Please teach me about Piilu Clematis
I planted my first clematis and I'm hoping some of you would share your knowledge so I can get my Piilu from Monrovia off to a good start. I'm not an expert when it comes to plants.
I did my best to learn about clematis while trying to select a vining plant to grow up a 6' x 2' trellis. When I got to my garden center they didn't have any of the varieties that I researched except for Jackmani, which in hindsight is what I probably should have gone with. The Piilu really stood out as looking very healthy and had big blooms with a long blooming season. Unfortunately I didn't realize they only grow to 6' high. I wanted it to fill the trellis.
Planting depth. The guy at the garden center told me to plant it just above ground level, which I did. I just read that it should be planted with the crown buried to encourage more stems to grow from the base. I'd like more stems from the base. Is there anyway I can do that now without digging out the plant? Can I push back the mulch and and some more soil on top then put the mulch back??
By the way is this true for most plants? I read the same thing about fig trees some years ago.
I dug a wide, deep hole for the plant and mixed the soil with some organic potting mix. My top soil actually has a good bit of organic matter but the hole went down past my topsoil so I made sure to mix in a lot of the potting mix in at the bottom. I watered then added more soil then covered with cedar mulch.
The garden center guy told me to water 2x a day for the first couple of weeks. I didn't ask how much to water. Can someone give me an idea? There is about 3" of fresh mulch in my beds and I'm really confused as to how much to water. With bare soil I can see how much the soil is absorbing but I feel like I'm just guessing when it's mulched. I'm always concerned that I'm just wetting the mulch and not the soil. I'm using a hose. I have a 2 gallon watering can which might be better. If someone can tell me how much the plant needs at each watering until it gets established I would appreciate it.
My garden center guy suggested using Miracle Grow on it, which I'm not opposed to but I prefer organics. I forgot to ask when I should fertilize. The plants had just come in the day before.
I'd like to help the plant grow as fast as possible to fill in the trellis. Any tips that would help would be greatly appreciated.
The branches on the plant were intertwined. Should I try to gently separate them to encourage wider coverage of the trellis or would that harm the plant?
What should I do in the winter. I've read recommendations that it should be cut down and that it should be left as is. I'd like to do what would help fill the trellis the most for the longest part of the warm seasons.
Lastly, I read that hostas are good to plant around the base of clematis because they help shade the soil. Is that a good idea even if I'm using mulch?