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Plant terms can be confusing. If you find yourself a bit perplexed, the glossary below may help. If I have missed any, please let me know.

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Acidic Soil Soil with a pH of less than 7
Alkaline Soil Soil with a pH of greater than 7
Amendment Any material, such as compost or lime, that is mixed with existing soil to improve properties
Annual Plant that completes its lifecycle in one growing season, then dies
Basal Foliage Leaves found near the base of the stem
Biennial Plant that completes its lifecylce in two growing seasons, then dies
Border A garden, usually containing a variety of plants, that is backed by walls, fences, or taller plants, such as, trees or shrubs
Compost Organic material used as a soil amendment
Crown Area on a plant where the stem meets the root, generally found at soil level
Cultivar Refers to a group of plants within a species that has slightly different characteristics, such as, flower color or size
Deadheading Removal of old, spent/dead flowers, may promote reblooming
Deciduous Refers to trees and shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, usually in the fall
Division The process of splitting up plants, commonly performed on perennials
en masse Planting masses of the same plant to create a bold statement
Evergreen Plants that retain their foliage for more than one growing season
Fertilizer Organic or inorganic material added to the soil to encourage plant growth
Groundcover A plant that spreads to cover the soil surface
Growth Rate Slow: 3-6" per year, Moderate: 6-12" per year, Fast: 12-24+ per year
Habit General form or shape of a plant
Hardiness Zone Zones that provide guidelines to measure a plants ability to tolerate hot and cold temperatures
Herbaceous Non-woody plant that dies back to the ground every year
Invasive Plant A plant that spreads rapidly and may take over a garden bed
Loam Soil that is a mixture of clay, sand and silt
Mass Planting A planting where large numbers of the same plant are used to provide visual interest
Native Plant A plant that naturally occurs in a certain area
Node (leaf node) a joint on a plant stem
Perennial Plant that survives for 3 or more growing seasons
Pinching A technique used to promote fuller or shorter plants, often resulting in more flower heads
Rhizome an underground stem
Semi-evergreen Plants that fall between evergreen and deciduous in terms of growth and leaf retention.  Some examples include:  they may shed their foliage for a very short time in late winter or they lose most, but not all, of their foliage for a fraction of the year; sometimes they may lose their leaves due to specific situations, such as, extremes in temperature or drought.  
 Stamen pollen producing structure, usually found within the center of the flower
Spathe Leaf like structure that encloses the flower
Taproot Main root of a plant, usually growing straight down

A plant whose green foliage is marked with another color, usually white or yellow

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garden how-to

Clematis Care and Pruning

Clematis is an attractive vine that will flower dependably for many years if given proper care.  The suggestions below will help you achieve a fantastic display of flowers every year.       

Site Requirements:  Clematis need full sun to grow best (6+ hours of direct sun).  The site should also provide good air movement around the plants and well-drained soil.  The roots prefer a cool, moist environment, so keep the area mulched with two inches of mulch or plant a ground cover or perennial with shallow, non-evasive roots, around the base.  Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’, hardy geraniums, creeping phlox, coral bells, candytuft, or veronica, are good plants to use for this purpose.         

Fertilizer:  Clematis is a heavy feeder and will benefit from an annual feeding with a balanced fertilizer.       

Water Needs:  Clematis roots need a cool, moist environment, so, during dry spells, water deeply once per week. 

When first planted, pinch your clematis back to the lowest pair of healthy buds, and pinch again if their second season of growth is slow and/or sparse. 

Pruning:  Once established, pruning is easy, once you know what class of vine you are growing. Professionals divide this plant into three groups, based on their pruning requirements.  Find your group below to safely and effectively prune your Clematis. 

Group 1:  Early Flowering Cultivars

Group one flowers in the spring on growth produced the previous season (old wood).  Prune lightly immediately after they blossom.  Old, tall woody vines can be pruned back hard (cut back to 1 – 2 ft.), but it may take a season or two for them to recover.

  • C. alpina and cultivars (cvs.)
  • C. armandii and cvs.
  • C. cirrhosa and cvs.
  • C. macropetala and cvs
  • C. montana and cvs.
  • C. spooneri
  • C. 'Apple Blossom'
  • C. Blue Bird'
  • C. Crimson Star'
  • C. Rubens'
  • C. Snowdrift'

Group 2:  Mid-Season and Twice Blooming Cultivars

Group two varieties begin to bloom in summer and flower on both old wood (growth produced the previous season) and new wood (growth produced this season).  Prune lightly in late winter or early spring when the vine is dormant, removing dead and weak shoots.  Cut remaining shoots back to 6-9 inches above a couple of healthy buds. 

After the first flowering, you can prune more heavily – cutting back 1/3 of the shoots to the lowest pair of healthy buds – to induce new growth for fall flowers.  replica watches

  • C. florida and culivars (cvs.)
  • C. 'Barbara Jackman'
  • C. ‘Bees Jubilee’
  • C. 'Duchess of Edinburgh'
  • C. ‘Elsa Spath’
  • C. 'Empress of India'
  • C. 'Fairy Queen'
  • C. ‘General Sikorski’
  • C. ‘Henryi’
  • C. 'Mme. le Coutre'
  • C. 'Nelly Moser'
  • C. ‘Niobe’
  • C. ' Prince of Wales'
  • C. ‘The President’
  • C. ‘Will Goodwin’
  • C. ‘Vyvyan Pennell’

 Group 3:  Late Flowering Cultivars

Group three blooms on new growth, starting as early as mid-summer.  Prune shoots back to the lowest pair of healthy buds in late winter or early spring, before any new growth occurs.

  • C. x durandii                                         
  • C. heracleifolia and cultivars (cvs.)
  • C. integrifolia and cvs. 
  • C. orientalis and cvs.
  • C. rectaand cvs
  • C. tanguitica and cvs.
  • C. terniflora
  • C. texensis and cvs.
  • C. viticella and cvs.
  • C. 'Comtessee de Bouchaud'
  • C. 'Ernest Markham'
  • C. 'Gipsy Queen'
  • C. Gravetye Beauty'
  • C. 'Huldine'
  • C. 'Jackmanii'
  • C. 'Lady Betty Balfour'
  • C. 'Perle d'Azur'
  • C. 'Ville de Lyon'
  • C. 'Warsaw Nike' 

                            Happy Planting!