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Cut and maintain clematis
Cut and maintain clematis
Video: Cut and maintain clematis
Video: HOW TO PRUNE CLEMATIS 2023, February

The climbing wonder Clematis, also known as forest vine, shows its varied flowers from April onwards and, as a vigorous climber and hedge plant, is perfect for anyone who can hardly wait for some color on the balcony or in the garden.

After the cloudy and gray days we long for flowers. The Clematis is a perfect companion in spring, which you can plant equally well in pots and beds. The name Clematis comes from the Greek word Klema and means "flexible tendril". For us, the Clematis forest vine is called, because the native species Clematis vitalba mainly grows on forest edges and in bushes. More than 200 species are native to temperate areas. At the beginning of the 17th century, the graceful, Italian Clematis viticella was the first to see foreign species of forest vines in Central Europe. In the 19th century, collectors brought plants and seeds from China, Japan and North America. The first large-flowered varieties were bred in England.

A species-rich plant for many locations

There are evergreen, hardy plants that bloom from April, as well as species that bloom late in summer and shed their leaves in winter. The either double or simple flowers of the forest vine are often shown in blue, pink, violet or white, but two-tone variants are also possible through modern breeding. All varieties are extremely floriferous and can colorfully plant garden walls, sheds or climbing frames in no time.

Considerations before buying

One clematis stretches ten meters into the sky, the other reaches a maximum of one meter. One blooms in June, the other into October. One does not like northern locations at all, the other feels comfortable everywhere. Buy a clematis that also fits where it should be planted. The table provides a little orientation.

The most beautiful clematis varieties

Type, variety height Heyday Location

Clematis alpina / montana

to ten meters April / May to June any location
Miss Bateman to two meters June, after-bloom in September any location
Clematis alpina up to 2.5 meters April and May any location
Clematis viticella up to four meters July to September no north facing
Clematis tibetana ssp. vernay to five meters July to October no north facing
Clematis macropetala to three meters May and June everyone

A whisper of heaven with trellis

The forest vine climbs with the help of so-called twisting lianas. These petioles transformed into tendrils are strikingly long and are looking for a hold so that the plant gains stability. If house walls and walls are not suitable for this, wooden sticks, a frame or tensioned ropes are a good choice. In order to let the plant grow in the desired direction, the shoots sometimes have to be guided a little.

Pot or bed?

Clematis are often offered in small pots. They are relatively cheap then, but take longer to bloom profusely. If the plant is very weak, it should first gather strength in a larger pot before it comes into the garden. Garden centers usually carry the well-known and proven range. You can get special varieties from specialized mail order nurseries.

Flower group for garden fence and facade

The forest vine can be used in a variety of ways: For example, to bring structure into the garden, or as greenery for the garden fence. It picks up scaffolds that were used for a desired separation, forms spots of color in the hedge or simply beautifies a bed with tendril support. She is particularly popular as a fence guest, because with her magical flowers she replaces many a monotonous green. Use the clematis according to your shape, there are no limits to your imagination if you strictly adhere to the preferences of your copy (see table above).

Kletternde Clematis
Kletternde Clematis

The either double or simple flowers of the forest vine are often shown in blue, pink, violet or white, but two-tone variants are also possible through modern breeding.

Photo: BdB / Horst Herzig Photodesign


The following applies to all Clematis species and varieties: They prefer to be light to partially shaded, and extremely sunny, hot southern locations are difficult to tolerate. The soil must be permeable and rich in nutrients. In summer, the plants need a lot of water, which must not accumulate in the soil. A clematis doesn't like hot feet. You should therefore cover the planting site with some bark mulch or plant it with a low plant. Lavender, heather, cinquefoil or shrub veronica are suitable for this. You can also plant clematis in tubs. Choose glazed clay pots, buckets made of frost-resistant terracotta, stone or wood with a diameter of at least 30 centimeters and a height of 40 centimeters.

Plant clematis

It is best to plant clematis in autumn and spring. Dig a hole about 40 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters deep and fill in a little well-rotted compost or manure. In addition, two handfuls of full organic fertilizer, this creates ideal conditions. Place the root ball in the water for ten minutes before digging it in so that it soaks up properly. Place the root ball about five centimeters below the edge of the hole, paying attention to the delicate, delicate roots. Shall the clematis on a wall vine, tilt the plant and support rod slightly in this direction. The earth is well pressed. Don't forget, the Clematis is a vine, provide climbing equipment. The grapevine also looks beautiful in a bucket. This should be at least 30 centimeters in diameter and 40 centimeters high and preferably made of wood or clay. Plastic too badly keeps heat and cold away from the roots. A drainage of gravel or expanded clay prevents water build-up.

The clematis loves it moist


All Clematis varieties are extremely floriferous and can clad walls, scales or climbing frames in a flash.

Photo: PdM

During the growing season (April to August) you need to water abundantly. A watering can (ten liters) every eight days is not too much. During this time, you can also give some organic fertilizer every week. Stop flowering as soon as flowering begins, otherwise the plant will bloom for less. You should tie young shoots with a little bast, otherwise the whole plant will eventually collapse into a single ball. In many parts of the country it gets very cold in winter. There the plant must be additionally protected with straw or brushwood.

Cut the clematis correctly

Clematis are cut regularly, for the first time immediately after planting, or in late November if they were planted in the fall. Cut the clematis back to 25 centimeters. All other cuts are determined based on when the plants bloom. Spring flowers are not cut, they only remove dead or weak shoots after flowering. In early summer bloomers, cut the tips of the remaining shoots 10 to 20 centimeters back to the next leaf ax bud in addition to the weak and dead shoots. The summer bloomers are cut back to about 20 centimeters in autumn. The next year the plant will flower at eye level. You can also cut back only a part of the shoots and leave other parts longer, then the new flowers are distributed over the entire length of the plant.

Pests and diseases

Plants that have been carefully planted and well cared for can defend themselves against pests relatively well. Nevertheless, snails like to eat the young plants. You can easily collect the snails in the morning or in the evening. Occasionally lice appear on the undersides of the leaves. Soapy water or "pest-free natures" help against this. The clematis wilt is notorious. The fungus attacks the plant close to the ground, usually through a damaged area on the stem. It blocks the sap flow and the plant dies. You can then only cut the shoots to the ground and destroy them. There is hardly anything you can do about this fungus, so make sure when buying that all the shoots are undamaged. Powdery mildew and gray mold can also affect plants. The affected parts must also be removed and destroyed.

Watch out

All parts of Clematis contain a skin irritant. You should wear gloves if you have sores on your hands. Also, do not chew leaves or stems.

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