A new baby, royal anniversary and namesake flower all in the merry month of May! Being in the royal spotlight comes with many challenges, but clearly has its sweet spots. Clematis Meghan, named after the Duchess of Sussex, is making its debut at the famed Chelsea Garden Show May 21-25, 2019.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, who named the flower, “the flowers are a rich, opulent magenta-purple, so they will really make an impact when planted in borders or larger pots.” Clematis Meghan flowers twice a year, in spring and early summer. It’s described as a hardy plant that makes a big impact when given room to grow.
Clematis Meghan will join a lineup of royal family flowers, including clematis Prince Louis, named after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s youngest child. There is also a clematis Princess Kate, clematis Royal Wedding and clematis Princess Diana. It seems even royals have to share! But, with so many stunning color variations, each seems to have its own unique personality.
Clematises are members of the buttercup family and have well over 300 species and countless man-made hybrids. Besides being prized for their magnificent, large flowers, they are one of the best-known climbers among vertical plants. They will train onto trellises and fences, or arch gracefully over doorways.
Though there are a few varieties that manage in part sun, most Clematis grow best in sunny locations (at least 6 hours of sun for blooming) and prefer cool, moist well-drained soil. They also need plenty of space for adequate airflow to prevent mildew. In the wild, clematis is often found growing at the edge of woodlots where they climb through the tree limbs to reach full sun while their roots remain in the shade.
Care of clematis vines is minimal except for watering, which calls for about an inch weekly and more during dry spells. Mulch should be replenished each spring. Bloom times vary depending on species. Whether you choose clematis for climbing or keep them in containers, pruning is important to keep them looking their best. The large flowering types, such as clematis Meghan, should be cut back to the topmost buds in late winter/early spring.
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According to the International Clematis Society, clematis seeds may take up to three years to germinate, but you should get some germination in about six months to a year. You will find complete instructions on their website: http://www.clematisinternational.com/. Though your odds of getting a clematis Meghan plant are slim to none, there are an endless number of colors and varieties available from nurseries across America, including Spring Hill and Michigan bulbs
A clematis plant, sometimes referred to as the ‘queen of climbers’ makes a wonderful gift for gardening loved ones, such as moms on Mother’s Day, dads on Father’s Day, or anyone on their birthday or anniversary. This much-loved flower is also available in a wide range of gift items, including stationery, prints, tote bags, nightlights, tee shirts, plates, accent pillows and even iPhone cases. No doubt, the Queen Mother herself would approve.