Clematis - Not So They Are Finches
Beginners often think that the cultivation of clematis is available only to skilled florists, moreover, somewhere in the south or in the Baltic states. Fortunately, this is not so. Even in the most “uncomfortable” areas of the Non-Black Earth Region, the North-West of Russia, the Urals and Siberia, enthusiasts collect wonderful collections of clematis, experience new varieties and new methods of growing them.
For several years now, on my site near Naro-Fominsk - the coldest place in the suburbs - I have been doing clematis. Our conditions are far from paradise. And yet, every summer, clematis delight me with abundant and prolonged flowering.
Dates of clematis planting in the suburbs
A lot of controversy among clematis lovers raises the question of the timing of planting. I was convinced by long experience that the most favorable time for this is the late autumn for the Moscow Region. It is then that clematis is least vulnerable. The plant went into a dormant state and prepared for winter.
If the planting of clematis is postponed for some reason in the spring, I do it until the buds start growing or just begin to swell. This is the end of April - the beginning of May.
In extreme cases, clematis can be transplanted in the summer, after waiting for the lumbering of the shoots. In this case, I cut off the overgrown shoots. In addition, with a spring-summer transplant, I do not fill the landing hole to the brim, but leave it 5-10 cm unfilled. And I fill it gradually, as the shoots are lignified.
Choosing a Place for Clematis
In nature, clematis lives in the undergrowth. Therefore, he has rather peculiar habits: the roots need cool and moist soil, and the leaves and flowers need the sun. As an undergrowth plant, he is not so afraid of the competition of the roots of other plants. That's why I plant a vine with tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses. In spring, during the onion bloom, clematis are almost invisible. But time passes, and the early spring flowering relay is passed to them. These creepers feel great near peonies, but there should be at least 2-5 m to the tree trunk.
For clematis, it is preferable to be rich in humus, fertile sandy loam or loamy soils with a slightly acid reaction (pH = 5.6-6.5). They suffer greatly from getting wet in areas with close occurrence of subsoil waters. In waterlogged soils, clematis lack air, plants perish.
Over the years, land plots have been allocated under the plots. So in my area, located in the floodplain of a small rivulet, at one time sank and champed the ground. The most reliable way to drain excess water is to install ditches and drainage. But you can plant clematis on high ridges. However, in winter, such landings require more reliable shelter. In any case, it is desirable to arrange drainage of gravel or broken brick (at least 25 cm) at the bottom of the landing pit.
The choice of varieties of clematis for the suburbs
Beginners often think that in areas with a “mild” climate only clematis varieties and hybrids that bloom profusely on the shoots of the current year (Jackmani, Vititsella, Integrifolia groups) succeed. Indeed, in the suburbs, the varieties Anastasia Anisimova, Hagley Hybrid, Gypsy Queen, Golden Jubilee, Ville de Lyon, Cosmic Melody, Victory Salute, Blue Flame have proven themselves perfectly. Polish Varshavyanka, Madame Baron Vilar, Victoria, Tuchka, Nikolai Rubtsov, Mephistopheles and others. Before shelter for the winter, these shoots cut off all shoots to the first leaf (20-30 cm) or to the soil level. Hilling the bush with dry soil or peat (plus snow in winter) will reliably protect the kidneys from freezing.
With more caution, beginners treat the clematis of Patens groups. Florida and Lanuginoza. But in vain! After all, they bloom twice: the first time - a month before the clematis of the Jackmani, Vititzella and Integrifolia groups, and the second - from the end of summer until late autumn. In addition, they have graceful flowers with unusual colorful accents. How joyful it will be on a warm day of Indian summer with the exquisite Gladstone or the solemnly white Jeanne d’Arc, graphic Marcel Moser and the lotus-like pale pink Fair Rosamund!
Clematis shelter for the winter
Since the first flowering of clematis of these groups occurs on last year's lashes, and the second - on newly grown ones, their shelter for the winter requires a little trick. Before the onset of constant frost, I shorten the stems to 1 m, removing weak and broken ones. The base of the bush is mulched with dry earth or peat. I remove the scourges from the support, turn them around and put them around the bush. The simplest and most affordable shelter for clematis is an inverted fruit box. I lay a dry sheet or spruce under it, and cover the bottom of the box, which now serves as a roof, with plastic wrap or roofing felt. In winters with little snow, I additionally rake in the snow.
It is important to cover well, but it is just as important to take cover in the right time and in the spring. First, I remove the film or roofing material, box, then dry leaves or needles, and only then a layer of mulch. This layer, 5-7 cm high, remains on clematis for the longest time and protects the swollen buds from spring temperature changes and bright sunlight. There is a danger that the clematis buds will rush to grow ahead of time, until the soil in the depths have warmed up and the roots are not able to work well. And as a result, the plant may die.
It happens this way: due to the alternation of thaws and late frosts, an ice layer forms on the soil. Do not be mulch, this ice can break the roots and damage the base of the clematis bush. Such damaged plants, if they do not die at all, then grow back 2-4 weeks late, which affects flowering not in the best way. Protects from frost and deep landing clematis, when the tillering center is located at a depth of at least 10-15 cm.
Author: V. Zorina