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Plant Profile: Clematis ‘Rooguchi’

clematis-rooguchiThe name “clamatis” conjures up visions of huge, colorful, often frilly blossoms on a vine. Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ is entirely different and has relative small, bell shaped purple-blue blossoms that nod on their slender stems from spring until fall. Don’t let “small” drive you away. I grow one in my secret garden and get more compliments, oohs, and ahs over it than on any other plant in my garden, (not that other people’s opinion should dictate plant choices, but it is interesting.) Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ is a cross between C. integrifolia and C. reticulata, and was originally bred in Japan to be a solitary blossom for the Japanese tea ceremony. This  plant with its very unassuming flower has great appeal. If you have a wall, fence, or just a place on the ground to let it ramble, this plant will not disappoint.

Type: Deciduous vine.

Bloom: Spring until fall.

Size: Up to 8” if supported x 4’W.

Light: Full sun to part shade.

Soil: Rich, fertile, humus, moist but well drained; do not allow to dry out; soak well during times of low rainfall.

Fertilizer: Feed once a month with a complete organic fertilizer and add lime periodically.

Hardiness: Zones 4-9 (heat zones: 9-1).

Care: Since the roots like to be cool, plant annuals around them or locate a shrub to shade them. Alternatively, mulch the plant. Prune your clematis the first spring to about 12” to get your plant off to a low branching and heavier flowering. Thereafter, prune in February or March as new leaf buds begin to show low on the plant. Remove all dead material above these bus and clean out any old foliage or foliage with mildew. These clematis bloom on new growth.

Pests and Diseases: Powdery mildew can be a problem on stressed plants.

Propagation: Layer branches in late winter; basal and softwood cuttings in spring; division in spring; semi-ripe cuttings in early summer.

Companion plantings: Grow on any trellis, arbor, post, fence, wall or tree trunk or use as a ground cover.

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