamens.
Very healthy and prolific. It flowers only in spring and does not require pruning if not containment.
The rubens variety (and the derived cultivars) also have leaves that tend to purple bronze as the season progresses, making the plant decorative even in that season.
Clematis x jackmanii
Hybrid, blooms on new branches. Vigorous climber with dark green leaves with numerous flowers from purple to purple. They usually carry 4 sepals and are about 10 cm in diameter.
Clematis texensis
Originally from Texas, it can reach 4 meters in height. It is not very rustic. It produces solitary and pendulous flowers usually on red or scarlet.
Clematis Armandii
It is native to China and arrived in the West at the beginning of the 20th century. It is one of the rare perfumed and evergreen clematis. It is quite rustic, even if in Northern Italy it is advisable to cover it (and in any case it could become loose). If it grows in a warm position it can produce a very woody and large trunk at the base. The flowers have a bunch diameter of 5 cm, on the branches of the previous year. They are usually pink or white.
Apple blossom and Snowdrift varieties are very beautiful.

Clematis - Clematis: Little-known varieties of clematis



There clematis jackmanii It is a variety of clematis that differs from other varieties due to its deep purple flowers, enriched by the white color of its pistils in the central area of ​​the flower. This clematis develops in height up to 200/300 centimeters even if on average they are 1/2 m tall plants at our latitudes. The complete development of the clematis jackmanii it is reached from 2 to 5 years and is a plant that can be cultivated in the garden in the areas in full sun but also in partial shade.
This plant has no particular needs with regard to the soil and can live well on any type of soil. The flowering of jackmanii occurs from July to September depending on the area.