Clematis Care: Location, Nutrition, A Clematis Trellis

The name Clematis actually refers to many different species (and cultivars) of a climbing flowering plant in the genus of the same name. These climbing, flowering plants hail from the far East, and have spread around the world due to their relative hardiness, ease of care, and most importantly, their stunning beauty.

Gardeners around the country and the world can have their pick of so many different species of Clematis vines, both woody and herbaceous, in a veritable rainbow of colors. Some of the more popular cultivated varieties produce stunning red, purple, white, and even yellow blossoms throughout the brighter and sunnier months of the year. They are also fairly rapid growers and some are hardy, making them ideal for homeowners and gardeners looking to add greenery and color to their outdoor spaces.

Location, Temperature, and Soil Requirements

Planting is one of the most important considerations you can make when you want to grow Clematis plants, regardless of which cultivar or species appeals most to you. These plants are hardy once established, but to give them the best chance to flourish, you’ll want to plant them in the early spring if you can. Planting in the Spring will give the plant all of the growing season Spring and Summer to establish itself before the colder months set in.

Despite the many different types of Clematis plants that are out there, most of them prefer well-draining soil that is still easy to keep moist. Clematis plants do not like to be waterlogged or to dry out. Good news, because that’s a fairly common preference among many plants. You can loosen your soil with garden tools and add perlite and sand to it if there is too much clay. As for pH, they prefer neutral to slightly basic soil; test your soil if necessary and treat it with soil acidifier or lime to bring it close to neutral, but be careful.

Before planting, make sure you dig a hole much wider than the root ball and loosen the soil in the hole to give the roots room to spread and establish themselves. When planting, you can add organic fertilizers like bone meal, compost, or manure, which the plants will happily gobble up. Do not use chemical fertilizers when planting as these will scorch the roots.

All other conditions being met, Clematis vines will flourish in the heat. They love daytime temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees and many varieties will not complain if it gets even hotter. As long as nighttime temperatures don’t get too far below 50, Clematis should continue to flourish and blossom once established. As far as sunshine is concerned, shade is the enemy. Clematis plants love full sun and will reach for it.

A Clematis Trellis

One of the most important things to remember - not that anyone would forget - is that Clematis plants are climbers. Much like morning glories and climbing roses, Clematis plants will grow up toward the sun and will produce beautiful, bright green, glossy foliage along the way.

In order to account for this predisposition of Clematis plants, you’ll want to have a  Clematis trellis set up before you plant them. You can help the young plant find its way to the trellis with twine or string, but once established, the plant will take to the Clematis trellis with ease.

Best of all, if you have additional room along your garden trellis, you can also train additional climbing plants and companions along it. Be sure to check out our collection of high quality, handmade trellises so you can pick out an iron trellis or a wall trellis for your vines’ climbing needs!


The soil around the base of your Clematis plants should be kept moist; do not overwater but do not allow the soil to become dry. If the plant is wilting or showing signs of distress, water the base of the plant right away.

Otherwise, water the soil as needed to keep it moist. The best time to water is at night or in the morning. They can be watered during the day, but if you do, try to take care not to soak the leaves or blossoms.


Clematis is a heavy feeder, but take care not to administer a nitrogen heavy fertilizer after planting as nitrogen supports foliation and can detract from the blossoms that the plant produces.

Use an even balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10, and fertilizer whenever growth appears to slow despite otherwise favorable conditions as described by this article. Avoid fertilizer in the offseason.

Get in Touch with Us!

Do you still have questions? If so, consult our blog, where you can find helpful information on other plants like climbing roses. If you can’t find what you need there, get in touch with us at 208-640-4206 and let us know what other questions you have - we’d be happy to help!

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