We’re showing you how to train clematis now for beautiful blooms by summer! If you train clematis right, it will reward you with lots of beautiful blooms! Isn’t that what we all want in the garden?
We inherited the clematis that is growing in our front yard when I bought the house. But it was obvious that the structure wasn’t allowing the plant to reach its full potential. So, first of all, if you don’t already have a decent trellis for your clematis, find out more about out outdoor privacy screen ideas and front porch privacy screens. We built a new trellis for our clematis out of cedar to give the plant more structure to grow:
The one thing that I didn’t touch on is the best way to train the clematis onto the trellis. Left without proper support, clematis can tend to flop onto the ground. Then it can grow out from the sides, leaving it in unattractive lumps. And sometimes off balance when you leave it to its own devices!
Velcro Plant Ties
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Each spring when the new growth reaches about a foot, I cut short and long lengths of these velcro plant ties just for the purpose of tying and supporting plants. I loop and fasten them onto the trellis when it’s still bare so it’s ready-to-go. You may think it looks ugly to have loops of velcro plant ties hanging from an empty trellis, but trust me – the plant grows so fast, it doesn’t stay this way for long and the green blends right in once it’s covered.
Once you have your lengths of plant tie velcro, you can reuse them again next year!
In the past, I find if I don’t prepare the trellis in advance by adding the velcro plant ties to the empty trellis, then I won’t likely keep up with the growth. Ultimately, that will lead to a messy outcome.
Here’s how the bottom of the plant looks in the Spring when the bottom growth is fastened onto the trellis with the velcro plant ties. We neatly arrange and tie off so that the trellis will get full coverage once the plant grows further.
Because I use the shorter ones to attach initial growth and the longer ones to corral all the offshoots, I make sure to have a variety of velcro lengths. Secure these through the plant itself and not the trellis.
In the blink of an eye, the clematis can grow several feet in a day so if the velcro is already there and waiting.
It’s just a matter of arranging the new growth into columns and fastening it into place by unlooping the velcro from the trellis, placing the vines in between and then re-fastening it. It literally takes a few minutes whenever I’m coming or going to finesse the plant for greatness.
It couldn’t be easier!
Control New Growth
Once established after just a few days, you can see that new growth tends to flop outward as shown in the next two pictures.
This is where you’ll use some of the longer loops.
Reel in the plant and fasten it onto previous growth, where there’s no exposed trellis left to attach to, as you see below.
Just bundle it up and secure it on by looping the velcro through the plant and around the new growth. Don’t worry that it looks too clumped together. Because the colour blends right in, the velcro is practically undetectable as it continues to grow.
Continue to utilize the shorter pieces to secure clematis onto the sides and interior of the trellis where there’s still exposed wood.
It may look awkward, but trust me, it will grow and fill in.
Before you know it, your clematis will reach the top! This pic is from a previous year as it’s not currently at that point yet!
When the clematis runs out of trellis, it will fold over on itself and start to bloom.
How to Train Clematis Blooms
Since we are mid season right now, here’s how it looks once it’s blooming (again, from a previous year):
The blooms are so pretty and add beautiful curb appeal to the front entry.
At the end of the season, don’t forget to remove all the velcro ties to re-use for next year!
Our particular clematis is cut down to about a foot or so to overwinter. And it always comes back like a trouper every Spring 🙂
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How to Train Clematis FAQs
Does Clematis Need to be Trained?
Yes, clematis will need a little help if you want to balance how it will look on a trellis. With just a few minutes a day for a few weeks in the spring, the vine is easy to tie onto a trellis with the help of velcro ties to support the growth.
What is the best way to support clematis?
Green velcro ties blend right into the foliage and can be cut to any length. The best feature is that you can reuse them year after year!
How Do you Shape a Clematis?
Depending on the variety (check with your nursery), prune clematis back right to the ground and then train in the Spring to grow how you want it. Regular pruning encourages a strong plant and health growth.
How do You Make a clematis bushier?
Use velcro ties to secure new growth where you want it to grow. If you train it in this way as it grows, it will fill out.