As with all clematis, large-flowered hybrids prefer their roots to be in the shade and top growth in the sun. As a rule most clematis prefer to be planted in garden soil rather than in containers.
If growing in a pot, plant in John Innes no.3 with added
Ideally plant large-flowered hybrid clematis in spring or autumn. Dig a hole that is double the width and depth of the root ball of the clematis. Dig in some well-rotted organic matter and a sprinkling of bone meal. Remove the plant from its pot – don’t be tempted to tease the roots out. Place the root ball in the hole and backfill. Firm in well and water. Continue to water until plants show healthy signs of growth.
Clematis benefit from being planted deeper than they were in the purchase pot. Plant about 5cm deeper and new shoots will be encouraged.
To give plants a head start, some gardeners prune plants after planting. Cut
back to about 30cm just above a leaf node. You may miss a few flowers but you'll end up with a stronger plant.
Clematis can be grown from seed but the offspring of the large-flowered hybrids will vary from the parent plant. Therefore it's preferable to propagate plants by taking softwood cuttings in April or May. Remove a section of stem from the current season’s growth that's ripe but not too woody or too soft. Fill a garden pot with cutting compost and water. Add a fine layer of grit to the top of the compost.
Cut a section of the stem above a leaf joint. Your cuttings should be about 7cm long. Remove some of the leaves so each cutting is left with just one. Push the end of the cutting into the pot so it supports itself.
Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag or place in a propagator and leave in a warm place but out of direct sunlight. Cuttings can take up to five weeks to root.
Clematis can also be propagated by layering.
Clematis wilt is a disease
that clematis growers dread as there's no chemical treatment available. It’s easy
to spot as plants quickly wilt. Clematis wilt is a fungal disease. Prune out
all affected branches and burn them.
Large-flowered hybrids are also prone to an attack from earwigs. If you have
spotted holes around the edge of petals and can see no sign of a culprit then
the night working earwig could be to blame. Create earwig traps by pushing a 1m long
cane into the ground by the plant. Stuff a plastic plant pot with straw and
place it upturned on the top of the cane. In the day they will hide in the
‘nest’. Catch them in the act and remove them.
Clematis in Pruning Group 2 should be pruned in February. Simply remove damaged or weak stems to make way for fresh growth. Then trim other stems to just above the strongest and highest pair of buds.
Flowers are produced on shoots that develop from last year’s growth. If cut
back hard, you will lose a year of flowers.