Clematis or clematis is actually a whole genus of climbing plants of the Ranunculaceae family, which has more than 400 cultivars to its credit. The so-called joys of travelers or flower of dreamers are plants of great beauty and resistance that grow wild without difficulty and especially in humid climates, such as the English countryside, from which some come.
If you want to learn more about the clematis or clematis plant carejoin us in this EcologíaVerde article.
Characteristics of the clematis plant
Clematis are herbaceous plants and woody plants, as well as being climbing plants, with leaves that are divided into three leaflets and shades of green that lighten or darken depending on how much sun they receive. There are perennial and deciduous ones, although what stands out the most is the clematis flowerwhich appears in the warm months and is easily distinguished by its showy tepals, which almost look like petals. This flower is also very aromatic, with an intense perfume reminiscent of jasmine, and is highly appreciated by lovers of botany and gardening. Trellised or with a suitable surface to climb, clematis can reach heights of up to 5 meters, making them a great option for decorating walls, trees or pergolas.
However, special attention must be paid to their cultivation in areas where there are pets or small children, as these plants are toxic: their essential oils and compounds are irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, and can cause more serious damage if ingested in great quantities; something that really is not easy to happen.
Despite this, in small enough quantities the plant can have positive effects. It is a proven bactericide and was traditionally used by American Indians to relieve the symptoms of migraines and nervous disorders.
Location for clematis
These plants should preferably be located outside given its climbing nature. If you like this type of plants, here you can discover many more climbing plants.
It is possible to plant clematis both in a pot and directly in the ground:
- In a pot, it is vital to place a good guardian or cane, in addition to using a container with sufficient size and drainage holes. In this sense, they work better ceramic potssince the material has a better capacity to release excessive moisture as it is porous.
- In the garden, it will be necessary to locate the plant near where we want it to climb, either a lattice or other structure. Prepare a hole of about 50 x 50 cm, next to the platform you want it to climb, and place it next to a guide or stake that will lead the clematis to this structure through which it will grow. It is recommended to dedicate a tree pit a certain depth, which helps the plant to gather more moisture around its soil.
Regarding its light needs, clematis can be grown both at full sun, as in semi-shade. In fact, the common thing is that its leaves and stems grow looking for the morning light, which will come in handy, while the roots appreciate a semi-shade area to keep a little more moisture. Direct sun in the central hours of the day, especially in warm climates or like the Mediterranean, can be excessive for this plant.
One of the most important points in the care of clematis is watering. It is a plant that needs high humidity levels and that, moreover, does not tolerate drought. A young clematis will need frequent watering, although an adult and strong one can survive very specific periods of up to ten days without watering.
Under normal conditions, it will need watering between one and three times a week, depending on the humidity of the environment and the characteristics of the soil. Of course, it is especially important not to flood when watering, since the clematis, although it needs abundant humidity, does not tolerate waterlogging.
We recommend you read this other post about When to water the plants.
Soil or substrate for clematis
This is another of the key points of its care: a land or high drainage substrateto avoid such harmful flooding, in addition to being very rich in organic mattersomething vital for it to bloom in spring or summer.
Adding earthworm humus to the soil or substrate is an especially recommended option, as well as using a base of coconut fiber or very light peat. Vermiculite and perlite, as we always say, are recommended.
Climate for clematis
Depending on the variety and the age of the plant, its resistance to frost is different. During their first year, most varieties do not tolerate them, while later, some can withstand temperatures of up to -10ºC occasionally, but this does not apply to all of them. Find out about the climatological needs of the species of your clematis in particular. In the same way, almost none tolerate direct sun in warm areas and during the hours of greatest incidence of the sun, when it is much stronger.
fertilizer for clematis
During all the warm months, you must provide fertilizer to your clematis. Ideally, do it with organic fertilizerwhich is always a more ecological option, such as humus, compost or guano.
Here you can learn How to make homemade organic fertilizers and in this other post we show you How to make homemade compost.
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