Just as the human body needs vitamins and minerals, clematis need nutrients in order to grow and produce their beautiful blooms. I’ve been recommending Gro-Power for 18 years now (yes, even during my princess period). I believe it is the best product out there for clematis and if you use Gro-Power you will be extremely pleased with the results
The correct time to start a feeding regimen is when the leaf buds of your clematis have produced at least 2” of growth. Soil temperature affects the clematis ability to absorb nutrients. So, there’s no value to your clematis to start the feeding regiment until the soil temperature is above 55°. This is because root growth is reduced or even stopped when the soil temperature is below 55°, therefore inhibiting the absorption of nutrients.
Clematis love being fed and they utilize fertilizers differently depending on the time of the season. That is why I have adopted the following nutritional program. In spring, once the clematis’ leaf buds are 2” long, start feeding them with Gro-Power Flower ‘n’ Bloom 3-12-12. Your next feeding should be in the next 4 to 6 weeks, this time using Gro-Power All Purpose Plus 5-3-1. The Plus is a soil penetrant blended for use in conditions such as clay or adobe soils, or areas with high a salt, sodium, boron or pH problems. With each fertilizer use approximately 2 tablespoons per plant. Continue alternating the fertilizers until the end of September. Calculate the feedings so that the final application is with Flower ‘n’ Bloom 3-12-12.
You may wonder why I’m such a proponent of Gro-Power. Well, it’s because it is not just a source of nutrients for your clematis, it is also a “soil conditioner”. The basic material in it is a humus base. When humus is added to your soil it improves the soil’s structure by breaking up compacted soil. This increases water conservation by holding it in effectively. The humus in Gro-Power contains five strains of beneficial microbes. It also has humic acid, which improves the plants ability to utilize nutrients and increase its immunity to disease. Something that is extremely important to me is that it does not contain sewage or sludge, animal or poultry waste. I’m not a proponent of using animal fecal matter (composted or not) as a fertilizer. These by-products contain minimal amounts of nutrients as well as high salt content. This is something that we, in Southern California, with our highly alkaline soil, don’t need.
The main ingredients inn most fertilizers are these three essential elements: nitrogen (N), which stimulates leaf and stem growth, phosphorus (P), for the production of flowers and fruit and the growth of roots and potassium (K), which promotes general vigor, disease resistance and sturdy growth. Without nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium the plant simply cannot survive because it cannot produce what it needs to grow.
On the fertilizer bag you will find three numbers with hyphens separating them. The numbers indicate, in order, the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These numbers stand for the percentage, by weight, of those three major nutrients. For example, a bag printed with the numbers 5-10-10 contains 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 10% potassium. The remaining 75% might contain other nutrients but is mostly inert filler.
Simply put, clematis require humus, humic acid, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as trace elements to carry on growth. So, if you are prepared to feed your plants regularly with the regimen I have recommended, you will have a much more rewarding display of flowers to show for it.
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