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Clematis Jackmanii

A Beginner’s Guide to Clematis Jackmanii

When looking for a long blooming flowering vine, many gardeners choose the clematis jackmanii.  Revered for its beautiful appearance as well as its lasting impression, this plant also has the distinction of being amenable to a variety of climates across the United States.

Vines have long been a popular choice with gardeners.  Winding and climbing up trellises, walls and fences, the woven patterns of their flexible stems, attractive foliage and vibrant blooms decorate and enhance a garden in a way that in unmatchable with typical upright plants.  Cottages of days past were often adorned with vines; a vision that remains in depictions of Currier and Ives and other well knows pictorials even today.  The thick walls of foliage provided by the growth have been successfully used to create privacy walls and as a means to disguise unattractive areas in the yard for centuries.  One that has endured the test of time is the clematis; a flowering vine that is now available in a multitude of varieties and colors, making the plant extremely popular with a number of gardeners in temperate and warmer climates.

Clematis jackmanii is one variety that stands out among many of the flowering vines.  It was developed by an Englishman, George Jackman, in the mid 1800’s, and bears his name as recognition of his work.   The jackmanii grows up to 20 feet when grown in its optimal environment, which is full sun to partial shade.  Several species of the jackmanii offer different colors and scents, bringing great diversity into the garden as well as a spectacular show.

It is primarily the flowers of the jackmanii that give it such a popular following.  Large blooms that can measure up to six inches cover the vine from the middle of the summer right through to the end of autumn.  Resplendent in deep, royal purple the clematis will literally blanket a spread of four feet wide with sweet scent as well as colorful beauty.   Not only does this clematis provide an exquisite visual appearance, but it also endures for an unusually extended period.  Blooms will appear in July and they remain in full regalia until the frost appears in the fall, marking the end of a magnificent season for the clematis. 

Growing clematis is rather basic, and can be accomplished by even the most novice of gardeners.   There are a few points to remember that are crucial to the survival of the climbing vine, however.  The first and foremost rule of thumb is that the roots of the clematis must remain cool, even in the face of the summer’s scorching heat.  The plants feature shallow roots, therefore maintaining a moist yet cool environment does require attention.  However, this should not be a difficult issue when mulch is used for the plant.  Rocks or gravel should never be used; rather, an organic mulch of either commercial or handmade nature is more than adequate.  Three to four inches of this type of material will decompose naturally, providing nourishing elements back into the soil where they will be absorbed into the roots of the clematis.   The second important consideration is that the plant requires at least four hours of full sun daily.  It does thrive in partial shade, but when grown in sun the best flowering activity is seen.  Little feeding is needed; adding natural compost once yearly will suffice.  As clematis jackmanii is a perennial plant, each year will bring fresh growth to reach even greater spread and heights.

The beautiful and bountiful blooms of the clematis jackmanii make this plant ideal for any gardener, even those with limited space, in just about any zone in the United States.



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