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clematis from pot to ground

peteSpeteS Posts: 964
I would like to transfer a clematis from a pot into the ground. It's a viticella type and has been in the pot for well over ten years, but still grows well enough. The pot is about 13inches diameter, slightly less in depth, but I very much suspect it will be considerably pot bound and therefore a sod to get out, so quite a bit of damage to the roots and brittle stems  would be inevitable (don't fancy breaking a nice pot). So how much damage to the roots can a clematis take and still survive. 


  • Quite a lot in my experience (judging by accidentally slicing-off about a third of the roots of a viticella when I was planting a couple of years ago, and which showed no ill effects at all!), just take care not to damage the crown.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016
    Been there, done that.   Water the pot well till the root ball is thoroughly soaked.

    Use an old bread knife to slice up and down the insides of the pot to loosen the small roots that cling to the slightly rougher inside wall.   It might take a while but eventually you'll get the whole thing loose enough to pull out.

    When you prepare the planting hole make it twice as wide and deep as the pot and then put some soil back in the base mixed with well-rotted manure or some good soil conditioner.  tease out the roots at the base and sides and plant the whole thing so hat it's a 3 or 4 inches - 8 to 10cm - deeper than it was.  Back fill and cover over with more soil and manure/conditioner and then water thoroughly.  Keep it watered all thru the spring and summer and give it occasional feeds of liquid rose or tomato feed thru spring and up to mid summer.  
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    Coincidentally I'm looking at getting a clematis and pot for my mum this mother's day. I was thinking of a long-tom style pot that's slightly narrower but a bit deeper (11" diameter x just over 15" deep) because I've seen some that are quite good value. I was concerned that would be too small but judging by this post, it looks doable!
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
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