The Q&A Archives: Early Spring Planting Of Clematis

Question: I want to plant a few well develpoed clematis plants next to a new arbor I set up on the side of my home this spring. Are container plants (vs. bare roots) my best bet for quicker growth and flowering? Also, how early can I plant in central NJ? Where/when will your clematis be available in my area?

Answer: In my experience larger plants are usually available in containers, but both bare root and container stock establish about as well as the other. Clematis usually take about three years to settle in and grow and bloom well no matter what you do. Bare root plants are usually planted upon receipt and allowed to wake up naturally with the season, although you could protect them from severe cold if it threatens. Container grown plants that have been hardened off can be planted any time the soil is workable; if they have been forced into early growth in a greenhouse you will need to wait until the weather moderates to avoid shocking them. Local availability will be based on local garden centers' stock and retail practices. You might want to check the listing of nurseries carrying Monrovia plants at the Monrovia web site:

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