Preparing the site for Clematis Ice Blue

Large flowered Clematis like Ice Blue will grow in all soil types but they do best in deep and fertile ground that is well drained. Your new Clematis should be around to give many years of flowering pleasure and so it is worth spending a little time to prepare the soil. Add plenty of well-rotted leaf mould or manure, especially if your soil is heavy (add some grit as well) or light (it will help retain moisture by putting some ‘body’ into the soil). Whatever you choose to add, it should be thoroughly mixed in with the surrounding topsoil. If you are planting Clematis Ice Blue against a wall, prepare the planting hole 30-40cm away so that the crown of the plant is not under the ‘rain shadow’. You may need to provide one or two bamboo canes to begin with, supporting the young plant while it reaches the permanent support.

If you choose to grow your Clematis up a large shrub or tree, again plant well away from the base or trunk, otherwise the established plant will take all the light, water and nutrients. Again, use bamboo canes (or wires) so that the young plant can get a ‘foothold’ onto your chosen tree or shrub. It’s worth planting the Clematis on the windward side, that way strong winds will blow the Clematis onto the tree or shrub, not away from it.

Planting Large Flowered Clematis Ice Blue

Our young Clematis plants are strongly rooted small plants in 7cm pots. After receipt they should be unpacked immediately, if you cannot plant them straight away, they can be stood somewhere sheltered until you are ready, keeping an eye on watering. At planting time, you may like to add a sparing amount of bone meal or general slow release fertiliser (well mixed) to the planting hole. Remove the pot and add some rootgrow, planting so that the crown of the plant is a few centimetres below soil level to encourage new shoots from the base, then backfill with the well prepared soil, firming it gently and watering well after and for the first season until well established.

Left to their own devices, young large flowered Clematis plants will often produce just one or two very long stems with flowers at the tips. For best results and the most flowers in years to come, pinch out the tips of the young plants early on to make them bushy as they grow. Aim to get at least 3 or 4 main shoots from close to the base and train them, spaced evenly onto your supports.

Pruning Clematis Ice Blue

Clematis Ice Blue is in group 2 for aftercare and pruning, these large flowered Clematis flower in early Summer on young shoots emerging from last season’s growth. Prune in early Spring before growth starts, remove any weak or congested stems. Then trim the strong shoots back to a healthy pair of buds but leave a framework of branches, try not to be too brutal or the flowers will be lost for that season!

To keep your Clematis Ice Blue plants strong and healthy, it pays to apply a general fertiliser and a generous mulch at the same time, this will maximise growth and flowering next season.

Large flowered Clematis may also be pruned again after flowering, cut them back to a healthy pair of buds. This will encourage a second display of flowers later in the same season.

Excessively large or top heavy large flowered Clematis can be renovated buy cutting them back further, doing it gradually over 2 or 3 seasons after flowering each year so that some framework of branches is left. Aim to reduce the framework a little more each time, this way the plants will still flower, albeit only once until a more gentle pruning regime can be resumed.