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General details of clematis
The clematis are perennial herbaceous plants, there are several species, spread throughout the northern hemisphere; in addition to the species, there are also very many hybrids, several hundred, typically created using only a few species; there are so many clematis in nature, that botanists often tend to divide the genus into different groups, depending on the shape of the flower, the vigor of the vegetation, the place of origin, the period of flowering. Despite the large number, they are not a plant that has great success in Italian gardens, where typically only a few timid examples of large flower garden hybrids appear (apart of course from the collections of fans of the genus). And it is a pity, because in fact there are clematis of all kinds, for all tastes; the cultivation is not very simple, especially during the hot Italian summers, but there are some botanical species of clematis that bloom in between the end of winter and spring, so that the cool and humid climate helps us to obtain a flowering prolonged and abundant.
Herbaceous plant with deciduous leaves, native to the European and Asian mountainous areas; produces a lianosa vegetation, consisting of thin, fickle, climbing or prostrate, dark-colored, well-branched stems; the leaves are broad, divided into lobes, with a serrated edge, dark green. In early spring it produces many pendulous flowers, with violet stamens, and white or cream center; these species produce many flowers, there are some varieties, with white, pink or purple flowers. Cultivation is quite simple: they prefer semi-shady or shaded positions, they are not afraid of frost, so they can easily find a place in the garden, near a wall or a fence, which will tend to cover over the years. They love fertile, fairly moist and fresh soils, which do not remain completely dry for a long time, slightly acidic or even alkaline; usually planted in the autumn, working well the soil, mixing universal and manure soil. Throughout the summer it is good to water the plants, avoiding leaving them dry for long periods of time, which could also lead to the death of the entire plant. Alpine clematis bloom on the stems of the previous year, so it is advisable to avoid autumn pruning, which would remove most of the future shoots.
Clematis very vigorous, climbing, with deciduous leaves; its foliage is light green, wrinkled, divided into small oval leaves, with a serrated edge; in March and April it produces a profusion of large pendulous flowers, with purple petals, and staminoids similar to the petals, giving rise to a semi-double flower; There are varieties with a pink, cream or violet blue flower. Very vigorous plant, it quickly covers large spaces, railings, dry stone walls or pergolas. The flowering is very abundant, and often in summer the plants tend to produce some single flowers. Clematis very resistant to cold, it is grown in a bright place, in partial shade or with a few hours of direct sunlight every day. Despite the wide development, these clematis tend not to require pruning, except for a slight lightening when the plant tends to become very woody, or to empty in the lower part. It prefers rich, fairly fresh and deep soils; fears drought, especially if it occurs in the summer months; therefore from May to September we avoid leaving the soil dry for long periods of time.
Evergreen clematis of Mediterranean origin, also present in the wild in some Italian regions; it has large leathery leaves, dark green in color, and produces a large elongated, climbing or hanging vegetation. The flowers bloom throughout the winter, until early spring, are light in color, often mottled or spotted, and give off a delicate fragrance. Clematis of easy cultivation, prefers sunny, or partially shady locations; in summer, when the heat arrives, the plant goes through a period of vegetative rest, so it is quite simple to cultivate it as it does not fear excessively the heat and drought typical of the Italian summer. In any case, let's avoid leaving our clematis dry for long periods of time, from September to April; usually the climate helps us in these times of the year, but in case of particular drought it is advisable to water the plant.
Species native to China, clematis armandii is evergreen, has large dark green leaves, shiny and leathery; in spring it produces a large quantity of white or pinkish flowers, which stand out very well against dark foliage. This clematis is very vigorous, and is usually pruned after flowering, to encourage the production of many new stems, so that the following year the flowering is very abundant. It prefers sunny or semi-shady locations, and a good rich and deep soil, very well drained. In areas with a very hot spring climate, it is advisable to place the plant away from direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day.
Also called clematis anemone, clematis montana are particular and vigorous climbing plants, with deciduous leaves, which produce at the end of winter a large quantity of large flowers with four petals, of light, white or rosé color; flowering is often so abundant that it completely covers the foliage. Vigorous and rustic plants are grown in the garden, in a sunny or partially shaded area, in a good rich and fertile soil, deep, moist and fresh, but also well drained, since the clematis do not like water stagnation. In the hottest hours of the day it is good that the plant enjoys a little shade.
Grow particular clematis
There are many species of clematis, one for every taste and desire; despite this, it is difficult to see them in an Italian garden, especially in some areas; while they are very successful plants in the United Kingdom, where they are often grown close to roses, so that they use the vegetation as a support. Clearly the problem of the spread of clematis in Italy is due to their needs, which are very different from the Italian climate; despite this, it is possible to grow clematis even in the hottest and torrid Mediterranean garden. First of all it is advisable to choose the right species or variety, not only for the color and size of the flowers, but also for the cultivation needs: the most delicate clematis will hardly survive for long in a dry Sicilian garden, the most vigorous and clematis Texan or Mediterranean origin will not survive long in Bolzano. In addition to this, clematis have particular cultural needs, which can be summarized in one sentence: they love having their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. That is, to have a well developed, luxuriant and floriferous clematis, it is important to make sure that its branches enjoy a good brightness, even of direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day. In addition to this, it is of fundamental importance that the base of the plant, and the root system, are found in a sort of undergrowth, damp and shady. Placing a clematis at the foot of a wall or shrub, can guarantee a certain shade of the ground; to keep it moist and fresh, as well as having a good rich and porous soil, it is good practice to cover the base of the delicate stem of the clematis with mulching material, such as barks, pebbles, leaves; this will prevent the soil from drying out due to wind, sun or heat.
Particular clematis: Parasites and diseases
Typically, the greatest suffering for particular clematis is due to the climate and watering: a very hot and dry climate, scarce or excessive watering, can bring plants to great suffering, and even to death. In addition to this, the thin stems of the young clematis can be accidentally ruined by the passage of animals, or they can be cut off by an inexperienced gardener; if it is a young plant in vegetative rest, such damage can be irreparable.
The young clematis can also be attacked by aphids, in spring, which lurk on the buds, and on the buds, ruining them. In recent years a bacterial disease of clematis is also spreading, which causes the development of a whitish exudate, from the branches that break; to limit the spread of infection it is advisable to drastically prune the affected plant, destroying the resulting material, and hoping that the young shoots will develop healthy and vigorous. Generally it seems that some specimens are more subject to such infection than others.
Belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, they are generally plants that lose their foliage during the inv. Season
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