Articles - Clematis - Źródło Dobrych Pnączy


Buying climbers

Before you decide to buy and plant climbing vines, you should first determine the conditions you can provide, the characteristics they should possess and what your expectations are.


The plants should be grown in pots

Szczepan Marczyński

Once the research is done, you will be able to match the plants to your needs and make them thrive and adorn your garden. If you live in a region with a harsher climate (north-east and mountain areas), avoid planting delicate species, such as Wisteria, Trumpet Creeper, Fallopia aubertii, Ivy and some of the Lonicera varieties, unless you can provide them with a sheltered position and an appropriate microclimate. However, the following species will thrive in your garden: Climbing Hydrangea, Actinidia, Hop, Clematis (with the exception of Clematis Montana), Oriental Bittersweet or Virginia Creeper. In a milder climate any of the abovementioned species, as well as Clematis Montana will do well.

Check if the root system is
well developed

Different vines have different light requirements. If you look for a plant for a light position that is in direct sunlight for most of the day, you can try Wisteria, Trumpet Creeper, Actinidia, Vitis, Boston Ivy, large-flowered double Clematis, as well as yellow-flowered herbaceous Clematis (the Tangutica Group) and the cultivars of the Texensis and the Viticella Groups. On the other hand, for best results in partial or full shade you should go for any of the following: Ivy, Dutchman's Pipe, Climbing Hydrangea, some of the Loniceras, Euonymus Fortunei and its cultivars, and last but not least, early-flowering herbaceous Clematis (the Atragene Group).

Also when it comes to soil, every plant has its own likes and dislikes. In your garden, you can always enhance the soil (with compost or manure), or influence its acidity and moisture. However, if you want to keep you interference to a minimum, the right choice of a plant becomes important.

Lonicera, Ampelopsis and Climbing Hydrangea tolerate well acid soil, but Ivy and most of the Clematis won't like it at all.

All climbers thrive in fertile soil, as it encourages vigorous leaf and stem growth. Oriental Bittersweet, Virginia Creeper or Thicket Creeper are less demanding and will succeed in moderate soil, but even they won't grow in pure sand if you forget to water and fertilize it. The majority of vines prefer moderately moist to moist soil. This is particularly important in case of the Ivy, Climbing Hydrangea, Dutchman's Pipe, Lonicera, Hop and most Clematis. Drier soil will be good enough for yellow-flowered herbaceous Clematis (the Tangutica Group), Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese hydrangea vine and Trumpet Creeper.

If the site chosen is not well suited to the needs of the plant, it will run a higher risk of becoming vulnerable to diseases. For instance, too dry or too sunny a site will increase Lonicera's susceptibility to aphids (especially in May), and will make Aristolochia an easy target for spiders. Likewise, Clematis (Clematis) of the Texensis Group and Lonicera need good air circulation, otherwise they may suffer from powdery mildew.

Growth habit is not to be ignored either. Vigorous climbers, such as Fallopia auberti, Vitis riparia, Vitis coignetiae, Clematis'Bill MacKenzie', Clematis'Paul Farges', Wisterias, and Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' are all well suited for large gardens, whenever you need to quickly cover large areas. They become more troublesome in a smaller garden, however, as their growth will have to be monitored due to the proximity of other plants. What's more, vigorous vines produce a large and heavy mass of greenery and therefore require sturdy supports. Remember that if you decide to go for a less vigorous species, you'll wait longer for the effect, but the plant will be easier to care for.

Climbing plants use various techniques to cling to the support. This characteristic is vital not only for botanists, but also for garden lovers, as it determines the type of the support we have to use for each plant. Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. murorum, its cultivar 'Troki' or Parthenocissus tricuspidata are capable of scaling a smooth wall owing to clasps at the end of their tendrils. Ivy, Climbing Hydrangea, Schizophragma hydrangeoides, Euonymus fortunei and Campsis radicans can attach themselves to a porous wall or a tree trunk by means of adventitious roots. Twining stems of (Lonicera, Wisteria, Humulus lupulus, Schisandra chinensis, Actinidia, Akebia, Celastrus, Aristolochia, Periploca graeca and Menispermum davuricum) can attach the plant even to a support with a large diameter, such as a pole or a post. Clematis use twining leaf petioles to climb and this means that their support has to be made of the elements of a small diameter (up to 1 cm), otherwise they will need tying in. In any case, primitive climbing plants with slender stems that don't possess any climbing mechanism, such as roses or perennial Clematis, will always require tying in to a support.

You should prepare the support for your plants in advance, when you are free to dig and walk around the place without the fear of damaging the plant.

When choosing a plant for a particular site, take into account its leaf and flower colours, as well as its flowering period, so that the new plant will match and enhance the beauty of its future neighbours. For instance, Clematis will create beautiful compositions with roses and other ornamental shrubs. The plants can be arranged so that the colours will match, or you can choose the plants with different flowering periods to ensure that there will always be some flowers in your garden. The colour of the background should also be taken into account, and a good rule of thumb is that the shades of the flowers and the background should contrast. If you are planning to plant something in front of a white wall, dark-flowered varieties will be the best choice, e.g. Clematis'Etoile Violette' or Clematis'Kardynał Wyszyński'. Dark background will contrast well with light-flowered varieties, for instance Clematis'Madame le Coultre'.

ph etykiety 2008
Choose plants with a large plant label that includes a photo, plant's characteristics and growing tips.

Always buy the plants from a reliable source: either from specialist nurseries or garden centres. The plants should be grown in pots and have well developed roots. Make sure the plant is spread at the base (it has around 2-3 shoots), is well attached to a support (bamboo stick is the best for this purpose) and healthy (look out for damaged leaves or stems). Choose a plant with a large plant label that includes a photo, plant's characteristics and growing tips. It will help you provide the plant with the best growing conditions and achieve the expected results.