Home » Caring for clematis properly – Answers to all important questions

Caring for clematis properly – Answers to all important questions

Caring for clematis properly - Answers to all important questions

It depends on professional care for the clematis to live up to its reputation as a prime example of a glamorous climbing plant. Here hobby gardeners get the tools for the perfect cultivation of a clematis. Find answers to all fundamental questions.

How to water the clematis?

clematis develops its most beautiful flower in constantly slightly moist soil. This requirement must be taken into account in the garden as well as in the bucket. Therefore, regularly check the surface of the earth with your thumb. If the substrate feels dry, water immediately at the root area.

In what dosage is the clematis fertilized?

Only a sufficient supply of nutrients provides the majestic clematis with enough energy to produce the enormous mass of leaves and the dense blossoms. Therefore, fertilize the clematis as follows:

  • With mineral-organic special fertilizer in March/April and June/July at a dosage of 100 grams per square meter (10 SF)
  • Fertilize clematis in the bucket every 4 weeks from March to September with 20 grams of fertilizer granules
  • Water generously after each fertilizing in the garden and planter

Alternatively, fertilize with compost and horn shavings every 8 to 14 days from March to September. Alternately, administer potassium-rich comfrey manure, optionally mixed with nettle manure.

Pruning Clematis

If you care for clematis properly, regular pruning plays an essential role. The different types and varieties should not be lumped together. For better orientation, a differentiation is made between 3 pruning groups, based on the respective flowering period. How to do it right:

  • Early flowering clematis (Pruning Group 1) prune by a third or half after flowering in May/June
  • Shorten summer flowering clematis (pruning group 2) in late summer – August/September – by at least 30 percent
  • Prune autumn bloomers vigorously in November/December or February/March for compact growth
  • Due to the high energy consumption, infructescence is always immediate

After planting , every young clematis receives a pruning in the first spring. Cut the young plant back to 30 or 50 centimeters (11-20 inches) so that it branches luxuriantly and develops a bushy habit. Wild types of clematis that bloom on the previous year’s shoots in spring should only be cut when the willingness to bloom decreases.

What diseases threaten the clematis?

The sword of Damocles of clematis wilt dangles over the large-flowered clematis. This is a fungal infection that can be recognized in the first stage by brown spots with a yellow atrium.

As the process progresses, the whole leaf turns brown and falls off. The shoots are not spared either. How to react correctly:

  • Remove infected leaves as soon as they appear
  • Do not dispose of in the compost but in the household waste
  • Treat the infested clematis with a fungicide against fungal infections
  • If the shoots are affected, cut back the entire plant close to the ground
Even if you properly care for clematis, powdery mildew does not spare the climbing plant. If there is a mealy-white coating on the foliage, treat the infection with Naturen Bio Wettable Sulfur or Atempo Copper Fungus Free.
In biological mildew control, repeated spraying with a mixture of 100 milliliters of fresh milk and 1 liter of water has proven its worth.

Which pests lurk on the clematis?

If a clematis is infested by pests, plagued hobby gardeners usually have to deal with the following beasts:

  • Woodlice when they appear en masse in the garden
  • Aphids, the omnipresent pests , do not spare the clematis
  • Vine weevils nibble on leaves, flowers, and roots at night
  • Earwigs attack the stamens
  • Thrips suck the sap of the clematis

If you take good care of your clematis, you will also strengthen its resistance to pests. In addition, a lot of natural predators of these pests settle in a near-natural garden, such as toads, birds, parasitic wasps,  hedgehogs, and other beneficial insects. Therefore, create retreats such as hedges, piles of leaves, dry stone walls, and hollow tree trunks.

Is winter protection required?

Planted in the garden, most clematis species and cultivars are hardy. Light winter protection is only recommended in the first year. It should be like this:

  • Pile a thick layer of leaves or straw over the young plants
  • Alternatively, cover with jute or garden fleece

If the winter comes frosty but without snow, the clematis is threatened by drought stress. When there is a frost, prudent hobby gardeners water the clematis on frost-free days.

Protect from frost in the tub every year

In view of the exposed position of the root ball in the planter, we recommend winter protection for the clematis every year. Place the bucket on an insulating wooden base and wrap the jar with bubble wrap.


Some of the early flowering clematis can be persuaded to flower again in the summer. Thoroughly clean the clematis after the first blossoms and, in particular, remove all the infructescence.

Instead of growing seeds, after 6 to 8 weeks the climbing plant invests its energy in another bloom.

Avatar photo