If you have just started breeding plants, and you already want something beautiful and blooming - take a look at the clematis “Arabella”. At first glance, this liana may seem rather capricious, but if you follow the advice of experienced gardeners and follow all the rules of agricultural technology, this plant has every chance of becoming the most spectacular element of your landscape design.
Clematis "Arabella" was first introduced in the UK and early 90's. of the last century by the famous English breeder B. Fratwell. It received its name in honor of the daughter of the aristocrats Herschel.
Keep in mind, science knows another type of clematis Arabella, derived back in the XIV century. This plant had snow-white flowers, however, in our time it is considered long lost for floriculture.
The clematis Arabella, which will be discussed in our article, is interesting in that it does not tend to cling to supports, as the vast majority of lianas and loaches known to us.
This clematis is a whole leaf clematis, and in fact, the leaf plates of representatives of this variety are not dissected and slightly pubescent. This suggests that in the course of selection, woolly clematis material was used.
The bushes of this clematis have densely sprouted shoots of the correct hemispherical shape, however, they are not at all adapted to cling to supports, therefore, when cultivating clematis "Arabella", it is necessary to tie the branches by analogy with climbing roses. This unusual feature of clematis allows you to use them as groundcover.
The length of each flower shoot varies from 1.5 to 2 m, but if they grow in a horizontal plane, then fixing shoots to the soil, you can achieve a length of up to 2.5-3 meters.
Flowers "Arabella" forms only on young shoots. At the very beginning of blooming, they have a deep purplish-blue hue, but as they bloom, the color changes and becomes more pale, bluish with an unobtrusive purple hue. "Arabella" is a large-flowered plant, the size of the flower is 8-9 cm, each has 4-8 elongated oval-shaped petals , when they open, they look up. Anthers and stamens are beige in color, but can turn pale yellow.
Its flowering begins early - in areas with a warm climate already in early June. Like most clematis, this variety blooms for a rather long time, usually until September - early October. In the period of prolonged rains, the bush often breaks up and for some time looks unpresentable, but then it gives young shoots quite quickly and its flowering continues.
"Arabella" is classified as a clematis for beginners, as it "forgives" its owners small oversights, to which more expensive varieties will react with a sharp deterioration in its decorativeness. Properly planted this plant will become a key factor affecting the abundant flowering and life span of the bush.
Like all other representatives of this culture, Arabella prefers sunny places , although the plant can successfully develop in light partial shade. Due to the nature of growth, this flower can be planted next to a vertical support or as an ampel plant in a cache-pot , but in any case it will need good drainage to prevent stagnation of water. It is no secret that excess moisture often causes problems with clematis and even leads to their rapid death.
If you purchased a seedling with an earthen lump, you can plant it at any time during the warm season. If you are dealing with rooted cuttings, you will first have to grow them in a separate vessel so that you can subsequently cut the walls without damaging the roots.
Plants with an open root system should be planted in late spring or early fall. In the first 3-4 weeks after planting, the plant will need a slight dimming and maintenance of the earth in a moist state until the final rooting.
It is not necessary to purchase seedlings with whitish elongated shoots - they will become sick and with a high degree of probability will not take root.
Seedlings with a closed root system and sprouts of juicy green color can be selected only if you have the opportunity to plant them for 7-10 days.
Otherwise, you will have to find them a vessel for temporary stay. If you buy clematis with open roots, pay attention to the fact that not only young shoots 40-50 cm long, but also a couple of sleeping kidneys should be located on it.
"Arabella" can grow on all types of soil. It should not have stagnation of moisture, but there must be the necessary nutrients. At the bottom of the prepared landing pit, it is necessary to lay out expanded clay, crushed stone or pebbles with a layer of 15-25 cm, and then cover it with earth with the addition of wood ash, as well as humus and superphosphate.
