How to Train Clematis Climber

MFIXApril 9, 2013

I've never grown any climbers, and I would like to train a clematis variety for an area on one side of our deck, next to our patio. My question is, which variety would do well in a part sun-full sun area, and what is the best method for getting plants to climb? The trellis I would be using would not be a very large one, but there is the possibility that if the plant climbs vigorously, it may be able to wrap around the deck post, railing and possibly the aluminum balusters (assuming that it could attach without human help). Any recommendations or tips would be appreciated.

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Clematis climb by wrapping the leaf stems (petioles) around a support, preferably 1/2" or thinner. So to get it to wrap around your post you would need to give it something to cling to, such as wire fencing fastened loosely to the fence posts. You could also attach trellis netting in a matched color to your balusters. Bird netting is almost invisible against a dark surface but is difficult to remove a vine from if you need to prune. In my experience, clematis may want a bit of encouragement to go the way I want to get started on the trellis, but needs no guidance once it attaches to the trellis.

Clematis like sun, and IME will bloom best with at least 6 hours, though a few will bloom with as little as 4 hours.

What would be your preference as far as height, color, vigor, and bloom time?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:15AM
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I would like to get it to climb up around 6 feet or slightly higher, a purplish or blue would be really nice, or a deeper pink. Also looking for perennial without too much pruning or controlling, and I also would prefer to stay away from anything that would try to creep on the ground. Bloom time would be best in midsummer, but a variety that blooms for an extended period would also be nice.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:48PM
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I am going to give you the website of a supplier I have ordered from because they have a good selection of varieties from a particular clematis breeder, the Kivistik family who worked in Estonia in the 70's - 90's. The Kivistik Clematis tend to fit your requirements and are not fussy to grow. I haven't seen them in my local nurseries, but you may have better luck in your area. Another good mail order company that I think carries some of them is Brushwood Nursery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird Farm Kivistik clematis are grouped half way down the page

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thanks, I'll look into it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:05AM
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