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Clematis to cover a fence - fan or candelabra?

I'm training a couple of clematis on nylon wires to disguise a fence at the back of our garden. Question is, am I better training them as a fan, i.e. vertically and then horizontally along the wires, or a candelabra, i.e. horizontally along the wires and then vertically up to the next wire?


  • My experience has been the plant will decide… I tried to train one on a pergola, it happily filled in the pergola, then the fence, then claimed all over a rose bush…. All in a single season🤪
    Marne la vallée, basically just outside Paris 🇫🇷, but definitely Scottish at heart.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,095
    edited August 2022
    I too just point it in a general direction and let it do its thing. You would want one of an appropriate gusto for your fence - one that will happily cover it, but one not so large that it might bring it down. Having made many attempts and mistakes in using clems to cover and hide structures, I would recommend a group one type that you never have to prune, so the fence is covered all year. Sigh.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,120
    If you let them grow to vertically quickly, then you can have bald spots at the bottom. The plants just want to head for the skies to get the best light so encouraging them to spread out lower down is need to make it look nice and full.
    Plants grow fastest vertically so it's normally the better option to cut the main stems so they branch out and you will eventually have more stems to train in. It depends which clematis you choose as to when you would do this, or if you would do it.  
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