Sweet autumn clematis is a vigorous vine that grows quickly. The plant can be cut to 12 inches in early spring and will be 20 feet long by the end of summer in good conditions. The clematis blooms with sweet-scented white flowers that cover the vine through August and September. This clematis blooms on the current season’s wood and cannot be pruned until after the flowers are spent. Full sun and a support structure are almost all this plant needs to excel.
- Moderately Easy
things you’ll need:
- Sweet autumn clematis seedling
- 7-foot tall trellis or fence
- Plant ties
- Fertilizer (4-1-2)
- Dig in 4 inches of compost to a depth of 24 inches in a 3-foot square area. This is to loosen the soil for rapid root growth and incorporate adequate nutrition for your clematis plant. Choose a sunny location. Smooth out the soil with a rake and remove rocks and debris.
- Make a hole just big enough in the newly turned bed to fit the roots of the clematis. Gently spread the roots out in the hole and then fill in with the removed soil. Press down to compact the dirt around the little plant’s roots. Water with 1/2 gallon of water.
- Set up a trellis 4 or 5 inches away from the plant unless you planted it against a fence or other support structure. As it grows, you can assist it with plant ties. It will eventually develop tendrils that wrap around its support structure. You can then remove the plant ties.
- Spread 3 to 4 inches of manure around the base of the plant and out 3 feet. This will act as a mulch and add important nutrients to the soil. Keep weeds away from the growing vine and water it weekly while it is becoming established. After a month, water the clematis only when the soil feels dry to the touch 4 inches down.
- Fertilize the sweet autumn clematis annually in early spring with a 4-1-2 fertilizer. The high nitrogen will stimulate vine growth. After two years, add to the trellis if necessary or train it to go down the other side of the support. Cut it back to 12 inches in spring to stimulate the formation of flowers on the entire vine, not just the tips.