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Clematis: Growing Tips

August 24, 1996|KAREN DARDICK

Edith Malek of Irvine, who founded the Southern California Clematis Society, offers these tips on how to grow clematis:

* Select a site with at least five or six hours of sun. Inland, plant pastel colored varieties in bright shade.

* Dig a hole 24 inches by 24 inches if soil is clay or adobe, 18 by 18 inches if soil is sandy. Add compost or soil amendment to two-thirds of the excavated soil. Cut the can in which the clematis plant was grown and gently remove root ball. Keep the stake attached to the very fragile vines.

* Plant so that root ball is three to five inches below the soil line from its position in the container and gently replace the amended soil. Tamp soil firmly with your hands.

* Mulch with a 3- to 4-inch layer of peat moss or azalea and camellia mix over the root zone, being careful to keep mulch away from crown or stems to avoid rot.

* Water regularly and thoroughly, especially in hot weather.

* Fertilize every four to six weeks during the growing and flowering season with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer.

* Prune according to variety.

* Provide support for the rapidly growing vines.

* Clematis can also be grown in large containers, with supports.

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