• Gardening with Garden Felix

Clematis are among the most popular and attractive flowering vines to be grown in the garden.

Clematis plants include woody, deciduous vines as well as herbaceous and evergreen varieties and vary greatly among species, with different flowering forms, colours, and blooming seasons, although most bloom between early spring and autumn.

Clematis vines require plenty of space for adequate air-flow as well as a rich, well-draining soil in a sunny location, that has at least six hours of sunshine. The base and roots should be kept cool.

An easy way to accomplish this, is by planting some ground cover or shallow-rooted perennial plants around the clematis. A 2-inch layer of mulch can also be incorporated, to keep the roots cool and moist.

Growing clematis vines must be supported, for example with arbours, trellis, fences or poles.

Clematis vines are usually planted in Autumn or early spring and can be grown in containers, or planted into the garden.

Once established, care is minimal, with the exception of watering weekly, and more often during dry spells.

Common problems affecting Clematis vines is lack of air circulation, which will see the vine suddenly collapse and die, after their foliage and stems have turned black, along with a powdery mildew. Aphids and spider mites can also be a problem.

Annual pruning may be required – to keep clematis vines looking their best – and full of blooms.