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Planting Clematis

When should I plant?

Ideally in the spring or autumn. If summer-planting is undertaken, extra watering will be vital as the plants are in full growth.
How should I plant?
  • Dig a large hole - at least twice the width of the pot in which the plant is growing and half as deep again.
  • Add some well rotted organic matter (compost, leaf mould, decayed manure etc) to the very base of the planting hole.
  • Water the plant in the container thoroughly. Carefully remove the plant and its cane support from the container and lower it into position (avoiding unnecessary disturbance to the root ball). Ensure that the surface of the root ball is at least 3" (7.5cm) below the level of the surrounding soil.
  • When the plant is in position, fill the area round the root ball with a mixture which is equal parts soil and potting compost.
  • Firm the soil/compost mixture around the root ball and fill the remaining space in the hole with soil. Firm the soil.
  • Place some more of the organic matter used in the bottom of the hole around the base of the plant - but keeping it away from the plant stem itself.
  • Water the plant well and allow the soil to settle. Top up with more soil if necessary.
  • Scatter a few slug pellets around the base of the plant to deter slugs and snails from having a feast on the emerging young shoots. Renew the pellets as and when necessary. (Take appropriate precautions if you have pets.)
After care
All newly-planted clematis must be well watered during dry weather and, particularly, during late spring and early summer. Plants will benefit from an application of bonemeal around the base when growth is vigorous. During the first year newly-planted clematis need no rich food, but water they must have by the gallon!
Adapted from BCS Fact Sheet No. 1 by Everett Leeds and Mary Toomey
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