Do-it-yourself-clematis supports

Beckie Fox

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clematis climbing on tree

There’s plenty of choice in the clematis family, and if you choose varieties from each of the three main groups, you can have blooms from early spring to early fall. If you want the vertical interest of their flowers, you’ll need to provide some sort of support for them to climb. It’s difficult for their wiry leaf stems to twine around anything bulky, so thin bamboo stakes, or metal obelisks or trellises often work best; nothing larger than one-quarter inch (6 mm) in diameter. The flat, wide trellising on wood fences doesn’t cut it. Or, you could let the vines scramble up the branches of a nearby shrub. For this application, it’s wise to choose clematis cultivars in pruning Group 3 or C, which are cut back in late winter. (Whenever you plant a new clematis, make note of which category it is and write it down; this will remind you of pruning requirements.)

'Royal Velours' clematis
‘Royal Velours’ clematis winds its way up ‘Robusta Green’ juniper next to a metal arch.

“Making more clematis supports” offers a few economical, quick ideas for temporary supports.

If you’re searching for clematis that will take the heat, check out the article on “Heat-resistant clematis.”

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