If you live in a warmer locale such as Southern California some of your clematis may just now be starting to take off. I should mention it’s not just the weather that can determine when certain clematis might begin peeking their heads out of the ground and shooting up new stems with buds (some may even have flowers…no, I’m not kidding); your clematis are also influenced by which cultivar group they belong to. If you would like to learn more about these group classifications visit J. van Zoest Clematis’ website. Don’t despair if you live in another part of the country with a colder climate because it’s only a matter of time before your clematis will be wiping the sleep from their eyes after waking up from their winter naps (i.e. dormancy).
Some gardeners may view having to tie up the new growth of their clematis as somewhat of a tedious job, but I don’t mind it because I know that these tender stems are the ones that will produce the flowers which is, after all, why we grow them. So, the more you have to tie up means the more blossoms you should be rewarded with, which I think is a fairly nice tradeoff for your time spent. Needless to say, I always get excited because I wonder what each one of my sleeping beauties will have to offer.
If you have forgotten to peek in on your babies’ progress, the astounding rate of speed at which they can grow is often surprising to new clematis gardeners and even seasoned pros. So, my best advice is to keep on top of things in the beginning, otherwise they can quickly grow in a direction you may not have intended such as hopping over your neighbor’s side of the fence or attaching itself to the wrong side of its support. I’d certainly encourage you to check out the clematis putting out new growth at least once a week (I personally try my best to go out every two to three days). You will want to arm yourself with a pair of pruners and tying material to carry out the task of tying them up. Just remember, giving them a little guidance now will allow them to show off their best side later in the season. Here’s hoping you have a bumper crop of flowers that bloom where you can “see them”!
For more information on tying materials please read: Attaching Your Clematis in Style