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Help with moving early virgin bower clematis


We have recently moved to a new place and have inherited various plants including this early flowering clematis (I think it's early virgin's bower, clematis cirrhosa?) growing up the garage.
The building is being demolished and the builders have said its unlikely they can avoid damaging/destroying the plants there so I think I need to move them. This has to be done urgently as the demolition has been booked.
Does anyone have any advice on minimising the stress & impact on them when transplanting? Or would it be better to risk leaving them in place but pull them off the trellis and away from the wall?

Thank you!


  • CrankyYankeeCrankyYankee Posts: 220
    Virgin's Bower here in the states is Clematis virginiana, which is a native plant and can be invasive.  I was excited to see an established vine, but that's a different clematis than what I expected.  Our Virgin's Bower has tiny white flowers, not the bell shape seen here.  I'm only familiar with a few clematises, so hopefully one of the more seasoned gardeners can help you out. :)
    New England, USA
    Metacomet soil with hints of Woodbridge and Pillsbury
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,068
    They look like old mature plants, so it might be difficult to transplant them successfully. the roots will probably be going under the walls.
    What are you putting in place of the building? If it's something that can support the plants it's probably better to take them off the wall but leave in situ. You can prune them hard now if you need to, but you'll obviously lose this year's flowers. Then train the new growth on to a new support (replacement building, or maybe an arch or pergola if you're not putting in a new building). They should flower next spring on growth made over the summer, and you should get flowers lower down, not just all up top like you have now. Have a look here , the paragraph beginning "to renovate" in the section on pruning established plants.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks, we are putting a new building in place (but there will be a delay of a few weeks). 

    I think I'll lose this year's flowers either way as they need some serious pruning and to move them would cut back quite a lot..
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,133
    I agree with @JennyJ - it could be very difficult to move those successfully, and leaving them in situ while a building gets taken down, and a new one put in it's place, is never going to be easy either. Where exactly is it planted?

    There also seems to be a passion flower there - if that label is correct?  Is there another climber as well, on the canes in the middle of the photo, or is that the clematis? It's very trussed up. Difficult to see though. 
    There does seem to be a lot of climbers mixed together, so you may have to cut everything back and see if any of it can come out easily. Clematis don't always move successfully if they've planted for a number of years though.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you for your help! There are a few different climbers but I'm not sure what we have. Maybe a honeysuckle and a different variety of clematis not in flower yet. Also not sure about the passionflower as there are a few labels around. 

    They are in a low raised bed made with a sleeper along the edge of the patio. It is the north wall of the garden so doesn't get that much sun. 

    I just wanted to preserve what I can as I intended to plant basically the same climbers around the patio so would save lots of time and money rather than starting from scratch.. We will be building the new structure so can be mindful at least!
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