Clematis: The most beautiful wild forms

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In contrast to many large-flowered hybrids, the wild species of clematis and their garden forms are extremely resistant and robust. They are hardly affected by the wilting disease, are very frugal and durable. As far as the size of the flowers is concerned, they can not compete with the hybrids, of course - but even the small flowers, which are close to each other in some species, have their charm and convince with their natural charm.

Summer flowering Clematis wild species

The Italian clematis (Clematis viticella) is a wild species of which there are now many garden forms. Experts swear in addition to their reliable flowering also on their absolute frost hardiness and insensitivity to typical Clematis diseases. While the best location for clematis, also known as clematis, is usually the semi-shade, Clematis viticella copes just as well with deep shade and even full sun when the soil is kept moist with a mulch layer. From June to August, the climbing artist proudly displays her abundance of blossoms; some varieties even bloom in October.

The plants take one to two years to grow well and then there is no stopping for the next 50 to 70 years. The Italian clematis climbs on climbing aids such as obelisks, arches, fences, pergolas, trees or shrubs, it covers wall grids with a flower curtain and is also a ground cover or in hanging baskets a gem. The cultivars of the Clematis viticella group are known to make few site claims. However, treat them to years of flower fun with some care in the form of a nitrogen-boosted fertilizer from spring to summer, as well as a final kali and phosphate treatment in August. Clematis viticella is an ideal rose partner with its flowering season from June, but the climbing artist also shines as a soloist. Two varieties with the same flowering time form a magical duet. And those who do not want to do without the climbing queen on the balcony and terrace simply plant them in pots.

Clematis tangutica

The golden clematis (Clematis tangutica) grows very fast and is well suited to the rearing of shrubs

Among the late bloomers is also the gold-clematis (Clematis tangutica). It brings with its intense yellow, hanging bell blossoms an unusual hue in the Clematis assortment. The native in northern China and Mongolia wild species is also very hardy and hardy. A special adornment in winter are the silvery, feathery seeds. An extremely robust, native wild species is the common clematis (Clematis vitalba). It grows on almost every soil and blooms from July to fall. The flowers have long, cream-yellow stamens, each with four cross-like petals and exude a strong fragrance. Although they are very small, but appear in such an abundance that the leaves are almost completely covered in places.
The common clematis is very vigorous and can climb at their natural location in the floodplain forest with their lianas 30-meter-high trees. On a trellis in the garden, it can also be easily kept small.

Purple Clematis texensis

Ordinary clematis

The flowers of the Texan clematis (Clematis texensis) look like small bellflowers and appear numerous (left). The native clematis (Clematis vitalba), on the other hand, produces white cymes (right)

The Texanische clematis (Clematis texensis) is still relatively unknown and is offered in this country mostly only by specialized nurseries. It is considered to be the drought-tolerant of all Clematis species and also tolerates full-sun locations, unless the soil dries out completely. It is therefore well suited for planting in the tub. The distinctive, bulbous bell blossoms in bright scarlet open from the end of June to fall on the new budding. The petals of the plant are strikingly thick and coarse, so it is called in the US "scarlet leather-flower" (Scarlet leather flower). The hardiness is not as pronounced in the Texan clematis as in other wild species. You should therefore plant them in a sheltered location with a favorable micro-climate and shade the shoots in winter with fleece in very cold locations.

Spring flowering wild species

One of the best known spring flowers among the Clematis wild species is the Anemone Clematis (Clematis montana), also called Mountain Clematis. The most famous garden form - the variety 'Rubens' - is very vigorous and climbs up to eight meters high. In very cold regions, it sometimes freezes in the winter, but that does not affect their vitality in the least.The anemone-like flowers with four petals open in great numbers in May and are white to light pink depending on the variety.
The alpine clematis (Clematis alpina), whose wild species also grows in the Bavarian Alps, remains considerably smaller with a height of up to three meters. It often opens at the end of April its bell-shaped, violet-blue flowers. From her there are now some garden forms with azure, scarlet and white flowers. One of the most beautiful and big-flowered is 'Frances Rivis'. Alpen-Waldreben grow best in somewhat sheltered locations in the light shade. As with all clematis, the soil in the root area should be covered with a layer of autumn leaves or bark humus.

Clematis Alpina

Clematis Montana Rubens

The alpine clematis (Clematis alpina) usually blooms in April / May and then again in summer or late summer (left). The individual flowers of the anemone clematis (Clematis montana 'Rubens') can reach up to six centimeters in diameter and are thus in no way inferior to the hybrids (right)

Cut Clematis wild species correctly

The right time to cut depends on the flowering time of your clematis: If your clematis flowers in April and May, you do not have to reach for the scissors. Then it is an early wild species such as the alpine clematis or the anemone clematis (Clematis alpina or C. montana). Both species make their flower buds in summer or autumn. If cut in the late year, the flower will fall out next spring. If a pruning is absolutely necessary for space reasons, you should cut back immediately after flowering.
Wild species such as the golden clematis (Clematis tangutica), the Italian clematis (Clematis viticella) and the Texan clematis (Clematis texensis) are starting to bloom at the end of June. Like most summer flowering shrubs, they are cut back to 30 to 50 centimeters above the ground in spring. The pruning promotes the formation of long, vigorous shoots, at the ends of which form the numerous flowers, and prevents a blunting of the plant.

This is how the planting succeeds

The best planting time is from August to October, but Clematis can also be planted all year round. First loosen the soil deeply (root area up to 1.5 meters deep). Improve heavy soils with sand or gravel. In addition, make sure you have a good drainage to prevent waterlogging. The planting depth should be seven to ten centimeters, so that two eyes come into the ground. Only Clematis alpina, C. montana, C. tangutica and C. orientalis are planted slightly raised. The distance from the plant hole to the trellis should not be too large, otherwise the shoots will bend or grow in the wrong direction instead of climbing vertically into the trellis.
Clematis needs a shady foot: In addition to a mulch layer of bark mulch or shredded material, a low shrub provides for the floor shading. It should be placed in front of the clematis at some distance and with a root or rhizome barrier to avoid root competition. Regardless of the species or variety, the newly planted clematis should be cut back to 30 centimeters above the ground in the late autumn of the planting year.

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