How to Plant a Clematis Barrel
Clematis is a wonderfully resilient plant that is given to stunning floral displays and dramatic running vines. The downside of clematis is that it invariably dies in the winter, leaving an empty spot if it was planted on a trellis or in a support in a bed or border.
One way to get the effect of clematis in the spring without dedicating a trellis space to the plant is to plant a clematis barrel. The clematis barrel can be moved in the fall or simply left to stand as a feature in its own right.
things you’ll need:
- Half-barrel or other large container Loam-based compost Canes Clematis Rocks
- Select your container. Half-barrels are best for a rustic or traditional look. You can choose wood, but most garden centers now carry a range of plastic-based containers that resemble wooden barrels but don’t weigh as much. Another option is to choose an urn for a formal garden, or even a washtub for an amusing, rustic feel.
- Select clematis for color and leaf style. You can choose several varieties to flower at the same time, or different ones that will flower at different times and so extend the period of interest. But bear in mind that this could make pruning more difficult.
Prepare to wait a few weeks for results. A clematis barrel can look really stunning when well-established, but it may take a few weeks or even months before you get the vibrant growth and colorful flowers you most likely desire.
- Cover the bottom of the barrel with a layer of rock. The layer doesn’t need to be very thick–about 1 or 2 inches to allow for drainage. Fill the barrel with water, past the rocks.
- Fill the half-barrel or other large container with a loam-based compost (soil mix).You need a large, deep container and a heavy potting mixture that will support the canes as well as the plants.
- Plant about three to four clematis in a barrel of this size. Angle the root ball so the plants point slightly inward.
- Secure the canes at the top and tie them with string, or use a proprietary plastic cane holder. Don’t worry if the growth reaches the tops of the canes, it will just tumble down again and make the planting look even denser.
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