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Growing Clematis – Great Vine for Mailboxes

These tips for growing clematis will help you give this vining plant a home in your back yard.

Last spring, I repurposed an old mailbox into a place for my garden tool storage. I planted a few different plants around the base, but I was never happy with the look of it.

I decided I wanted a climbing plant to cover the post and grow up around the mailbox itself.

I wanted a perennial that would come back year after year and chose clematis because it is such a good climber.

Clematis is a perennial and some varieties will get really large, so it is important to keep this in mind, particularly if you plan on growing it in a pot.

Like mandevilla vine, some types of clematis will grow 15 feet or more, so may need regular pruning to keep it in check.

How to Grow Clematis - The perfect plant for a mail box.

Growing Clematis plants is easy with these few steps.

Growing clematis plants is not difficult. The flowers are large and showy and the plant does a good job of covering trellises or posts in no time at all.  They are one of the few blue flowers that I have in my garden. (well sort of a purple blue, but with blue flowers, you can’t be choosy!)

Here are some growing tips for clematis –

  • Growth is normally 3-15 feet tall.  Prune to keep it a manageable size
  • 3-6 hours of sunlight is ideal
  • Water when the top of inch of the soil is dry.  They need about an inch a week.
  • Feed once a month during the growing season.
  • Clematis is susceptible to fungi that can cause the vine to suddenly wilt and turn brown or black. Carefully prune out all diseased tissue and disinfect your pruners with a bleach solution.
  • To promote re-flowering a second time during the growing season, the vine can be cut by one-half after the main bloom period.
  • Provide the clematis with good support. Once the vine starts growing, gently tie them onto the support using twine or yarn. Proper vertical support will allow your clematis to become bushier and taller, leading to more foliage and a greater amount of flowering. A wooden garden obelisk is a good choice for support. It is functional and decorative as well.
  • Clematis can bloom on old wood, both old and new wood, and new wood only.  Pruning needs to done depending on which variety you have.  Mine blooms on old wood, so it should be pruned as soon as it flowers. Those the bloom on new wood only, just remove growth from the previous year.  And if it blooms on both old and new, prune once it gets crowded.
  • The plant is quite hardy.  Mine will take temps to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

 This is my beauty.  Can’t wait to plant it near the mail box. Hopefully this week!

Clematis vine clematis close up of flowers

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