The Q&A Archives: Growing Clematis on Vegetable Netting

Question: Can clematis grow up vegetable netting, or must it be on a trellis? Will it grow up lattice? I live in southern Zone 7. Is it too late to plant perennial seeds? It seems our really cold weather is over. Do all hydrangeas die to the ground in the fall? Can you suggest shrubs for shady areas that would reach 4-5'. Thank you. Ellen Rames Helena, AL

Answer: Clematis clings to things by twisting the stems of its leaves around any support it can find. I have one growing on some lattice but I would recommend a wire trellis because some of the flower buds open behind the lattice. In addition, I have had to attach it to the lattice where it didn't take hold. Clematis can get quite heavy if it is growing vigorously so the netting would not be appropriate. If your area has seen its last frost, you can set out perennial seeds. Call a local nursery to find out the average last date of frost but it should be around the middle of March. There are hydrangeas that are woody shrubs and shouldn't die back to the ground in your zone. You might try rhododendrons for that shady spot...but there are any number of native shrubs that would probably do well in the situation you describe. Contact a local nursery and ask for suggestions.

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