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pinching out


Hi Guys

Looking for a bit of information..

I have recently planted some G3 clematis, all two year old plants, they have took very well and are all producing plenty of new growth, although not expecting much if anything in the way of blooms i was wondering if it would be to my advantage to continue to pinch out new shoots during the growing season to increasing leaves and therefore increase photosynthesis and have a healthier plant and root system for new growth next spring...


Thanks in advance



  • jo4eyesjo4eyes North East Derbyshire Posts: 2,058

    I'd just be inclined to keep tying the shoots in to their supports, rather than risk accidentally removing potential flowering shoots in error- well quite likely in my case!

    Clematis are greedy plants, so keep them well mulched, if in the ground, & apply a general feed next spring to pot grown plants. J.

  • Percy-GrowerPercy-Grower Posts: 253


     Cheers J,


  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    Davie-S - are you still around?  Wondering how you got on with your clematis last summer and especially how things worked out with your 'Polish Spirit'?  We talked about them on another thread  last year (which I haven't found yet). 

    I have a new 'Polish Spirit' question.  When I mentioned this viticella Clematis last year, mine was growing really well but with the continual rain last year and not much sun, mine didn't produce nearly as many flowers as the year before.  I'd also been in the habit of pruning it down to a couple of buds around Feb/March.  This year, I've just left it - mostly because I forgot about it and because there's scaffolding up to either side of it in it's pot.  Having just had a quick look at it, unpruned, it's produced shoots and I'm not keen to do the usual prune.  I don't much mind what shape it turns into up this wall (west-facing), gets sun all day WHEN WE GET SUN!!!  Can anybody tell me that if I just leave it to do it's own thing to spread where it will, just for this year unpruned - is it likely to flower reasonably well - or is it not wise to leave it unpruned?

    Here's how it looks today.  Bearing in mind there's scaffolding above it with melting snow dripping down on it all the time.






     Also, as it's in a post - anybody recommend a really good feed for it?  I suppose I ought to give it a feed pretty soon - or not?

    Many thanks anyone.



  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    OOps... it's not in a 'post' - it's in a pot!

  • Interesting to read the views of different people. Personally, I'd cut it back or pinch it out if it is a young clematis, because I'd prefer at this stage to get more stems even at the cost of flowers. It is an investment in the future. If the new growth is coming from further up the stems, rather that from the bottom, I'd prune it back to the bottom, just leaving a short amount of stem. It will give it a setback but it will just flower later and be a better looking plant, IMO. Be gentle with me if you disagree!!

  • Hi Yarrow2 (what happened to yarrow1?)

    Nice to hear from you again, where to begin, first of all i agree with granny sorry i mean gran-mama, cut your polish spirit (G3's) down to a healthy pair of buds about 8 to 12" from the ground, this should promote new growth from beneath, if you don't prune it back it means you could have bare stems at the bottom and blooms away above eye level, as it is in a pot you could always reposition it if you cut it back away from the drips from the scaffolding, i would also cut it back later very late March early April due to our wonderful climate, as for feeding i use tomato feed (tomatorite) twice a week during the growing season but stop feeding when it produces flowers or this will shorten the flowering period. As for my own trials and tribulations i had mixed results. Tis getting a bit late for me i shall post again tomorrow, that almost sounded if i knew what i was talking about..image

    once again was nice hearing from you

    TC Davie-S

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    Hi Gardening Grandma - thanks for taking time to comment.  And Davie-S - good to see you're still gardening.  Weather is rotten isn't it.  I agree with you both  on cutting it back.  ( I was getting a bit disheartened not being able to really get into the garden due to the scaffolding and stuff - and thinking that everything was going to be growing madly before it's cleared away and I can really make a start to the year.  As a result I thought my saving grace was seeing it growing healthy looking new shoots and thought I could just leave them.  You know - the amateur error of getting excited at seeing growth and thinking 'That looks good - I'll just let it get on with it'.  I'll wait until it warms up a bit - cut it down and then give it a really good feed and a topping of fresh compost.

    And then hope that we get some sun this year!!!!!

    Thanks so much for the replies.  image



  • BrummieBenBrummieBen Posts: 460

    Hi there, if it's in G3 of clematis, cut off every year without fail at knee height 12 -18" to the nearest set of buds. G3 clematis are basically the 'annuals' of clemati, therefore treat them exactly the same, lots of food, and loads of water. I do ask how big is the pot? I'd personally be looking at something 12" square, perhaps bigger. Plenty of drainage, and a good mix of soil and compost, perhaps even some water retaining gel in there too. G3's are thirsty greedy feeders, but give them what they want and boy do they put on a show!

  • I have polish spirit growing up tripod of tree supports. Always best to hack right back early in spring. Last year not so good because of weather. Will give a feed to boost it to be on safe side tho'. Do it now!!

  • Hi Yarrow 1+1

    I planted over a dozen clematis last year and had mixed results, my best performers where the Tangutica's, esp the bill mackenzie & golden tiara varieties gorgeous yellow nodding bells and lanterns with lovely seed-heads, the best of the lot was my Nelly Mosser it just kept growing and producing flowers, but alas i grew that in my poly tunnel, see no reason why it wouldn't perform just as good outdoors if the weather was half decent, my polish spirit erm the jury's still out on that one, i planted it next to a chilean potato tree that decided to take off not only that i planted some sweet-peas in-front of it needless to say the combination of both kind of smotherd the polish spirit though i did peer through the tangled mess and the ps seems to have done reasonably well under the circumstances, my main mistake was planting clematis to close to one another, and i noticed the roots have come near the surface because of the way i waterd them, in future i will add a piece of pipe to get the water down to the roots to keep the roots deeper, i have a lot of repositioning to do come April when i cut them back, wonderboy i was advised by Taylor's clematis from whom i bought my plants from to cut back in April due to my climate which is the same as yarrow2's, i hear you on the itching to get out in the garden and do something yarrow  i to pondered cutting mine back after seeing the new growth on the upper part of my clematis last week when we had some decent spring like weather, just mind we had frost first week in June last year, so patience really is a virtue for a Scottish gardener, besides the autumns have been much milder in recent years which can give us a longer growing season, my sweet peas were still producing blooms in November...Anyhoo's I'm rambling i'll try and post some pictures this summer if i can figure it out...



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