Clematis "Dr. Ruppel"

Last Spring I planted a Clematis ???Dr Ruppel???. I have patiently waited for the flowers to appear and finally a flower has just opened. Should it have taken so long to come into flower please? I believe it is Prune Code 2, so can also tell me when is the best time to prune it please? I have provided it with a trellis to climb up and positioned it facing West. I have shaded the roots and watered it during dry spells and also fed it periodically. I have been teasing the shoots through the trellis and done all I can to care for it. Am I looking after it correctly? I have a PH soil of 6.5 ??? 7.0, is this satisfactory? Thank You


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,353

    Hi Jan, you're doing everything right but they do take a couple of years to get going.  Prune it in late February to early March:  Starting at each growth tip, follow it back until you find a pair of strong buds and prune it just above them.  If any of the stems have outgrown their alloted space, prune back to a lower pair of buds, but bear in mind that the flowers will come from those buds.  Also remove any weak or obviously dead growth at this time.  I give them a handful of bonemeal immediately after pruning mixed into in a mulch of compost.  Start feeding with clematis feed (or tomato feed) in late Spring.  Your soil pH is perfect.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,143

    As Bob says, you"re doing everything right and clems can take a couple of years to establish themselves and get going properly.  I differ on pruning though.

    Group 2 contains the early and mid-season large flowered hybrids which usually begin flowering before the end of June.  Once new growth starts in spring, fcut out any obvious dead stems and then follow each stem back down to a pair of live buds and cut back to just above this point.    Feed it some clematis food which is usually slow release granules plus a liquid tonic of tomato or rose food for instant oomph.

    Once flowering starts in June you can dead head or just wait till that flush is all over and remove the flowers all together.     This will keep the plant looking tidy and encourage it to produce a second flush of blooms later in summer.

    The Vendée, France
  • Thank you Bob The Gardener and Obelixx for your advice it is much appreciated. I will take it on board about your pruning methods. I haven't grown a fancy clamatis before apart from the hardy sort Montana Rubens - which is very rampent! Thanks again

    Happy Gardening!

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