The Q&A Archives: Clematis in hot weather

Question: I have a clematis on the south side in full sun most of the day. When I bought it I was told they could handle full sun, but I am having a terrible time getting it to continue growing. It started out great in the spring, but now has stopped growing and has lost many of its leaves or they have turned brittle. Help

Answer: Clematis will grow in full sunshine. However, their preference is to have their tops in the sun and their roots in a cool, moist setting. You can provide protection for the roots by setting a small shrub close to the base of the plant to help shade it. Or, you could group some potted plants on the sunny side of the plant or even place a large decorative rock in front of it. Whatever you can do to shade the roots and 6-12" of the lower stems will help your plant cope with the summer heat. Once you've found some way to shade the roots, place 3-4" of organic mulch on the soil directly over the root system. This will also help to keep the roots cool and moist. Once the roots are happy, the new foliage that is produced will be able to endure hot summer sunshine.

Best wishes with your clematis.

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