Basic Facts About The Clematis Integrifolia
Clematis integrifolia is not a typical clematis plant. Most clematis plants are characterized by climbing vines, which either must be pruned to shape or allowed to ramble. This particular variety is noted for its preference to stay close to the ground, in the form of a compact shrub.
Though short by clematis standards, clematis integrifolia doesn't take a back seat to any of its cousins as far as its attractiveness is concerned. The light blue, bell shaped flowers which appear from late spring to mid summer give the plant its more common name, the Blue Bell clematis. The flowers are long lasting and serve well as a cut flower. They have a definite look about them which suggests they fit would be at home in an “old fashioned” garden.
Watch Close By Plants - Though classified as a bushy perennial, and usually grown that way, Clematis integrifolia does not have a vining tendency as do most of its cousins, but still will tend to take over a shrub or plant which has been placed too close. It will grow to a height of about 2 feet, but will have a spread of closer to 4 feet. Clematis integrifolia is useful as a border plant and as a container plant, but is most eye-catching when grown is large groupings. This clematis is especially eye-catching when grown among geraniums and other low growing perennials. When planting together with other plants, note that clematis integrifolia is somewhat of a slow grower, and may be out crowded in certain situations if this is not taken into account.
Water And Shade - It prefers moist soil but take care not to over water to the point that the roots are standing in water. While drought tolerant when mature, it will always perform best when given frequent, periodic waterings. Like all clematis plants, the roots need to be protected from the direct rays of the sun, though the foliage itself likes direct sun. The roots can be protected with a mulch, or simply protected by placing some stones around the base of the plant to shade them. The plant itself offers more shade to the roots than is the case with the climbing varieties of clematis. If planted in shade rather than direct sun, the stems may need to be supported or they will tend to sprawl along the ground as they are weaker than if the plant is allowed to enjoy full sun. After the blooming season is over, and the leaves have begun to turn in the autumn, the plant can be severely pruned back. It is recommended by some horticulturists that it be pruned back completely to the ground.
Diseases And Pests - If the foliage is allowed to remain wet for too long of a period, especially in warm weather, clematis integrifolia can suffer from fungus or mildew. When watering the plant, it is always best to water near the base, and not on the foliage. Scale insects and white flies can be an occasional problem, and earwigs seem to have a liking for the plant as well. Cuttings can be taken to propagate this clematis, or the root system can be dug up and divided during the spring months for the same purpose.
A clematis is an easy plant to grow and care for, and if the size of your garden permits, you may want to grow several varieties. Blooms come in a wide assortment of colors and sizes, from reds and purples, to yellows, whites, and blues. The shrub variety, such as the Clematis integrifolia, is not yet particularly well known yet, which is somewhat of a shame given the beauty of the plant when in bloom. Perhaps you can be the first kid on your block to have one in your garden.