How to grow the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016, Clematis chiisanensis AMBER
One of the most exciting times in the horticultural world is discovering which plant has been chosen as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year. This year did not disappoint. The plant this year was the Clematis chiisanensis AMBER, with neither amber leaves nor flowers! This is not a typical-looking clematis either. Glossy green leaves act as the backdrop to some really stunning and unusual nodding cream/yellow ragged flower heads.
- Position: Partial shade to full sun.
- Soil: Neutral soil that is well-drained and fertile.
- Growth rate: fast-growing.
- Flowering period: early to mid-summer and a second flush in September.
- Hardiness: Fully hardy
As you can see from the plant specifications, this looks like a really great all-rounder plant that will suit many gardens. The positioning choices that this plant presents with will mean that if you want this clematis in your garden, then you will very probably be able to find a spot where it will be happy. As a fast-growing climber, the amber could look stunning as a focal point in your garden over pretty much anything you would like it to cover! A bare fence panel: with the right supports in place, you could have a stunning display of this unusual clematis flower in no time at all. The really long flowering period of the amber means that you could have flower from the beginning of the warm weather, right up until the beginning of the autumn. If you are not sure about your soil’s pH, then have a look at our article about soil testing for some great advice.
How to look after the Clematis chiisanensis Amber
- Prune: The best time to prune this clematis is in the early spring. Take the last year’s growth back to a pair of strong buds. This will be around 6-8inches/15-20cms above the ground.
- Fertilise: In the spring after pruning, the best fertiliser to use is a balanced, slow-release one such as the Vitax specialised Clematis fertiliser.
- Mulch: Well-rotted compost is the best source of mulch for a clematis. Pile it around the plant but take good care not to let the mulch touch the plant itself as this can lead to a burning effect on the plant’s crown.
- Pests: Slugs love the new growth on a clematis! Catch them early or take steps to prevent the damage, have a look at our slug top tips! With Clematis comes clematis wilt. This is a fungal condition that, while will spoil the plant for the season, rarely kills the plant. Prevention tips include: keeping the plant well mulched and fed, planting deeply, and creating a barrier as the base of the stem to prevent water from splashing the base of the plant.
The judges were spot-on when choosing the Clematis chiisanensis AMBER at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 as it is a superb plant that is really an all-rounder plant for every garden, buy one for your garden today!