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How to Care for a Clematis Fireworks Plant


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Clematis Fireworks is an English clematis variety that was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. This deciduous vine does well in USDA zones 4 through 8, growing to 12 feet long and developing large, 8-inch-wide blossoms of bluish-pink and mauve. "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap." This old saying is an apt description of how clematis plants grow, according to the Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Clematis starts out as a slow grower, but once established, it is a hardy climber that produces abundant blooms. With the proper care, your Fireworks clematis will continue to reward you with flowers each spring to early summer.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Low-growing ground cover plants
  • Short, shallow-rooted perennial plants
  • Pruning shears
    1. Water the Fireworks clematis once a week, or as often as needed to supplement rainfall, so that the plant receives 1 inch of water a week. Water the soil thoroughly, but do not allow it to become soggy.
    2. Apply a general, balanced fertilizer in early spring. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application. Do not fertilize the clematis during its flowering period.
    3. Cover the ground around the clematis with a 2-inch layer of mulch. This will help keep the ground cool. According to the Clemson University Cooperative Extension, these plants prefer "heads in the sun and their feet in the shade." Alternatively, use low ground cover plants or short, shallow-rooted perennials keep the soil around the clematis cool and moist.
    4. Prune the clematis lightly during February or March. Use pruning shears to cut away dead or weak stems, cutting them to the ground. Prune the remaining stems back to right above the topmost pair of leaf buds. Dispose of cuttings to prevent plant disease.
    5. Remove any black leaves or stems as soon as they appear to prevent the spread of clematis wilt. Use pruning shears to remove the affected part of the plant and dispose of the cuttings.
    6. Prevent powdery mildew developing on the clematis by encouraging airflow around the plant. Use pruning shears to cut back or remove competing growth around the plant.

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