Asked on Apr 21, 2014

How can I give clematis a boost to grow and flower fast ?

by Yvonne
I had a dead patch of grass left from a trampoline and did not want to replant grass . So I put in a pole, and planted six clematis at the base to climb up. Here's my problem , I forgot to dress the hole . I was going to try using Epsom Salts in the hole as I have read they work great for your plants. I live in British Columbia and of course it started to rain ,so in my rush to finish I forgot the salts. Can I put the salts on top ? Is there a better alternative to use? The plants have taken well, but I'm hoping for the pole to get thick and bushy .
  18 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 22, 2014
    Clematis is not a plant for the impatient. They are slow to settle in and start growing and it can take three to four years for them to reach maturity. The International Clematis Society recommends a 5-10-10 fertilizer. Do not use one that is high in nitrogen. Epsom Salts is not a balanced fertilizer. It is a magnesium supplement. As an aside, I will add that you do not remotely need six clematis plants to cover a pole like that.
  • Bonnie Dedrick Britton Bonnie Dedrick Britton on Apr 22, 2014
    yes takes several years, i know i used to have one.
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Apr 22, 2014
    Thank you for your advice Douglas, I will definitely move some of the clematis over to the fence. And I will get the 5-10-10 fertilizer that you recommend. Now I have a better understanding of Epsom salts and that they are not an all purpose fertilizer. I'm a "Learner Gardner" at best and welcome all advice that I can get. I hope to finish this up and put in a border this weekend.
  • Cjs618 Cjs618 on Apr 22, 2014
    I've had f good luck with miracle grow! good luck
  • Pauline Hussey Pauline Hussey on Apr 22, 2014
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Apr 22, 2014
    Hi Pauline, ya I was told that too about the roots. I was gonna put bark mulch down, but rocks might be a better idea. We get so much rain here so thinking about it the rocks would let the ground dry a little better... humm.Thanks
  • Linda Baughman Linda Baughman on Apr 22, 2014
    Our clematis have full sun most of the day. Wouldn't the rock get hot and harm the plant?
  • Kathy R Kathy R on Apr 22, 2014
    Clematis..Year 1 - Sleep - Year 2 - Creap - Year 3 -- LEAP... Wet feet - Keep the soil wet but plant them in sun..I have a 27 year old clematis; named John Paul (my son and the Pope's name) it blooms twice a year...
  • A A on Apr 23, 2014
    Clematis likes its feet in the shade and its head in the sun. So plant a low, bushy plant at the base to shade the "feet" (root) area.
  • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Apr 23, 2014
    Clematis do take a couple of years to start growing well but I have good luck with mine and I mulch with bark. Once they get going, they will be beautiful. I also use Miracle Grow with good luck.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Apr 23, 2014
    I used to have several clematis in my Iowa home. There are 3 types of clematis and you prune them or not at different times. Make sure you know which you have. I always had problems with the rabbits chewing them off or I would have had more flowers than I did. In spite of that I still had some pretty ones.
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Apr 23, 2014
    Thank You all so Much! I have other clematis that I have planted couple years back and I left the care tags with them , but when the weather started to warm up I referred to those tags thinking I wound prune if "they told me to" however they only spoke in General and not about the plant that I was dealing with at the time. So what I decided to do is just trim off last years dead growth and mix a little compost in the top of the dirt. I am planning on putting in some perennials and finishing it all off with a nice border . I live just outside of Vancouver B.C. And it's just been rain rain rain here and I'm just itching to get back out there to finish that and start working on the rest of the yard.
  • Kim 'Kiewatt' Waknitz Kim 'Kiewatt' Waknitz on Apr 23, 2014
    I have hosta's planted at the base of my clematis, don't remember the name but it can handle sun. Took three years before it filled out, but was well worth the wait. Good luck.
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Apr 23, 2014
    Mulch well. Here's what I know about clematis : "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap!"
  • Madelyn Upleger Madelyn Upleger on Apr 23, 2014
    I have Hosta's planted at the feet of my Clematis. Find one that likes sun, and it will keep the Clematis roots cool.
  • Monica Koch Monica Koch on Apr 23, 2014
    Like @Madelyn Upleger I plant hosta's at the base of my clematis to keep the base cool. There are several varieties now that like sun. I love what you did with the post to help it climb up and the bird house is a nice touch. I may be trying that at home.
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Apr 23, 2014
    I still have quite a fair amount of work to do to finish,but I really like the idea of planting Hosta's at the base. Now if it would just stop raining for a bit.
  • Sue Voelz Sue Voelz on Jul 08, 2014
    I have several different clematis plants, I think the fastest growing one is the Sweet Autumn one, tiny scented white flowers in the fall, after several years it started giving off baby plants in the grass which I share with others, you don't need that many plants in one area, so remove and plant else where. That many might be nice along a long wall but not against a post, you will need a trellis to hold upright, sooner the better. My husband had to attach trellis to house because it got so heavy.