I need to shade just the roots of my newly planted clematis. What if I...

Asked May 14, 2015, 8:45 PM EDT

I need to shade just the roots of my newly planted clematis. What if I circled it with cool rounded stones about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Would it cool or be too much weight? What is the height of plants if I were to plant to shade them and distance from the clematis? Thanks, anticipating your answer. mary Lou

Strafford County New Hampshire trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

Hi Mary Lou -

I think you are refering to keeping the roots cool. You can do this through adding adding compost and other forms of organic matter to the soil when you plan. I do not recommend using the rocks. You could use newspaper as an underlayer of mulch to hold in soil moisture and keep soil cool. Then, you can add bark mulch on top of the newspaper.

Here is an article that talks about the cool root zone:

Here is a factsheet on growing clematis:

I'm not sure I understand the second part of your question. I think you are asking if you need to plant something nearby to shade the clematis. You do not need to do this. Clematis grows in full sun, but can survive and grow in dappled shade.

Good luck with your new plants!