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Caring for Clematis

Q. What is the best way to care for clematis?

A. It is important to plant clematis in a location where the top of the plant will receive full sun and the roots will be shaded and cool. Organic matter such as compost and leaf mold can be added to the soil to help retain moisture. A two- to three-inch layer of mulch will also help retain moisture, but take care to keep the mulch away from the stem. Well-drained soil is essential. When planting clematis, it is important to make sure that the crown of the plant, the area where the stem meets the roots, is planted one to two inches below the soil level. Fertilizing clematis is not necessary. Clematis do not like their roots disturbed and do not transplant well.