The Q&A Archives: Vines not growing quickly

Question: I am having terrible luck with vines. I planted clematis vines on my pergola last summer. The nursery that I bought them from said they were pretty vigorous, and that by the end of the summer they should be half way up the wood. I live in NorthernUtah (he said that the climate wouldbe fine) So, in the mean time, spring is approaching, and I have threescrawny looking twigs about 12 inches high. It ooks like I'll have another summer without shade on my back porch. Do you have any suggestions for a vine that will grow pretty vigorously, (but not as vigorous as a trumpet vine) and will give me shade by the mid to end of summer? P.S. I have tried the fertilizer Miralce Grow

Answer: I would first check the soil before I planted any other vines. Most vines like a well drained, fertile soil. Amend your soil with compost before planting and that should help. Also clematis may take a year or so to build up their roots and shoots especially if your weather is severe, windy and changes often (does that sound like Utah!). If you want to try other more vigorous vines on your pergola try growing honeysuckle, wisteria, Dutchman's pipe or even grapes! All should grow in your area but they will take over the pergola eventually if that is the look you want. You can keep the clematis growing with these others and actually it looks quite nice interplanted that way.

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