Preparing the site – Clematis viticella Etoile Violette
Later season such as Clematis viticella Etoile Violette 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 viticella Etoile Violette 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 Late Season Clematis
Our young Clematis viticella Etoile Violette 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 late season 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 late season Clematis
Clematis viticella Etoile Violette is in group 3 for aftercare and pruning, these late season Clematis flower on stems produced during the current season. Pruning these lovely plants is blissfully simple – in early spring before growth commences simply cut all the stems back to the lowest pair of buds. (this is usually withing 15-30cm of the ground).
If left unpruned, Late flowering Clematis will simply resume new growth each spring where it stopped the previous season resulting in a tall and ungainly plant that is very bare at the base, with the flowers high up and out of sight.