Monday, 2 March 2009

feeding clematis

Clematis are one of our most popular garden plants. They have the advantage of having lovely flowers and being able to scramble through other plants to provide flower in that area of the garden when flowering may have normally finished.

Clematis are members of the ranunculacae family and like lots of fertility and love damp conditions. We garden on dry, sandy soil, but clematis will flourish if they can be provided with a shady place for their roots to run - and plant food.

Now is the time to feed clematis with a high nitrogen fertiliser. Well-rotted manure, is of course, the one the books advise. But very few of us are lucky enough to have stacks of that to hand. I use pelletised chicken manure and put a couple of good handfuls around the base of each clematis at this time of year.

Pictured is a clematis viticella v. sodatalje. Viticella's are pruned back hard each spring and then send vigorous shoots through the shrubs, bushes and trees to provide welcome flowers in high summer.

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