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When to transplant clematis from pot to ground

wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

I have some clematis in pots which I would like to transfer into the flower bed. I want to grow them up a freestanding trellis, not on the fences as it's not our side fence. That's the sunny side though so they need to go there.

When is the best time to get them out of the pots and how best to do this? They've grown quite a bit. The ones I want to put in the ground are Daniel Deronda, Dr Ruppel and Nelly Moser. I presume they are group 2 - does this mean I can't cut them back later in the year, as I felt this might make the transplanting easier?

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148

    No need to cut them back if they're going into the ground from a pot wakeshine. Having said that, it can help if it's a hot, dry spell, to make it easier for them to establish well.

    If they're in a big enough pot just now, ( either the deep clematis pots, or at least a 6 or 7 inch one) and the roots are filling it, you can plant them now to get them established before autumn/winter.  Plant them deep and make sure they're well watered in and watered regularly if it's dry. If you have some well rotted manure and some decent compost to add to thte planting hole, that will help. Unfurl stems and tie them in if you don't cut them back. 

    Group 2s only need a bit of tidying after the first flush of flowers as they usually flower again later, but you can also treat them as Group 3 by cutting back in late winter. I usually just leave mine and trim any rough foliage back after flowering. We don't often get a second flush of flowers up here anyway, or if we do, it's usually not very many. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Thanks Fairygirl for this very detailed advice. The pots aren't really big enough. Deep but probably not wide enough. I don't know how I am going to get this tangle out.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,148

    Ah - I misunderstood a bit wakeshine. I thought you meant they were just in smallish plastic pots. 

    I'd just bite the bullet and cut them all back and plant them in the ground now if you have your spaces ready for them. It won't harm them, and will encourage new growth from the base anyway for next year. Clematis take a few years to get to maturity so you'll actually be doing them a favour, and you'll be able to separate and train new growth as it forms. You'd probably get quite a bit in the next month or two anyway. 

    I take it they'll have a fair bit of room where they're going? Moser and Ruppel make big, spreading plants, so they'll need a good width and height of fence/trellis to grow on, so that you get the best from them. I found DD a bit odd in that it seemed to want to bush out rather then grow up and out. It may not have been in the best location for it  so that comment's only from my experience. However, I think someone else on the forum found the same though. I no longer have it anyway! 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Hiya sorry for the late reply Fairygirl. Well actually I don't think I can plant them just yet because a) I don't have the spaces ready yet - I need to do some rearranging at the end of the season. I do know the approximate spaces but... b)I can't get to them as too many prickly roses in the way, as well as lilies and dahlias growing and flowering madly!

    It would be so much better to have been able to do it now though because of the growth and it would be good to get them settled in over the summer.

    In terms of space, yes hopefully I will make enough space for especially Dr Ruppell and Nelly. I wondered, can you recommend any particular style of freestanding trellis? I went to look at some obelisk types in a garden centre today. There were metal coated ones and willow ones. I wonder if anyone has experience with any of these. There were very tall ones but I felt the base circle was too big. But the ones with the smaller base circle were not tall enough. I definitely don't want to grow it against the fence as it's the neighbours fence and if they want to remove the fence panels for any reason, they will have difficulty if there are plants tied to it.

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