If you are a beginner gardener, and you want something interesting, beautiful, growing in different directions, and at the same time completely unpretentious, then you should take a closer look at the clematis Arabella. Do not be afraid of the seeming capriciousness of these unique flowering vines. Description of the variety, reviews of gardeners, as well as photos and features of planting and caring for clematis Arabella, placed in this article will help you make the right choice.
Clematis Arabella was obtained in the UK in the early 1990s by breeder B. Frathell. It received its name by the name of the daughter of Lords Herschel, the wife of Lieutenant General J. Kizhel.Attention! There is another variety of clematis called Arabella. But it was obtained in the XIX century, had white flowers and at the moment it is considered practically lost for gardening.
The variety of clematis Arabella, referred to in this article, is unusual even if it does not have the ability to climb, like most common clematis varieties. It is usually attributed to the group of clematis Integfolia, whose name is translated from Latin, as whole-leaf. Indeed, the leaves of Arabella are not dissected, as in most clematis, and are covered with slight pubescence, which suggests that among the parents of this variety were representatives of the Lanuginose group (woolly clematis).
The shrubs of this variety of clematis are capable of forming a fairly regular raised hemisphere of densely grown, raised shoots. But at the same time, they completely lack the ability to cling to something, therefore, when grown on supports, they must be constantly tied to them (like climbing roses). In connection with this feature, clematis Arabella is often allowed to grow as a ground cover plant.
On average, the length of the shoots of this clematis reaches 1.5 -2 meters. But if it grows, covering the soil with its stems, then by attaching shoots to the ground, it can be achieved that they can grow in length and up to three meters.
Clematis Arabella blooms on the shoots of the current year, so it is customary to refer it to the third group of pruning. His flowers are unique in that at the beginning of blooming they are characterized by a deep saturated blue-purple color. As flowering color turns pale and becomes bluish with a slight purple hue. The petals are elongated, separately separated from each other, they may be from 4 to 8 pieces. Anthers with stamens have a creamy tint; they may turn yellow when opened.Comment! Flowers have a relatively small size - from 7.5 to 9 cm and when opening look up and sideways.
Flowering begins quite early - depending on the growing region, it can be observed as early as June. Like most members of the Integrifolia group, the clematis Arabella blooms for a very long time, until September - October, inclusive, as far as weather conditions allow. After heavy rains the bush may fall apart and the plant may not look very presentable for some time, but soon new shoots with buds appear from the buds and flowering will soon continue.
The Arabella variety is usually referred to as clematis for beginners, since it can forgive the grower many mistakes that are more luxuriously blooming and capricious clematis varieties are no longer forgiven. Nevertheless, properly made planting will guarantee a long life and abundant flowering.
Choosing a place and time for landing
All clematis love bright lighting, and Arabella is no exception, although it is quite suitable for semi-shady areas. Due to the peculiarities of its growth, clematis of this variety can be planted in a pot or in a basket and grown as an ampelous plant.
And when planting in pots and in ordinary land, the most important thing is to arrange the plant roots with good drainage so that the water during the watering does not in any case stand in the root zone. No clematis likes this, and it is the stagnation of water that causes most clematis health problems.
If you got a seedling with a closed root system, then it can be planted at almost any time during the warm season. Rooted cuttings of clematis Arabella is better to grow first in a separate container, in which the walls can be subsequently cut, so as not to damage the root system.
Clematis Arabella saplings with an open root system should preferably be planted either in late spring or in early autumn.
At whatever time you planted a sapling, in the first month after planting it needs shading and constant wet maintenance until it is fully rooted.
Selection of seedlings
Of all the varieties of clematis planting material widely represented on the market, it is most expedient to choose small rooted cuttings with dormant buds. They are easiest to keep before planting in the lower part of the refrigerator, and when they start to wake up, then temporarily land in a container for growing.A warning! It is not recommended to buy clematis saplings with thin whitish shoots - such plants after planting will take root for a very long time and get sick.
Clematis saplings with a closed root system and green shoots can be bought if there is an opportunity to plant them in the ground within 1-2 weeks, otherwise you will have to find a suitable place to keep them for a long time.
When choosing clematis seedlings with open roots, 2-3 unblown, but living buds and about 5 processes of roots with a total length of up to 50 cm should be present.
