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Care of Clematis Texensis: the Duchess of Albany


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Clematis texensis ‘Duchess of Albany’ is a cultivated variety, or cultivar, of Texas clematis. Duchess of Albany has large bell-shaped flowers that are deep rose in color and bluish-tinted leaves. This type of clematis is native to Texas and is known for its high drought and heat tolerance. The Duchess of Albany requires similar care to other types of clematis. But because this cultivar is considered a "late-flowering" type of clematis that flowers on the last 2 to 3 feet of the current year’s growth, you’ll need to prune the vine accordingly.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch
  • 15-5-5 NPK fertilizer (optional)
  • Pruning shears or loppers
    1. Water your Duchess of Albany clematis deeply once every week during spring through fall when rainfall is less than 1 inch. Provide water to soak the soil down to and around the roots, ensuring the clematis receives 1 inch of water per week via rainfall or supplemental watering while the vine is actively growing.
    2. Spread mulch around the base of the Duchess of Albany clematis each year in late spring, after the soil warms up. Maintain a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch over the entire root zone of the clematis vine.
    3. Fertilize the Texas clematis once each year, if desired, to improve vine growth or soil nutrients. Most clematis vines don’t require fertilization after they’re well-established, but you could apply a 15-5-5 NPK fertilizer formula once each year in spring according to the instructions on the label.
    4. Prune the Duchess of Albany clematis in late winter, such as in February or March. Using pruning shears or loppers, cut back all the stems to about 2 to 3 feet from the ground. You don’t need to preserve any old growth on the Texas clematis, because it blooms on the current season’s growth. Alternatively, cut the clematis back hard right after the vine is finished flowering instead of in late winter or early spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant the Duchess of Albany clematis in a location that has full sunlight with some dappled shade during the hottest part of the day. Clematis vines prefer soil that’s fertile, that has a neutral pH of about 7.0 and that’s well-draining. Ensure that there’s good air circulation around your clematis and provide a climbing support with thin wires or string. You can also transplant your Duchess of Albany clematis during the fall, late winter or early spring.

  • Beware of clematis wilt, a fungal disease that causes stem rot and leaf spots. Clematis wilt can kill a vine within just a few days, causing the stems and leaves to turn black, wilt and die. Cut away, remove and destroy or discard all the diseased parts of the Duchess of Albany clematis, which could include most of the above-ground plant parts. The clematis might grow back the next year if there are buds planted below ground.

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