If you grow clematis in a cache-pot, a drainage layer will also be required, but it can be less - 7-12 cm. You can use ordinary garden soil mixed with humus as a substrate. Keep in mind that even in the most voluminous hanging planter clematis will not be able to live longer than 3-4 years, sooner or later you will have to transplant it into the ground or divide.
When planting a seedling, it is important that the root neck is deepened by 5-10 cm. In cold regions, a powerful layer of organic mulch will additionally be required for the flower.
If you plan to use a vertical support for your creeper, it is advisable to dig it in before planting, otherwise the roots of the "Arabella" could be damaged.
In order for the plant to grow and develop well, he will need quality care. Every 5-7 days you need to water clematis. If the summer is too hot, then the amount of irrigation should be increased.
Starting from the second year, clematis will need additional nutrition. Compounds are best suited for this. Fertilizers must be applied every 2 weeks.
The root system of clematis reacts extremely negatively to dryness and heat, therefore, plants will need mulching to maintain an optimum level of moisture and temperature conditions. After watering, it is necessary to cover the layer of earth around the bush with straw, sawdust, shredded bark of coniferous trees or compost.
Pest and Disease Control
Clematis is a fairly viable plant that resists most diseases and pests of flowering crops. But problems can happen to them. In the early stages of the disease, clematis can be saved, so it is extremely important to know what infections this plant may encounter and how to deal with them.
- Fundazol is highly effective in combating gray rot . Most often, clematis encounters this problem in rainy weather.
- Ascochitosis is manifested by the appearance of brown spots and holes on leaf plates. In order to suppress the spread of this disease, the bush is treated with copper sulfate.
- With the defeat of powdery mildew , soda ash helps. If resuscitation is not started in time, clematis can die in a matter of days.
- The rust will quickly go away if sprayed with a 2% solution of Bordeaux fluid.
How to prepare for winter?
Clematis of all types tolerate colds and prolonged winters quite well, however, it will be useful to prepare your pet for wintering.
Clematis “Arabella” belongs to the third group of pruning , which means that immediately after flowering, the vine should be cut almost to the root . Pruning is performed in the fall, leaving only small stumps 15-20 cm long. They should have at least 3-4 kidneys.
In anticipation of winter, you just need to cover the remaining parts of the bush and a trunk circle with a diameter of about half a meter with compost, humus or another type of mulch.
If severe winters are expected, then you can additionally build a frame from boards and tighten it with a layer of agrofibre or roofing felt - in this case your plant will be protected from critically low temperatures and their drops.
"Arabella" refers to clematis that reproduce exclusively vegetatively - any attempt to grow clematis from a seed gives a result that is very far from the mother variety.
The simplest and most affordable way is considered to be cuttings , however, the processes of "Arabella" usually accelerate for a very long time, so it is best to resort to propagation by layering. The stems often spread along the ground, so it is not difficult to bend them and pin them to the substrate. After some time, roots appear in the place of contact with the ground - then you can cut the branch and transplant the seedling to a permanent place.
Another available method of breeding clematis is dividing the bush , but in this case you will not be able to get a lot of planting material at once.
Experienced flower growers often use vaccination, but for beginners this method is too complicated.
Beautiful examples in landscape design
The long and abundant flowering of clematis allows them to be successfully used in landscape design.
Clematis “Arabella” looks spectacular like a groundcover, so it is often planted for decoration of rabatok, rockeries and flower beds.
When decorating a garden plot with clematis, "Arabella" usually use the entire length of the shoot, growing a vine on a vertical support. It is only necessary to periodically tie the plant. As a support, you can use any material. Arches, arbors and fences framed by this beautiful flower look especially impressive.
Clematis harmoniously look in combination with perennials of a short flowering period, its shoots penetrate the bush and seem to fill it with their decorative flowers. It is very popular for planting rose bushes.
“Arabella” in tandem with conifers invariably looks luxurious.
Clematis of this variety is often used to decorate balconies and attics in the form of an ampel culture.
About the features of planting and rooting lashes of clematis see below.