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Plant out my clematis or start again in spring?

I bought two potted clematis in June (both viticella type - one 'Minuet' and one 'Etoile Violette'). I'd planned to plant them out quickly, but I have only just got around to repairing/painting my fence and installing a trellis.

As you can see from the photos, they are now in a bit of a sad condition, with a lot of dead growth and blotchy brown leaves.

Would it be better to:
  1. Plant them out anyway?
  2. Keep them in their pots until spring (perhaps repotting first)?
  3. Ditch the plants and buy new ones in spring?

Many thanks!


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,191
    They'll be fine. Plant them out now, cut them back a little bit, remove all the ties that are there, and make sure any viable stems are tied in. . 

    They'll get hacked back in early spring anyway, so it's not the end of the world if you miss any, but it saves any breakage over winter causing problems further down.
    You can take off any damaged/dead stems too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks, that's helpful to know. So the brown/blotchy leaves aren't likely to be signs of disease?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,191
    They're just dying back. They need moved on into better conditions after being in the pots, but they'll be fine   :)
    They look decent sized plants, so they should do well. You can plant at slightly deeper than they are in the pots too. That encourages more new stems from below ground in spring. You can do that with Group 2 and 3 clematis.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Brilliant, thank you!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,362
    edited September 2020
    When you plant them make the hole at least a couple of feet away from the base of the fence and angle them back towards it,  so the roots aren’t in the really dry bit of rain shadow which is always found at the base of a wall or fence. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Good advice, thanks.
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