Clematis Arabella can grow on almost any soil, as long as it has a drainage system and nutrients present.
How is landing
If you plant clematis directly into the ground, then at least 20 cm of claydite or rubble drainage layer should be laid on the bottom of the prepared pit. When planting this variety in hanging baskets, a drainage layer is also necessary, but it can be about 10 cm.Important! It should be understood that even in the largest hanging basket, clematis will be able to grow for a maximum of 3-4 years, after which it will need to be transplanted or divided.
For planting in hanging pots, you can prepare a mixture of garden soil with humus, adding to it a handful of superphosphate. When planting in the ground, the addition of humus and wood ash with superphosphate is also desirable, since it will allow the plant to provide nutrients for a whole year.
When planting, the root neck of a sapling of clematis is recommended to be 5-10 cm deep, but in the northern regions with high humidity it is better to use a thick layer of organic mulch over the plantations.
If you want to use the support, it is better to install it before planting the seedling. Just keep in mind that thin shoots of Clematis Arabella are not able to cling to it and you will need to tie it up all the time.
Care of clematis Arabella will not require any extra effort from you.
Watering can be done about 1 time per week, with particularly hot and dry weather, perhaps more often.
Regular feeding will be needed from about the second year of the plant's life. You can use ready-made complex organo-mineral fertilizers for flowers every two weeks.
Clematis roots do not like heat or dryness at all; therefore, to preserve moisture and suitable temperature conditions, it is best to immediately after planting richly mulch the root zone with straw, compost or humus. Subsequently, you must monitor and update the layer of mulch about once a month or two.
Clematis Arabella belongs to the third group of pruning, therefore it is cut off strongly in the autumn - small (15–20 cm) peneces with 2-3 buds remain from all the shoots.
Shelter for the winter
The Arabella variety tolerates frost well, so it is enough to cover the shoots left after pruning with a layer of organic matter and reinforce any covering material from above.
Fight against diseases and pests
Clematis Arabella varieties usually endure any adversity, and if you follow all the requirements for care, the diseases and pests are usually not terrible for him. For the prevention of disease, you can treat the plants with Fitosporin solution, and the bioinsecticide, Fitoverm, will help well against pests.
Arabella breeds exclusively by vegetative methods, because when you try to propagate it with seeds, you will get a result that is far from the original variety.
Cutting is considered one of the easiest and most accessible methods, but in the case of clematis Arabella its cuttings root slowly and rather tightly.
The best way for this variety will be reproduction by layering. Since often the clematis stalks of Arabella and so spread along the ground, it is not difficult to pin them to the ground once again. A subsidiary plant can be separated from the parent in the fall, before pruning.
The division of the bush is also quite an affordable way, but it does not allow getting a lot of planting material at once.
Professionals sometimes use clematis grafting, but this method is not at all suitable for beginners.
Application of Arabella in garden design
Clematis Arabella, first of all, will look great as a ground cover plant in mixborder, where it forms flowering curtains, and at the base of the walls, decorated with climbing large-flowered clematis.
You can use it in rock gardens, on retaining walls of gravel or stone. And if you plant it next to small conifers or perennials, the clematis sprouts will be able to germinate through them and, relying on the stems, decorate them with flowers.
However, no one forbids to let it grow on a support, you only need to periodically tie it in different places.
Recently, it has become fashionable to use Clematis Arabella to decorate balconies and terraces in hanging pots and baskets.
Victoria, 39 years old, BelgorodKlematis Arabella I like its versatility and unpretentiousness. At first he grew up on my retaining wall, enclosing a rocky hill. Then, as it grew, I divided the bush, and part of it landed in the containers with which I decorated the terrace. It turned out very beautiful. And he winters on my glazed terrace, where I harbor him with several layers of lutrasila. Zhanna, 34, Moscow Region. I tried to grow clematis Arabella in the traditional way, on the trellis, but I had to tie it all the time, and I was tired. Then he moved him to the garden, and now he feels great in a mixborder with perennials and annuals as a ground cover. I usually prune it in the fall and hide it just like roses.
If you have long dreamed of becoming acquainted with clematis, but did not dare to begin where, try planting an Arabella variety in the garden. It is unpretentious, but it will delight you with its bloom all summer and even autumn, if it is warm. In addition, it is well suited for growing in containers on balconies or terraces.