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I've just recently endeavoured into the world of gardening, and one of my first adventures is to successfully get my newly purchased clematis armandii to wrap around my Pergola. enter image description here Now i'm planting the clematis into the ground but looking to wrap it around my structure of the pergola, so in an ideal world it'll grow up the wooden structure legs, but I'm wondering is the structure too thick for the clematis to wrap onto it?

And shall i buy some string to wrap the bamboo support in the clematis to the structure or just plant it next to it and leave it to wrap itself?

Also can anyone recommend any good plant feeder for them?

Thank you in advance.

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  • pictures of the pergola help and your location in the world, type of soil...
    – kevinskio
    Aug 7, 2015 at 11:02
  • i.imgur.com/Ma6Wq9o.jpg is the best picture i can provide, and i live in Britain. Now, soil is just normal mud soil? Aha, ignore my lack of knowledge.
    – surGe
    Aug 7, 2015 at 11:33

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Most clematis climb by means of modified petioles, which curl round thin supports - clematis mesh is sold specifically for this purpose, and the mesh is of a thickness that the petioles can easily curl around and grasp for support. Clematis armandii, however, not only has these petioles, but also twines; even so, you will need to put something over the support for your pergola post to make this possible. Normally, I'd recommend wrapping clematis mesh around a thick support, but in the case of C. armandii, its important that the mesh is very firmly affixed, yet there is a gap of quarter of an inch between the mesh and the support, which is a bit of a tall order. If its hard up against it, the petioles won't be able to wrap themselves around the mesh. It's probably best to attach lathes to the post and then attach the mesh to those. This isn't a perfect solution - the presence of the mesh will deter the plant from twining, so it'll twine round itself instead.

As the plant gets going, it's twining habit becomes more noticeable, but it still won't really twine round any very thick pieces of wood, if they're, say, 2 inches thick by 4 inches deep. It might be sensible to add some rigid wooden trellis, the kind that's used for fencing panels, at the top to support the plant, if the gap between the horizontals on top is very large - this variety is a strong grower, and reaches up to 28 feet by about 10 feet, and the weight of all that growth is quite significant, so depending on the size of the gaps between the top horizontals, you risk having the plant dangling down in twined clumps in between.

Were it my pergola and clematis, I'd go and get some strong, rigid trellis, the type sold for fence panels, (not the diamond shaped, collapsible stuff) saw to size and attach around the pergola support and rely on the plant's twining habit (with a bit of help from me, tying in where necessary) to get it up to the top. If you choose to do this, ensure that the vertical struts are on the outside, and the horizontals are up against the support.

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