Clematis montana 'Freda' 3L
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- Position: Sun or shade
- Height/Spread: 2-2.5m(6-8ft)
- Flowering Period: May, June and September
- Growing Conditions: Sun or partial shade in a fertile moist and humus rich soil.
Prepare the ground well by digging in blended farm manure or soil improver - remember the base of walls often have very poor soil full of rubble and are therefore very dry due to this free draining soil and the rain shadow that may be created by the eaves. Place the climber at the same depth in the ground as it was in the pot. The exception to this is Clematis, they can be buried more deeply than they are in the pot - about 2-3 inches deeper is fine. This is also thought to help prevent Clematis Wilt - see (Pests and Disease for details). An application of bonemeal when planting is beneficial and will encourage a robust root system - mix in well with the existing soil. Clematis traditionally like their roots in shade and their heads in sun, this gives them a cool moist root run, and a lot of other climbers enjoy these conditions too as it replicates the conditions they would experience in the wild.
Feed in the spring with Growmore, Fish, Blood and Bone or a slow release feed (either pelleted or granular). If, later on in the season, the plant is performing poorly or the leaves appear to be going pale it may mean that the plant requires a top up with a liquid feed (Miracle-Gro or Phostrogen) - this can be applied up until the beginning of September. Climbers like Clematis, particularly if they repeat flower or are in a container will need regular feeding for best results and appreciate a rich deep soil in order to perform best.
Spring flowering climbers can be pruned back after flowering if necessary (eg Ceanothus). Many climbers do not need pruning every year but can have old, woody or weak growth removed when needed. If a summer flowering climber becomes unproductive and congested they can be pruned back hard in the spring (eg Jasmine), to rejuvenate them - this may result in a missed season but the plant will flowers as normal after that. Some climbers (eg Hedera), can be trimmed throughout the growing season if they get too big or to improve density. Clematis pruning can be simplified into three broad categories:
Group1: Early flowering species eg montanas,alpinas,armandii - prune after flowering, remove dead or weak growth and cut back remaining shoots by about half. This doesn’t need doing every year.
Group 2: Early to mid season flowering large flowering hybrids should be pruned before growth begins in the spring - remove dead and weak shoots and lightly prune the remainder back to strong buds.
Group 3: Late flowering species and hybrids eg viticellas - These can be pruned back to a strong pair of buds on each stem approx. 15-20cm (6-8 inches) from the base in the early spring. If you get the pruning wrong it won’t have a lasting effect, it may mean a season without flowers or that the flowers are not as large as they could be. Wisteria should have the current years growth pruned back (if not needed for extension growth) to 3 or 4 leaves/buds in July or August to stimulate flower bud production. Try and retain the plants basic structure that you will keep from year to year - encouraging horizontal tiers of growth is often best for producing flowers.
Please note: All plants listed are stocked by Bents at various periods throughout the year, however, due to seasonality and variations in weather and growing conditions some lines may be unavailable. We advise contacting the store prior to your visit to check on availability.