Clematis Polish Spirit

I have a lilac tree, roughly 12' tall.  I've left the dead heads on as I can't reach most of them anyway.  And, I have a small Polish Spirit plant in a small plastic pot (part of a final day bargain lot at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show).  If I plant it hoping it will grow through my lilac and provide colour after the lilac flowers are over, will it be easy to remove the top growth from the tree when I eventually prune the clematis down to 8" in March 2015?  Or do I risk damaging the new lilac buds in the process?


  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I have clematis though my lilac - a montana, a flammula and have a plena something or other which will go in in spring.

    I have always found that clematis is easy to remove once the growing season is over as the stems are so brittle whn dry a tug does very little damage especially with an established lilac.

    Go for it - remember to plant the clematis at an angle towards the tree in a very deep hole with lots of compost etc.

    Should look great.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Hello happy, 

    I don't think you would damage the lilac buds but I think you would find that the Polish Spirit was a bit too boisterous and you would get bored with all the disentangling that you would have to keep doing. Our neighbour cut theirs down to ground level in the spring and it is currently densely covering a 6 x6 fence panel, and more, to a thickness of about 2 feet. A beautiful plant, covered in flowers for months, but a bit of a lad.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,661

    It should be fine and you need somethng with a bit of oomph to get to the top of your lilac tree so you can see the flowers.  Just make sure it's not planted too close to the tree as it won't want to compete for nutrients and water.  Give it a good deep hole and plenty of good compost and well rotted manure and plant it a few inches deeper than it was in its pot as this encourages extra shoots.

    If it's very small, I would pot it up and look after it with plenty of feed and TLC for another year before planting it out.


    The Vendée, France
  • Right Obelixx, I shall go out and measure it and report back later!

  • It is about 20'' tall from the top of the compost to its highest tip.  It has 3 stems and is in a 9cm deep pot.  So, plant now, or in a year's time?  One other thing - how far away from the lilac could it be planted?  I'm not sure if I can dig a hole deep enough with all the tree roots around.  Woud it be better to grow it in a deep pot?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,661

    I would put it in a bigger pot and keep it in a sheltered spot or greenhouse over the winter.  Plant it out next spring.

    If you find it hard to dig a hole near the lilac then the clematis isn't going to establish and thrive easily either so try planting it at the edge of the lilac's crown where the soil will be better and then lead the clematis up into the branches with some strings or canes or an obelisk.

    The Vendée, France
  • Thank you Obelixx, I will do that.

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