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Cutting / moving a clematis.

LottieGYLottieGY Posts: 45

Hi all,

I'm hoping any clematis experts can help... I'm about to have my patio done, and unfortunately will have to lose the frame that my clematis sits on. I don't think I'll be able to pull the plant off the frame to temporarily lie on something else, but is that worth a try? Otherwise I think I might have to cut it right back (which I didn't do over winter / spring at all, being new to this...) but I'm worried this will just kill it off completely.

Any ideas of how I might do this without losing the plant? I'm not sure what type of clematis it is, but it's a large one - spreads right over an arbour type frame and has white/pale pink flowers in the spring. If that helps?!

Thanks in advance!

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,030

    By your description I'm guessing it's a montana Lottie. If you google it, you'll see if that matches what you have. The flowers are smaller than the big summer flowering types.

    You can cut it right back to a size that's suitable for you just now and it will grow again, it just means you'll sacrifice the flowers this year, and it may take a year or two to get back to a decent size. A bit of food after you've chopped it will give it a boost. They're not normally pruned at all except to keep them where you want them, and they're pretty tough. I take it you're putting up another support for it and not moving it?

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LottieGYLottieGY Posts: 45

    Wonderful, thank you. Yes, I'm hoping to get a new arch or arbour for it to climb over again. I love it so much, and it is obviously a well established plant, so beautiful when we moved here a year ago, so I feel I really should keep it going.

    So, if it is a montana it shouldn't be pruned back at all? I've tried to read up on clematis, but get easily confused by the different times for pruning etc. That news would be very welcome indeed!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,030

    They often flower a second time later on and you can trim them back a bit then to keep them in check. They differ from the larger flowering summer ones in that they don't flower on the current year's new growth - that's why those ones get cut back at this time of year. Generally speaking, they fall into two groups - Group 2 s flower in spring/early summer and then again in late summer/early autumn, and the Group 3 s are mainly summer till early autumn and only flower once.  People often like to grow one of each of those together to get a succession of flowers right through from spring till autumn. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LottieGYLottieGY Posts: 45

    Wonderful. Thank you Fairygirl - you've been such a huge help today!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,030

    A great clematis nursery is Taylor's (they're online ) which many of us recommend on here even if it's just to look longingly at all the lovely varieties available! You'll find loads of info about their care as well as hundreds of beautiful plants. 

    Beware though - they're very addictive. One is never enough!  imageimage

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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