Clematis Ernest Markham (Starter Plant) PERENNIAL VINE
Ernest Markham’ has beautiful 5-7″ magenta-red flowers with a velvety sheen and cream-brown stamens. This vine grows best in a fertile,well-drained, alkaline soil. A choice site is key to the success of establishing this perennial; roots should be kept cool and moist. This is a vigorous, bushy plant.
Clematis Ernest Markham is an amazing variety, showing off masses of large velvety looking magenta flowers. This vigorous growing variety flowers late Spring through to Autumn. Ernest Markham is a Group 2 type for pruning meaning a light prune in Winter will initiate flowers for Spring and another pruning as the flowers are fading will encourage a second flush in Summer/ Autumn.
Clematis are charming usually deciduous climbers that are fast growing and once established, will profusely bear flowers in Spring or Summer. Thriving in moist well drained soils, Clematis are said to love to have their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade- therefore protection for the roots during the heat of the day is essential for good results.
Grow them beside a pole, fence, pergola or trellis or let them climb up a shrub or tree for a delightful intertwined effect.
Clematis are broken up into three broad groups for pruning depending on how they flower.
Group One: These Clematis only flower on the previous season’s growth. That means whatever growth is made before winter will be the growth that has the flowers. DON’T prune this group in winter because you will be cutting off all your flowers!
Group Two: These Clematis flower on both previous seasons growth and new growth. Prune lightly in winter to big buds making sure to cut out all weak, cluttered and dead growth. After the spring flowering, prune again to remove all the spent flowers to encourage a fresh set of flowers in summer. If the plant is sparse, prune harder to encourage branching. Feed after each pruning to encourage new growth. (This group includes most of the Large Flowered Hybrid Clematis. )
Group Three: These Clematis only flower on new growth and require hard pruning in winter to encourage new growth. Some will naturally die down to the ground. They tend to flower later in the season, around November onwards and are terrific during Summer and Autumn. This group includes the viticellas, texensis and herbaceous varieties.
PLANTING CLEMATIS IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3
- 1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12” and mix in several handfuls of compost and ¼ to ½ cup of all-purpose granular fertilizer (follow package directions).
- 2. Dig a hole deep enough for the roots, and position the clematis so the crown of the plant (where the roots meet the stem) is right at the soil line.
- 3. Cover the roots with soil, allowing the growing tips to be barely visible.
TIPS FOR PLANTING CLEMATIS
Though clematis like their “heads” in the sun, the bottom of the plant should be shaded so the roots stay relatively cool.
During the first growing season, your new clematis should be watered whenever the weather is dry. Mulching around the base of the plant will help retain moisture and keep the roots cool. Sometimes clematis need a little help holding onto a trellis or structure. You can use soft twine, waxed string or even zip-ties to attach the vines and provide extra support.
Prune clematis vines to encourage new growth, which results in more flowers.
No matter which pruning category your clematis plants fall into, flowering will diminish on all clematis vines without pruning.
Left unpruned the new growth is confined to the tops or ends of the vines and that is where your flowers will be
CARING FOR CLEMATIS AFTER THEY BLOOM
After the flowers fade, some clematis develop decorative seed heads. These can be left in place throughout the growing season. Though it's not necessary, you can also cut off the seed heads to keep the plant looking neat. Some clematis varieties bloom again in late summer or early fall. If you think your clematis could be a rebloomer, remove only the spent flower heads and avoid cutting back the foliage.
Early spring is the best time to prune a clematis. There are two approaches to pruning. Some varieties produce new growth on last year’s vines, so they should only be pruned to shape the overall plant. Others varieties die back to the ground. Since any new growth comes from the base of the plant, all of the prior year's vines can be removed. Until you get to know your clematis, it’s best to wait until the plant has sprouted new growth. That way you can see where it's coming from and prune accordingly.
Fertilize your clematis in the spring when the first leaves start to unfurl. Follow package instructions, sprinkling approximately ¼ to ½ cup of all-purpose granular fertilizer around the base of the plant.
If your clematis outgrows its space, you can control the growth by simply cutting back the entire plant to a height of 5". This can be done in fall or early spring. Stray vines may also be trimmed back any time during the growing season.