The beloved flowering clematis plants are woody and deciduous except for the evergreen Armand, coming in a wide variety of flower forms, heights, flower colors and foliage. How long does clematis bloom? Some can produce flowers from spring to early fall, while others start in late summer or midsummer and keep going in two waves until autumn arrives.
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Clematis Zones in Florida
Clematis plants prefer warmer parts of the United States, but they can sometimes grow in other zones, although the blooms will not survive a frost. It's important to know which hardiness zones are in your state before buying outdoor plants. The Department of Agriculture has four named zones in Florida: 8, 9, 10 and 11. These zones are based on the average lowest temperature.
Out of these, clematis seems most appropriate for zones 8 and 9 but keep in mind that excessively high humidity and heat can damage them. Does clematis grow in zone 8? The answer is yes, and that answer stands for zones 9 and 10 too. This zoning means that they are suitable for pretty much the entire state of Florida except for the Keys. You should be completely safe planting clematis if you live in the Sunshine State.
Planting and Watering Clematis
Most gardening centers sell clematis plants with exposed roots, so look for thick and healthy ones. You should plant these bare-root ones in the early spring, but you can plant potted ones anytime during the growing season. Choose a spot that gets full sun to get the most flowers but keep the root zone shaded with other plants. Loosen the soil down 12 inches and mix in compost and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of an all-purpose, granular fertilizer. Dig in a deeper hole than the root ball and place the crown 2 inches beneath the soil line.
Water new clematis plants when it is dry. Once the vines start to grow, you can provide a trellis or other structure for them to grow on. Use zip ties, waxed string or soft twine to attach them. They look great by arbors and entryways and along fences. Species size varies; while some can grow up to heights of 30 feet, many are much smaller.
How to Get More Clematis Flowers
These beautiful Florida vine plants can produce an abundance of spectacular flowers, and there are ways to encourage them to produce more. Besides putting them in sunny locales, keeping the roots shaded and watering them, you can prune strategically. If you have an early flowering variety that starts showing in the spring, prune them back right after they bloom but before the end of July and avoid cutting into their woody trunks.
If you have large-flowering species that bloom in mid-June, prune them in February or March. Remove any weak or dead stems and cut back the remaining ones to the highest pair of green buds. Late-flowering clematis that blooms toward the end of June should also be pruned in February or March. Cut these stems to about 2 to 3 feet. Like other flowering plants, you should deadhead any wilted or spent flowers. This way, the clematis will redirect that energy to developing fresh, new blooms.