How to Water a Clematis


Clematis vines twist and climb up fences, trellises and other supports, providing consistent foliage coverage throughout the summer. They blossom in a variety of colors and flower forms, with some varieties blooming in spring and others throughout summer and fall. Once established, the vines require only routine maintenance to grow well. Proper watering is necessary, as clematis doesn’t tolerate drought stress and only thrives in moist soil. As a deciduous vine, irrigation is only necessary in the spring, summer and fall months when the plants aren’t dormant.



things you’ll need:
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
    1. Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed and work it into the top 6 inches of soil before planting clematis. Compost improves the soil’s drainage an moisture. The vines grow best in soil that retains moisture without becoming soggy.
    2. Water clematis once a week or when the top half-inch of soil begins to feel dry. Irrigate slowly at the base of the vines until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is moistened. Clematis requires approximately 1 inch of water a week, from either irrigation or rainfall.
    3. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of natural mulch, such as wood chips, over the clematis bed to prevent moisture loss from evaporation. Pull the mulch away from the base of the vines so the mulch and vines are not touching.
    4. Replenish the mulch layer each spring. Add additional mulch to maintain a 2- to 3-inch depth over the summer months.
    5. Fertilize clematis in spring and fall. Apply 1-2-1 ratio fertilizer at the label recommended rate for the size of your bed. Water clematis thoroughly, wetting the top 8-inches of soil, after fertilizing so the nutrients leach into the root zone of the plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clematis may need more frequent watering during the hottest parts of summer.

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