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Clematis Help

Morning, just a quick question.  In 2020 I bought a lovely Polish Spirit Clematis and unfortunately my dogs pee pretty much destroyed it.  I potted it over winter and planted it back out last spring, it did actually throw out one stem, very thin but it reached the top of my fence and flowered late.  My question is this, it now has some lovely, healthy and strong looking new shoots but at the top.  Do I prune??  It still appears so weak and I don't want to risk killing it now!


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532
    I think I'd leave it be.
    If there's just 1 stem, you're not going to gain much by pruning it right down.
    I usually find masses of new stems appearing from the soil with Group 3 clematis by around now.
    If you see lots of new growth coning from the ground, then prune the long shoot right back to a pair of buds above the soil.
    Dog wee will kill it though.
    It's always good to plant clematis so that about 6" of stems are below ground when planting it out. This gives it a better chance if surviving clematis wilt, but I wouldn't do anything with yours now.
    As your's is in a fragile condition atm, I'd just keep an eye on it, stop your dogs from peeing on it, give it a mulch, keep it watered if needed and cross your fingers.
    Good luck!
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ange.ballange.ball Posts: 3
    Thanks for reply, I honestly don't know how it survived.  Nothing else appears to be coming from the ground at the moment. How best to mulch?  Dogs are now behind fence!!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532
    Aw - poor dogs - I have a bitch, so it's my lawn (or what's left of it) that's ruined.
    Ideally rotted horse or farmyard manure or home-made compost for a mulch (not mushroom compost as it is too alkaline).
    Even some multi-purpose compost would help.
    A 3" layer around the plant would give it a bit of a boost.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,258
    I'm afraid I'd cut that back to promote new growth, and add some compost. A good layer of a few inches.
    It's always difficult when you see new growth and want to see it keep on growing, but it's not doing much for the plant, and it's just taking energy away from potential new stems. 
    You'll have to do something about the dog if you want to have healthy plants of any kind.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ange.ballange.ball Posts: 3
    Thanks.  It's so difficult to know what to do for the best when it's still looking so poor.  Last year we finally got round to fencing the garden, I now have a dog pee free garden! 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    Clematis are happy with alkaline soil so spent mushroom compost would be fine for it but not for any nearby conifers, azaleas or rhodos, camellias and the like.

    However, I would give it a generous mulch of well-rotted manure (bags at good GCs and DIYs) to feed it and encourage new stems to come from underground.   Give it some liquid rose or tomato feed thru spring and up to mid July to encourage more stems and flowers.   Train them in as they grow.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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