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Pinch out Clematis?



  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    I have about 10 clematis in my garden. As a trial, I pinched out early buds on 3 of them and left the others last year to see if there was any great difference in the production of flowers from the base of the plant. The only clematis the did show more flowers after pinching out was Clematis Ville De Lyon.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,289

    I've only ever pruned clematis at the time they need pruning. Some varieties when young can produce a lot of growth at the expense of flowers so you can cut some of that back during the growing season, but I've only done it on reasonably mature plants - ie a couple of years old. 

    Young plants are largely making roots in the first couple of years, and planting deeper helps to encourage that Jinxy. Once they get to three years old or so, they're producing more growth in general. It does depend on variety though. Some plants get to a decent flowering size quicker than others, and your own soil conditions and management of the plant will also dictate that. Perennials are the same really - they don't generally reach full size for at least a couple of years from being in a small pot. 

    Plug plants are a long way from being full sized clematis, that's why these offers are cheap. When you buy a clematis in a GC or  a nursery at £10/£12 or more, what you're paying for is the time that a nursery has spent on that plant, nurturing it from tiny beginnings to a full sized specimen ready to go.

    Essentially - you're doing the nursery's work by potting on and looking after a small plant for 18 months or 2 years, till it's ready to cover a wall, obelisk or fence image


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

  • Fish,blood and bone is great, I also feed mine tomato fertiliser when I remember, not more than every couple of weeks and not when they're actually in flower as weirdly that seems to shorten the flowering period. If they're group 2's you can begin feeding them again after the first flush is over.

  • Aahh - thank you fairygirl image I've got it now image

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,212

    As long as you've planted your clematis deep enough and pruned it back to a pair of buds it is best to leave it.   The fact of burying it deep will encourage extra shoots to form from below ground and it will do this year on year.

    They can take a year or two to get their roots established before they take off so be patient.   Stick to its appropriate pruning régime and it will be fine.   

    Remember to feed it generously every spring and make sure it never dries out.  They don't want to drown but they are thirsty, hungry plants and need to be fed and watered till well established and they've got their roots down.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • obelixx - am I better not thinking about putting them out this year - but keeping them potted up (and deep) until next spring?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,212

    It's a question of size.   New clems need to be big enough for you to plant them 4"' deeper than they were in their pots.  If yours are small and in 4" pots clearly they need to be grown on a few pot sizes.   However, if they're in a pot between 9 and 12 inches deep (standard clem pot size sold by nurserymen here) and they have 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90cms) of stems, then you can plant them out.

    Even so, I find clems can take a year or two to establish and sometimes disappear before reappearing so I now pot mine on into minimum 40cm wide and 50cm deep pots for at least a year so they can get a good root system established before I plant them out.  They need watering and feeding but the end result is worth it.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 712
    I'm glad you mentioned about not planting them out if they are in a small pot obelixx. My mum has just bought me another clematis and it's one of the ones from the supermarket and I was going to plant it today. So I'm now going to use the large pot my other clematis came in and pot it up for a year. It's clematis Dark Eyes and looks beautiful on the photos I've seen on Google! Should I use standard potting compost for it?
  • That's what I needed to know - thank you so much obelixx image

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